An active-shooter incident can occur at any time or place
NO PRICE INCREASES FOR 2017!
An active shooter is defined as an individual who is actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people. In most cases active shooters use firearms and generally display no pattern or method for selection of their victims. In some cases active shooters useand/or improvised explosive devices to cause additional victims and act as an impediment to police and emergency responders. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.
Hotels & vacation resorts pose a unique range of security challenges for their owners and operators. They have been specifically identified internationally as highly attractive targets for religious and political extremists, armed offender attacks have occurred in several countries and continue to occur. The financial & commercial impact to hotels & resorts of an active shooter incident can be commercially devastating. Stakeholders must work co-operatively to ensure that integrated and effective plans and arrangements are in place to prevent or reduce the impact of such incidents.
ISIS propaganda continues to promote the efficacy of ‘Lone Wolf’ attacks, encouraging individuals to conduct attacks on their own or in small groups.and the in June 2015 demonstrate that terrorist attacks can occur without any forewarning and law enforcement cannot guarantee visibility of all terrorist attack planning. It is also a reminder that ISIS and other Islamist extremist groups supportive of its ideology continue to pose a significant threat.
Notwithstanding the threat posed by improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, international experience indicates that firearm attacks continue to be one of the more common strategies adopted by violent extremists when attacking so called "soft targets" like hotels and vacation resorts.
The correct planning and preparation will help to reduce the probability of an active-shooter event in your hotel or resort and it will minimize the negative impact of such an incident if it occurs. Space Coast Tactical LLC has designed a 5 day intensive course specifically to educate and prepare hotel & resort managers and staff to respond efficiently to a potential or actual active shooter using classroom based tuition and real world exercises (including full-scale practise drills on site). It has been designed by law enforcement professional with direct experience of active shooter scenarios to help you and your staff to anticipate and respond appropriately to an active-shooter situation, to manage the consequences and aftermath of an active-shooter incident, and to recognize potential indicators so that these types of incidents may actually be prevented. We will show you how you and your staff can help prevent and prepare for potential active shooter situations.
This course is not for law enforcement officers, but for non-law enforcement employees. However, the material may provide law enforcement officers information on recommended actions for non-law enforcement employees to take should they be confronted with an active shooter situation.
Condensed overview of the subjects covered in this course
The Importance of Contingency planning:
The aim of contingency planning is to counter emerging threats and to respond when unexpected situations arise. Contingency plans generally supplement or complement general emergency response plans and arrangements, and are often designed as sub-plans. The subject of contingency planning is covered in more during the course, but here are some of the basic features of contingency plans.
Combined and coordinated management
Contingency plans should be based on a multi-stakeholder approach. They should consider and, where possible, integrate existing venue procedures and local emergency response plans and arrangements.
Factors to consider when designing contingency plans include the ubique characteristics of the location and the potential consequences of an attack at that location. Information and intelligence relevant to the likelihood of a particular target being subject to that type of threat should also be considered during the risk assessment process.
Contingency plans should provide a range of options and scenarios to deal with specific issues. There is no "one size fits all" model to respond to every emergency, so responses need to be dynamic and flexible and varied according to the nature and effects of the crisis. However there are some common objectives that characterise most emergency responses. These include:
- saving and protecting life
- facilitating the evacuation of those at risk
- containing the incident or threat
- first aid treatment of victims
- supporting emergency response and investigation activities.
Contingency plans should form part of overall emergency planning and briefing arrangements. All emergency plans should be tested, reviewed and adapted as necessary on a regular basis to ensure they are well understood, contemporary and effective.
Because of the dynamic and unpredictable nature of active shooter incidents there is no best practice or recommended response action that hotel & resort owners and operators can build into their plans, arrangements and training activities. As previously mentioned, the primary objective of any initial response planning should be to minimise the attacker’s access to victims. Therefore owners and operators should develop and practise strategies aimed at evacuating or isolating people or the offender. We have developed a low key Active Shooter: How to Respond guide for hotel & resort guests we recommend is given to guest as part of your welcome package that outlines three key areas of focus. (You are given free rights to reproduce this when completing this course).
Evacuate: Guests & staff should evacuate the facility if safe to do so. Evacuees should leave behind their belongings, visualise their entire escape route before beginning to move, and avoid using elevators. Maintaining concealment or cover while moving is also important. Your staff will be trained to assist guests to do this.
Hide: If safely evacuating the venue is not possible, guests and staff should seek to hide in a known secure area where they can lock the door, blockade the door with heavy furniture, cover all windows, turn off all lights and remain silent. Mobile phones should also be turned to silent but NOT switched off.
Take action: If the option of hiding in situ is adopted, individuals may also need to consider options to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter in the event they are located. This can include using or throwing available objects or using aggressive force when confronted. In general, active shooters are not expecting or prepared to be physically opposed by their intended victims. However, such diversionary action should only be taken as a last resort and in order to protect the life of the individual or others in that area.
The responsibility for implementing and co-ordinating initial response activities will, in most instances, be assumed by the hotel/resort management or security staff until emergency responders are able to take over that responsibility. A critical aspect of managing that response and transitioning responsibility is the ability to gain ‘situational awareness’. Establishing early, effective and continuous lines of communication from the incident site to the responding law enforcement agency is critical in order to accurately inform them of the present situation and its subsequent development. Knowing or understanding the expectations of law enforcement responders will also enable a more effective transition of incident control. Planning and staff capability/training activities include:
- developing strategies that allow designated staff to safely maintain situational awareness of the incident and relay any new information to law enforcement first responders
- training staff and occupants on how to respond when law enforcement arrives on the scene.
