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What are you doing to evaluate your active shooter plans?

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by gafftaper, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Charles Heetbrink

    Charles Heetbrink New Member

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    Active shooter training should be followed up by Mass Casualty Incident training, if possible. Schools seem to like ALICE here in the PNW.
     
  2. manuallyfocused

    manuallyfocused Member

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    I teach at a private Jewish high school, in a former Jewish community center in an area where a JCC was the target of an active shooter incident a few years ago. As you can imagine, we have a very visible security presence as well as lockdown drills, active shooter training, and a very involved Facilities manager (sometimes too involved!) who is constantly looking for ways to keep us safe. Of course, we have issues with student access to the auditorium and other spaces they shouldn't be in by themselves, but we're working on it.

    Two things have been added to our set of emergency preparedness tools recently that solve some of these security issues. One is a quick and easy door locking system called "Nightlock" https://nightlock.com/door-security-devices/door-barricade/nightlock-lockdown/. These make it really easy for us to secure the doors to a classroom or the auditorium from the inside. The second is an app: https://www.titanhst.com/. All faculty are connected into the system, so everyone is informed as soon as an emergency is reported, and anyone can report an emergency. I was a bit worried that we'd get spammed by a lot of false notifications, but it's been pretty well utilized so far.
     
  3. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Much like the above, I was working at a private high school where about a decade ago a man had murdered his wife and kid, buried them in the woods a few miles from our campus and then wandered through our campus briefly. Things were a bit different back then, also nobody had any idea it had happened until they found the bodies later. Because of this we had a pretty decent lockdown plan in place and went over it quite a bit after newtown happened.

    We installed a similar door lock product on our of our classroom doors and were already using IRIS (https://www.irisdispatch.com) for snow cancellations, delays and other important alerts and our phone system could be used to make announcements to every building on campus. Luckily for us the Police and Fire Department was a baseball throw away from my shop door. Given the proximity we started offering lunch at our dining hall to officers so that they could walk around campus and get more familiar with it and get our students more comfortable with seeing them.

    We also had dorms on campus but access to them was already restricted to people with a badge/ID to swipe in.
     
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  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hi Dutch... Yeah it's me... Our sister High School down the hill to the East actually did a full active shooter drill with the police, an actor as the bad guy, simulated gun shots, students in the hall, etc... A few years ago. My counterpart at the school said the simulated gun shots in the hall were absolutely terrifying.

    There was a group of teachers and students who volunteered to be in the target classroom. They out smarted the script for the drill by blocking the door before the "shooter" could get in. The "shooter" had to improvise off script which totally messed up the plan. But in the end the police said it was much better for them as they suddenly had no idea what the script was and so it became a true drill.

    @manuallyfocused that night lock looks like a great security solution. How do you store the lock plates so they are close but don't walk off?
     
  5. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

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    Also, how do you ensure that some smart alec doesn't have access to them and lock everyone out of the aud, Or, even worse, lock the main doors, while an audience is in the aud? If they're accessible, they're a liability 99% of the time, and if they are not then what's the point. (note: I'm genuinely curious as to how you mitigate that risk. I like the idea, just concerned about the execution.)
     
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  6. Charles Heetbrink

    Charles Heetbrink New Member

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    The article that gaftaper posted has some frightening implications. Based on my experience, the bell curve the author talks about is true. The emphasis to find and teach (create?) effective emergency leaders becomes therefore a critical component, in my opinion.
     
  7. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    This is a really good point. When I was in Scouts as a kid we actually brought up the fact that the First-Aid training seemed to revolve around the typical injuries one might sustain from doing outdoor activities or the standard workplace hazards (cuts and bruises on up to cardiac arrests, etc). While discussing it we starting thinking that it might not be a bad idea to also do some training on firearm-related injuries as at that time the Columbine HS shooting had just occurred.

    I feel like a lot of the knee-jerk response to these attacks is to focus on the training that involves dealing with the attacker during the attack, but a real problem comes after people are injured and you've got gunshot victims that will bleed out in minutes- well before paramedics would ever be able to get to the scene.
     
  8. audiomaster

    audiomaster Member

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    If we are talking "shooter situation" that means he has a gun. The only counter to stop a gun is another gun or guns in the hands of people who know how to use them. You may slow him down with the above suggestions but if he is determined, he still has a gun and can use it. Most doors and walls won't stop most rounds. In every school there should be teachers who are armed and trained to use guns. A principal, janitor, coach or other willing armed and trained person that is willing to accept the responsibility of legal carry. The local police need to know who that person is, they need to have a phone or communication device on them at all times, and one or more of them need to be present at all major events. Even if there is a school security officer present, there should be another person in plain clothes armed as the "security officer" will be the first target of the gunman.

    The idea of a shootout in a crowded venue is not pleasant, but allowing a gunman free targets for the time it takes to get an armed officer to the venue is even less pleasant.

    My church has a plan. The minister is armed, there is a person in the front of the balcony armed, and on most Sundays at least one of the ushers is armed. And it's not a big church. God helps those who help themselves!
     
  9. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

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    This may be the worst possible idea suggested..... Thank you for sharing your opinion. Moving on...


    One more reason not to go to church.....
     
