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Active Shooter Training Considerations

Active Shooter Training

Active Shooter Training Drills Should be Carefully Planned

The science of training is well documented. One of the most basic rules of training teaches that if the goal is to teach an employee what to do in a certain situation, then you can teach the desired behavior by:
  1. Breaking the task into steps, or small, easily-learned chunks
  2. Having them read the procedures
  3. Discussing the procedures with them and answering any questions
  4. Repeatedly testing them on the procedures and discussing any areas of confusion with them until they learn.

Eventually, performing the correct behavior becomes almost subconscious. This is exactly how teachers teach kids to do their multiplication tables. They show them the multiplication tables. They discuss the tables. They break the learning into small, attainable steps.

They drill them over and over until they learn. By breaking the task up into small chunks and learning a piece at a time, then building on that knowledge, the students become confident. They learn to depend on themselves. Eventually, after enough practice, they will be able to proudly and confidently recite the tables.

It would not do any good to drill a child on the 7 tables if they’re only up to the 3’s. The child would become angry, and probably defiant and rebellious. This certainly would not facilitate learning.

Active Shooter Training Should be Taught Like Anything Else

An active shooter training drill is simply another exercise planned to reinforce knowledge of safety and security procedures to make sure everyone involved performs the needed actions quickly and with confidence. Actions that may save lives; just like a fire drill.

If active shooter training drills are announced, everyone can think through procedures, perform the correct actions, and then review to identify any weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Participants can discuss the results calmly when the drill is over and be clear-headed in deciding if they acted according to the prescribed plan, or if they need to work on their own response.

Realism Has A Place in Active Shooter Training, But Too Much Can Be Harmful

If an active shooter training drill is unannounced and/or Security/Police Officers come in like it’s a real incident, all learning goes out the window.

active shooter trainingThose with law enforcement or military backgrounds usually have a certain amount of stress indoctrination for that type of situation and more realistic training is usually a benefit. However, people who are not accustomed to that type of stress can potentially panic if things become too realistic.

When the drill is concluded, the stressed, panicked participants are probably not going to be in any mental condition to calmly discuss whether they followed the plan.

If the person conducting the active shooter training them has not taken enough time to make sure the appropriate behavior has been learned slowly, in small chunks, then the unwitting participants in the drill may be angry and defensive.

Active shooter training drills need to be announced and carefully planned so that everyone involved can practice the correct action until everyone feels confident.

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