Feb 09

Avoid-Barricade-Confront – How to Survive an Active Shooter Incident

Avoid-Barricade-Confront – How to Survive an Active Shooter Incident

The FDNY and NYPD roll out the NYC take on “Run, Hide, Fight”

Global Security Group, Inc. (GSG) has been providing Active Shooter Response training to corporate clients and law enforcement agencies since 2004. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), active shooter incidents are on the rise and both public and private sector entities are increasingly more interested in learning what to do to safeguard personnel in the event of such an attack. Requests for training are often reactive and, as you might imagine, requests for this type of training tend to spike after a particularly horrific incident. In the same way schools began to take corrective actions after Columbine and later after the horror at Sandy Hook, so too are corporations looking at preparing for an active shooter attack post San Bernardino.

Active Shooter training is becoming a regular part of the life safety training given to corporate and government employees, tenants in buildings, teachers and students and so on. In November of 2015, New York City became the first municipality in the nation to require that this type of training be provided to all occupants of high-rise buildings. Occupants of such buildings will be trained in active shooter response the same way they have been required to attend regular fire drills. Not surprisingly, the Big Apple has its own take on active shooter response training which was generally known as “Run-Hide-Fight”. In New York City the protocols are referred to as “A-B-C” or “Avoid-Barricade-Confront”.

avoid barricade confront

ABC Personal Safety Plan

Why did NYC decide to change the way these well-established responses are termed? Well, like any major department there always is a desire to claim ownership of a program; to make it a unique brand. However, there is more to it in this case. In NYC all high-rise office buildings are required to have Fire Safety and Emergency Action Plans. There is a Fire Safety / Emergency Action Plan Director (FS/EAPD) on duty during business hours in every designated building. Buildings are required to conduct training and drills on a regular basis and occupants are trained to listen to announcements given by the FS/EAPD and either evacuate, shelter-in-place or relocate as directed. The only exception to this procedure is the response to an active shooter. There is no way an FS/EAPD can direct occupants on what to do in the event of such an attack. In fact, the FS/EAPD, generally stationed in the lobby of the building, may well be the first victim of an active shooter. As a result, occupants will be trained to act independently. Upon becoming aware of an active shooter they will act. If possible, an announcement will be made but will not contain specific direction. All occupants will be told is that an active shooter is in the building and to immediately activate their ABC protocols. It should be obvious why “Run-Hide-Fight” was replaced by “ABC”. Announcements will be heard throughout the building. The attacker will certainly hear it along with everyone else. The last thing you want to tell an attacker is that everyone in the building will now run for the exits, hide or fight back.

There is another reason to embrace the ABC parlance. As a trainer I don’t particularly have an issue with “Run” or “Fight” but I do object to the word “Hide.” Hiding is passive and using this word to describe a response protocol does not empower trainees; it suggests helplessness and fear. The term “Barricade” directs occupants toward a course of action that will substantially increase their chance of surviving an armed attack and is a much better choice. Taking decisive action in a timely manner is critical and active shooter training is designed to help potential victims make the correct decisions to allow them to survive.

Global Security Group, Inc. conducted the first Emergency Action Plan Director Certification Course in New York City history. Global will also teach the mandatory four-hour Active Shooter Certification Program for Emergency Action and Fire Safety Directors.

contact global security groupFor further information about active shooter training for your corporation, university, or law enforcement team please contact David S. Katz – call 212-285-2400- or visit http://globalsecuritygroup.com/training/active-shooter-training/

For further information about New York City FDNY Active Shooter Training for Emergency Action Plan Directors see: http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/pdf/cof_study_material/eap_semina_fall_15.pdf

Download a PDF of our Active Shooter Training Blog Post HereActive Shooter Training PDF