“UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FAIL.”
We must improve our Active Shooter training. It must also be inclusive of all first responders. For centuries the concept of collaboration has been advocated as a necessity for survival. This axiom is mentioned in a variety of ways for ages. It is in Aesop’s fable “Four Oxen and the Lion.” As well as in the New Testament “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” It has been used in songs, political speeches, and even on state flags. With this being so prolific throughout history, why is it a lesson we often forget?
Active Shooter Incidents (ASI) are on the rise. It is imperative that we all work together. We’ve made massive strides in Active Shooter training. One area we have seen the need is between Rescue Units and Police. While each is working independently to prepare, there seems to be relatively little joint training occurring. In our experience, we have seen first hand that Law Enforcement doesn’t quite understand the protocols that Rescue personnel have during an ASI, and visa versa. The Rescue community has done a great deal to change their procedures and now will enter ‘Warm’ zones during an ASI. This is massive step in saving lives. Check out this great article from Graham Medical discussing the new duties for Rescue personnel. Law Enforcement has also come a long way in preparing for ASI, by increased training with a focus on single officer response.
The challenge is getting these first responders to train together in active shooter training that are in scenario-based settings. By doing so, each can see how the others work and can learn to anticipate their needs. We found this training to be invaluable. It has increased the efficiency on both sides. Additionally, we found it very helpful to examine and update each other’s policies to compliment their respective responsibilities. Doing so will not only strengthen the bond between first responder groups, but will increase the survival rates of victims during an ASI.
It is time we learn from the centuries old axiom, “United we stand, Divided we fall.”
As always, stay vigilant, stay safe.