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Active shooters on site? Staff trained to confront, not cower

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in Workplace Communication

In response to the recent spike in high-profile mass shootings and ­suicide terrorist attacks, more em­­ploy­­ers are training their workers how to respond to a shooter in the ­workplace. But after decades of urging people to shelter in place and hide, the new message of training is to fight back if evacuation isn’t an option.

The passive-to-active response is being promoted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which recommended recently that federal workplaces adopt the training program “Run, Hide, Fight,” which it helped develop. The goal: Have employees work together to confuse and unsettle a shooter, creating an opening to take the person down.  

“If you can move (a shooter) from offense to defense, you have changed the outcome of the event. He’s thinking about what you are doing to him, not what he’s doing to you,” said Greg Crane, a former SWAT officer who now trains workplaces, in a recent Washington Post report.

An FBI study of active shooter events from 2000 to 2013 found that 13% of the incidents were stopped after unarmed citizens restrained the shooter.

Read some DHS training resources on active shooter response.

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