The preferred response when law enforcement arrive may vary in different jurisdictions, so hotel/resort owners and operators are encouraged to consult with local law enforcement agencies when developing their plans.
Law Enforcement's Response:
It is critical for staff to understand that due to the dynamic nature of active shooter incidents, highly trained and equipped police tactical group operators may be unable to respond to a scene in a timely manner. As such, uniformed, general-duties police officers will generally be the first to respond to most active shooter situations and potentially have to manage them to their conclusion. The specific tactics, policies and training of police first responders may vary widely across jurisdictions.
To ensure a smooth transition from response to recovery, arrangements that commenced during response should be gradually devolved and integrated. This will include aspects such as media and information management, impact assessment, rehabilitation of the built environment and restoring guest and staff confidence. While many recovery-related matters will be broadly similar for the majority of events, terrorist acts or active shooter incidents may add extra complexity to normal recovery procedures. Key recovery considerations following an active shooter incident may include:
- public information and guest confidence
- scene preservation and investigation activities
- business continuity challenges.
Media or public information activities must support operational policies and actions. To achieve this, public messaging should be developed in coordination with the relevant operational and media/public relations managers. This is particularly important in situations where an attacker has been taken into custody or charged with offences relating to the incident, as issues of sub-judice may arise. Information should be provided regularly to keep the public informed and should only be restricted in the interests of safety and/or operational security. Information issues relating to consequence management, such as providing assistance to victims, should be clearly identified as separate from the actual incident or security issue. As a general rule:
- you must only release information for which you have responsibility
- a log of all public information activities and decisions should be maintained.
Crime scene and investigation activities
Law enforcement will conduct some form of major investigation for all active shooter incidents. This could involve criminal and forensic investigations in relation to potential criminal offences (including acts of terrorism), as well as coronial investigations on behalf of the local coroner. These investigation processes will need to be extremely thorough and may often be protracted, particularly where the incident has occurred over a broad geographical area, or involves significant forensic challenges. During the investigation phase the police may also seek assistance from management at the location to help identify potential sources of evidence or witnesses. This could include CCTV footage, and radio, telephone or decision-making logs. Recovery or business continuity plans should identify a suitable liaison officer that can work with the police to help facilitate these types of requests. Staff will be taught how co-operate with law enforcement, including crime scene preservation.
How quickly and painlessly you return to business-as-usual following a terrorist attack depends on how effectively you can devise and implement your business continuity management arrangements. Through their contact with investigating police, your nominated liaison officer will generally be in a position to obtain information about the likely duration of the scene examination, allowing the you to start implementing your business continuity arrangements. While the actual process may not change significantly, the amount of time it takes often will.
Response priorities: The primary response objectives and the potential actions for achieving them will be taught during this course:
- Saving and protecting life
- Appoint an incident manager to coordinate activities until law enforcement arrive.
- Use the built environment to restrict or deny access.
- Commence CCTV surveillance and track the offender(s).
- Communicate appropriate cover and concealment options to those present.
- Identify and establish a safe medical triage/first aid location.
- Appoint someone responsible for triage/first aid.
- Restrict further vehicle access to the site (bollards, gates, road closures, etc).
- Restrict physical access to the site or general vicinity.
- Facilitating the evacuation of those at risk
- Notify key staff of the incident through prearranged messages/codes and methods.
- Appoint an evacuation manager and ensure they have good situational awareness.
- Provide guidance on safe routes for those that are self-evacuating.
- Assess the suitability and potential safety of normal evacuation routes.
- Evaluate the safety of standing evacuation muster points and change if necessary.
- Identify potential safe places or strong holds for those unable to evacuate.
- Containing the incident or threat
- Consider using electronic or mechanical isolation systems to constrain the movement of the offender or restrict access to potential victims.
- Identify and establish a perimeter.
- Use the existing built environment to best advantage for safety and containment action.
- Consider restricting escape options for the offender if these may endanger others.
- Supporting emergency response and investigation activities
- Identify and communicate safe access routes/form up points for emergency services.
- Give law enforcement immediate access to your staff radio/communications network.
- Consider using CCTV and other remote methods where possible.
- Commence incident and decision-making logs.
- Nominate a suitable emergency services liaison officer to meet/brief the police.
- Ensure law enforcement access to site plans and live CCTV and/or footage (where possible).
- Clearly identify when incident management has transitioned to the police.
- Provide ongoing full support to the emergency response action team as and when requested.
It is important to regularly practise these and any additional initial response activities so that key managers and staff clearly understand the priority actions and are able to perform these actions in a high-stress and dynamic environment.
Upon completing this course, the participant will be able to:
- Describe actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement.
- Recognize potential active shooter indicators.
- Describe & demonstrate the actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
- Describe & demonstrate how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.
- Describe & demonstrate how to deal with the aftermath of an active shooter incident.
All hotel & vacation resort staff, including managers.
This course is held at your hote/resort and can be delivered in English, French & Spanish. (Other languages may be available upon request. Contact us for details)
Course Size & Duration
Minimum 10 attendees, 5 days
$800 USD per person. Bookings of 11 or more generate a 10% discount per person. *Prices are plus instructor's travel and accomodation