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  10. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Don't forget about taking the responsibility of ending a child's life because they accidentally killed them in the crossfire trying to take out an assailant. How exactly would this help in a situation like Vegas? Shooting from several hundred yards away at a glass building with a handgun? I doubt the custodians are going to carry long rifles with scopes.
     
  11. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    Some of you know my credentials, but other's may not. My dad is a pastor of a church and I've grown up in and around many churches. In the past decade most insurance policies for church's have started to require things like background checks for people who work with kids AND have started to strongly recommend church's have security plans in place for these situations. Get with church leadership and ask what's been done, and what the insurance company requires. A lot of people have put serious time and thought into these situations. A lot of the knee jerk reaction is just to arm some people, but that creates other issues (accidental discharge, mistaken identity shooting, police arriving and mistaking someone with a gun as the perpetrator, etc). Most of the insurers want trained people (like off-duty cops), but that costs a lot and small churches (like the one in Antioch, Tenn) can't afford that. Also people overlook that the guy in Tenn was a former member with a beef against the church (not a random act), and one of the people shot was shot in the parking lot outside (which is almost impossible to prevent).

    Now, let's keep this civil and not turn this into a gun control debate, or so help me, I will shut this thread down. This is about discussing having a PLAN for an active shooter situation. The answer is NOT to arm everyone. If you don't believe me, go ask your insurance carrier for your venue and then listen real carefully.
     
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  12. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    This is by far the most useful post of this thread. Unfortunately, in most places, only a police officer can lawfully have a firearm in a school. Bad guys don't obey gun laws, our laws create easy targets.
     
  13. TimMc

    TimMc Active Member

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    I disagree. Most "owners" do not have the requisite training and experience to be effective; it also opens the venue and the good guyresponder to later liability and creates an immediate issue for First Responders in determining who the "bad guy" is. Cop sees guy with gun in this situation - guy with gun becomes bad guy to cop. There's no definitive way for the L.E.O. to determine the civilian with the weapon is friend or foe and WILL be treated like foe until cleared. If the guy with gun isn't displaying police credentials he's milliseconds from becoming a target himself.

    More guns/gunners in an active shooter situation only confuses the situation further for those trained, equipped and able to help.

    Again, our job isn't to take down shooters, our job is to keep ourselves, our crew, our actors and patrons as safe as we *reasonably* can; engaging in a fire fight does little in a majority of situations to enable or enhance our ability to help our charges.
     
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  14. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Allowing people to carry in a performance venue invites a lot of potential for tragic errors. It would be incredibly dangerous to do a show like Blood Brothers where actors with prop weapons come running through the audience and pop a couple rounds at the stage. There's no amount of preshow or intermission warning that will override someone's instincts when a dimly lit figure is in the crowd, regardless of their costume or that they're holding a period weapon or that the ushers are still standing calmly near the exits. Their lizard brain kicks in and assumes the worst case scenario is playing out, especially if the show that night is dull and they doze off or stop paying attention, waking up to some guy holding a prop gun on stage and actors shrieking.

    As I've talked about in other threads, I have specific concerns for events and rehearsals where other people are in the building who are not aware that a prop weapon or a sound effect is part of a rehearsal and they take matters into their own hands while their eyes and ears deceive them.
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    It really does. For large facilities this is easy to do. Disneyland can make a point of hiring combat veterans, and scattering them around the park as trained emergency leaders. But for small facilities it's hard. You pick and train the one person from the 5 on your staff who you think is the best emergency leader, you train him, and then find out he's part of the bad 10% who does the wrong thing in the moment.
     
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  16. teriyaki586

    teriyaki586 Member

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    Here is another article specifically about house lights- http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/when-theres-an-active-shooter-can-lighting-save-lives/

    I'm at a roadhouse on a university campus and we recently had the police department lead a training for staff from all of the performance venues on campus and they will be working with individual venues to develop specific plans. They stuck to the Run-Hide-Fight model, but also pointed out that if you get shot, you have about an 80% chance of survival, especially since the trauma hospital is so close (the one Gabby Giffords was treated at. Her shooter was stopped by unarmed people, btw).

    Regarding house lights, we decided that the benefits of having them up were more valuable than the drawback of more visible targets for a shooter, but that everyone's first priority was their own safety. Since the light board is one of the first things someone would encounter when they enter from the lobby, our secondary plan would be to pull the fire alarm which automatically brings the house lights to full. The reason this isn't our first reaction is because if people are hiding, they may be more likely to leave a place of safety since that is what we are trained to do when there is a fire alarm.

    We have 2 meeting locations in our general evacuation plan, but will address if these are appropriate when we meet with the police to write our venue plan. They would prefer our locations have a building between us and the theater, but I don't think there are any nearby locations that can facilitate the entire audience.
     
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  17. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Agreed. As a former teacher... I think this is a horrifically bad idea. I'd always rather have a person trained to deal with the situation be the first armed person. I'll wait for a cop with a gun who knows how to deal with any number of tactical situations than an armed person who thinks that because they're trained to use a gun, they know how to save the day and be a hero. I've fired weapons, I've handled guns, I'd rather focus on securing and protecting my students than be the "good guy with a gun" leaving them alone and wandering around to try to stop an attacker, and making the situation more convoluted for the police when they show up.
     

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