If someone with a gun walked into your office right now, would you know what to do?
While it’s a scary scenario to think about, experts say it’s better to consider the thought of an active shooter before something tragic happens – which is why Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) is teaming up with ProActive Response Group to offer active shooter training. From pre-incident awareness and threat responsiveness to life-saving medical techniques, the online course is designed to help those in workplace.
“Some organizations say, ‘We don’t want to scare our staff by offering this,’” said Chad Ayers, founder of ProActive Response Group. “But you’re not doing this to scare anyone. We want you to be prepared.”
A former sheriff’s deputy in Greenville County, South Carolina, Ayers said he and his team have designed active shooter courses that help people respond in high-pressure environments and maximize life-saving potential. He was inspired to develop a more comprehensive training plan after seeing the only thing many companies had access to were short presentations by local law enforcement.
“Education is best for survival,” Ayers said.
Their training centers around four concepts: pre-incident, immediate response, medical response and immediate aftermath. Each video depicts a situation and walks through how employees can proactively address it using the tools they have around them. There are also online quizzes and action plans employees can use to test their knowledge and incorporate these tips into their other safety procedures.
Their program is also designed with everyone in mind. From the C-suite to the workers on the floor, Ayers said they want everyone to have the tools to save themselves and their co-workers in the case of an emergency.
“The main goal, no matter what, is for everyone to survive,” he said. “The response options are all the same — and they’re effective.”
One thing most people don’t think about in these situations is what comes right before and after. Knowing how to protect yourself during the event itself is key, but it’s equally as important to understand the signs of danger before they happen, and to have training to help people post-event.
This is why there is a heavy focus on medical training as part of this program.
“Civilians are the first line of defense — they’re the ones who can positively affect the outcome,” Ayers said. “EMS is not coming into your facility until law enforcement gets there and clears it, which could mean waiting. You can bleed out in two to four minutes. Guess who the paramedic is now? You. We’re giving people simple medical skills that can save your life and your co-workers life.”
So far, the company has trained more than 9,000 people on this model. They said they hope BSCAI members will find this training effective for management and janitorial staff. And because it’s all digital, employees can train on their own time, no matter where they are — meaning everyone will be prepared in case of an emergency.
“These events are happening at an alarming rate and more frequently,” Ayers said. “The days of us just brushing it under the table are gone.”
For more information about the program and to register, visit BSCAI’s website.