News / Worker Safety

Active Threat Preparedness

Preparing employees for an active threat can appear to be a very daunting challenge. While this is a very difficult topic to talk about, there are some simple pathways to success. For example, training should focus on empowering employees with confidence to trust their instincts. Highlight the importance of “See Something, Say Something” and most importantly, tell the employee who they should say something to. The reality is that active threat training is a leadership issue. Arming your employees with common sense survival strategies for an active threat incident is in keeping with the fundamental leadership principle of “taking care of your people.”

What are some of the steps hotel staff should take during an active threat situation to keep themselves, staff, and guests safe?

Active threat incidents happen very quickly and are almost always over before law enforcement arrives. Therefore, an adequate active threat training program will give your employees the confidence to take decisive action at the first sign of trouble. The second key is clear communication with coworkers and guest so they can move to safety quickly. Thirdly, rapid notification of law enforcement resources is essential to establishing order. Lastly, adequate strategies on how to stay safe until law enforcement arrives are critical for employee and guest safety.

What responsibilities do staff have when it comes to rescuing someone who is trapped or injured in an emergency situation?

Personal safety is a personal choice and we cannot demand or expect employees to place themselves in danger to initiate a rescue. The most effective way to assist in the rescue of coworkers or guest is to give actionable information to responding law enforcement resources. This can be achieved through technology solutions such as access to interior cameras and a sound communication strategy to account for employees/guests and their locations inside the crisis site.

What do employees get out of active threat situation training?

Always remember that knowledge increases confidence, confidence increases decisiveness, and it is decisive action during a critical incident that saves lives. When your organization facilitates active threat training, what you’re actually accomplishing is giving your employees the “Gift of Safety.” The strategies shared with your employees to be used at work during an active threat are the same strategies they should use to be safe at their children’s school, a hospital, amusement park, or even when traveling abroad.

The Department of Homeland Security has important information on recognizing warning signs as well as how to respond during and after these situations.  The following links have been provided for you to review:

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_pocket_card.pdf

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_poster.pdf

We encourage you to share this information with your team.

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