Superior Active Shooter Training
As campuses and workplaces are vulnerable to the reality of active shootings, having access to training is vital. Providing the correct safety resources for students, employees, and citizens has become the main priority for every day and every environment because having the best training and knowledge for how to handle any situation is key to survival. Without the control over knowing when the next attack will be, it is important to grasp how to be prepared. There are many different courses, books, and videos to set you on the path to reassurance; while no one is reassured with which is the best.
An active shooter is defined by The United States Department of Homeland Security as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.” The first active shooter case that went viral on social media was at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, and left 28 dead and two injured. Between 2000 and 2017, there have been 250 incidents involving an active shooter; some with mass proportions injured or killed. Teams of law enforcement, military, and security have created training courses to enhance skills and knowledge in the situation of an active shooter. Blogs, documentaries, articles, and news stories have displayed many different platforms for reaching these teams and taking action.
It’s great having so many passionate advocates for awareness and safety when it comes to such a sensitive topic. Companies and individuals have access to many platforms of information on their computers, cell phones, and many other resources that will give them the knowledge needed to be prepared. Fact and opinion is involved when determining which is considered the “best.” With research and opinion of those who have attended, it is one’s personal belief that creates the dominant course.
The ALICE Training Institute, founded by Greg Crane, is a civilian active shooter response training company that provides training to organizations, individuals, and other instructors. ALICE stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate” and includes a one hour course in a classroom, or online, that certifies preparation for a violent event. After completing the certification course, the next step is a hands-on, “blended training” course. This blended training is a two-day course with ALICE instructors that puts participants in a characterized environment of a real active shooter incident. Drills involving real scenarios that equip individuals with the answers to questions one may have in an active shooter situation.
ALICE may be well-known, but it does not make it the only or “better” course. Another active shooter training course in the running is AEGIS Security and Investigations. The president and CEO is Jeff Zisner and he has a large team of managers and supervisors. The first step of AEGIS training program is the “Preparedness and Response Training,” which costs $75 and is a one-hour, online or classroom lecture.
Consisting of four levels of training in total, the first is the one-hour lecture or online course which is included in every level. The second level is titled “How to survive an active shooter workshop with demos,” and is two-and-a-half hours of lecture that teach the steps of survival by showing how to deploy the concepts taught.
The next level, “How to prevent and survive an active shooter” is also two-and-a-half hours but involves prevention measures before authorities arrive. The last level is specifically designed for executives and directors to enhance their current security knowledge in the case of crisis. It is called “Executive level identification, prevention, and survival of an active shooter workshop.”
This final level is eight hours in length and introduces topics such as “target hardening, crime prevention through environmental design, root cause analysis, and development plans.” These courses have diversity but may be confusing to a civilian who needs only the most important information.
Both of these companies have remarkable ways of developing complete comprehension of how to prevent and survive an active shooter. Through vigorous research, facts and statistics are thrown into the faces of many that are on the same search, but which course is genuinely the best?
There are many questions to ask an attendee of a lecture compared to someone who has taken the online course. Which was more efficient? Which gave you the most cognition? Asking these questions bring light to the opinions of the most important individuals; those who are vulnerable to an active shooter situation.
Continuing the hunt for the superior training, AVADE is the next contestant and this company wants to spread awareness and preparedness through certificates, manuals, and simulation. AVADE has the goal to “educate, prevent, and mitigate the risk of violence to workers [in the case of an active shooter]” and the goals of these corporations are all similar and affective.
The first step in AVADE is the “student certificate.” The certification costs $24 and is one hour of e-learning designed to provide the basics of survival.
The levels to this training have three variations of taking in information, practicing drills, and simulating a real situation. Programs offered range from two to eight hours, and even one to two days. De-escalation courses are just one section of the many available; the manual, certification, four-hour course, one-day course and the instructor certification. These are pricier, ranging between $1,600 and $2,900. Instructor manuals ($597) are available along with the de-escalation ($397) but seem aimed towards organizations and companies.
The AVADE website (linked below) states “The AVADE Workplace Violence Prevention training programs are the only source that provides the administrative, behavioral, and environmental strategies to keep your workplace safe from crime and violence.” This quote seems to help with the marketing strategy but may be naive to competition now on the rise.
Speaking of uprising competition, ALIVE Active Shooter Survival Training, founded by Michael Julian, is the newest and most profound active shooter training that continues to grow- rapidly. ALIVE stands for Assess, Leave, Impede, Violence, and Impose. These steps provide the fundamentals of surviving an active shooter anywhere you are.
The ALIVE program focuses on the individual him/herself; confidence in oneself to know how to properly handle the situation, calming oneself in order to think clearly, determination to make it out alive and not give up, and how to take responsibility for those who are not educated in this area, helping them make it out alive as well.
This course is roughly two hours and it is a physical, classroom training with Michael Julian himself, and a PowerPoint that is constantly revised and adjusted down to the latest active shooting. The price is $55 and covers everything that is needed to be known in the incident of a shooting, such as: behavioral signs before an event, creating a “security mindset,” advanced situational awareness, and safely impeding and countering an active shooter.
Organizations have the opportunity to be a part of drills and simulations designed to equip and prepare. It is important to Michael Julian that a survivor’s mindset, opposed to a victim’s mindset, is created after taking this detailed course. Michael Julian’s book, “10 Minutes To Live: Surviving an Active Shooter Using ALIVE,” includes facts, statistics, the ALIVE training course, and much more vital information. This program is uncomplicated, diverse, knowledge-packed and concentrated on what is most important for survival.
Accounting for all the different programs, what they provide, and which is superior, it all comes down to opinion. Personally, after reviewing and researching many of the courses available, ALIVE Active Shooter Survival Training is more cost-efficient, time-manageable, comprehensive and includes the most predominant information that is focused on an individual.
It is important to not be force-fed what to do, but how to think. With ALIVE, I believe the victims will be the survivors because Michael Julian prioritizes the mentality of the victim to not think of themselves as one; creating a confident warrior. It is all through the eyes of oneself, but it is vital to have the best education in the survival of such a horrific event.
All information found for each training course found on websites of included programs: