Violence in the workplace has unfortunately increased over the years.
According to a January 2014 Law Enforcement Bulletin, there have been 110 active shooter events since 2000. The location of the attacks has included businesses, schools, assemblies and shopping areas. The most common location is a place of business, which accounted for 40% of all active shooter events.
A medical office is where people come to feel better. Your patients and employees might think that they would never find themselves in an active shooter situation. But what if they do? How will you respond?
Hospitals and medical offices are among those seeing an increase in active shooter incidents, from an average of nine shootings a year from 2000 to 2006, to an average of 16 shootings a year from 2006 to 2015.
Tampa-based medical marketing and public relations agency, Full Circle PR, is addressing the need for active shooter training. With two doctor’s office shootings right here in Florida, Vice President and co-owner Michael I. Krohn, Esquire saw the necessity for educating practices on what to do during an active shooter situation.
“Unfortunately, we’ve come to see that no establishment is safe from an active shooter. An active shooter doesn’t fit any particular profile. It could be anyone. He or she may look like any other visitor, patient or coworker. We started the active shooter training to help educate medical personal,” Krohn explains.
To get your office ready, there are some protocols you can implement:
Discuss a plan beforehand with employees
Conduct annual training
Identify employees with first aid training and ensure they are educated with the first aid equipment in the office
Designate a safe or hiding area within the office
Designate an external rally point
Krohn is no stranger to violence in today’s society. He has been in law enforcement for the past 26 years, the owner of Krohn Law Firm and the general legal counsel and executive director of the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association.
Also with law enforcement, Lieutenant Greg Danzig and Sergeant Matt McLane are advanced trained in active shooter training and emphasize its importance.
Danzig, the supervisor of the Law Enforcement Training Unit, and McLane, a retired SWAT team leader, both say to remember that the officers are trying to identify the active shooter, who could be anyone. Follow all commands given by law enforcement and answer any questions you can.
“Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Remain calm and remember the four A’s: Accept, Assess, Act and Alert,” Krohn adds.
The four A’s is a four-step process to prevent or reduce loss of life in an active shooter event:
Accept that an emergency is occurring.
Assess what to do next so that you can save as many lives as possible, which depends on your location.
Act: Run, hide & fight – evacuate, hide (lock and barricade the doors, turn off the lights, have patients get on the floor and hide), or fight back (last resort).
Alert law enforcement and security.
When law enforcement does arrive, it’s important to remember that their first priority is to eliminate the threat. Remember, the active shooter could be anyone. If possible, try to evacuate and move toward where law enforcement came from.
To help your office and employees feel safe and secure. Be sure to educate them and provide the resources they need. Holding active shooter training and offering a means to communicate any concerns they have is a good place to start.