The SLCoHD Active Shooter Training and Exercise Program was extremely successful. Even one veteran employee who is always most vocal and uncooperative stated that this was the best training the health department has ever conducted in his 25 years of employment.
A SurveyMonkey was generated after each classroom training and after each exercise, with an overall response rate of 67%. The objectives for the didactic training were:
- Familiarize SLCoHD staff with proper Mindset and Situational awareness techniques
- Describe the physiology and psychology of the flight or fight response
- Define and discuss Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Explain the Jeff Cooper Mental Conditioning for Combat,” (color codes) as an awareness model
- Discuss the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) Loop as it compares to the color codes
- Review and discuss historical ASE case studies
- Show and discuss the Run-Hide-Fight video produced by Ready Houston
- Discuss personal and workplace safety principles
- Explain and discuss the personal preparedness self-evaluation process
Objectives for the full-scale exercise were:
- Assess staff's ability to be aware of their environment and any possible dangers
- Assess supervisor's understanding of what to do in a life-threatening situation and what lessons to take back to their staff
- Allow staff the opportunity to observe how local law enforcement will respond to an active shooter in their location and how they should react to their commands
- Assess the efficiency of interagency and interdisciplinary coordination
- Develop an action plan to make each location safer for staff and clients
- Develop a training tool to educate the staff on what their role is and how to respond in an active shooter event regardless of the location
- Assess the staff's ability to differentiate between the need to evacuate, hide out, or take action against the shooter
Process milestones were:
- Secure management support for the active shooter program
- Develop didactic materials
- Conduct the classroom training with all employees from January-June 2016
- Partner with SWAT teams from each jurisdiction and secure their participation
- Conduct the full-scale exercises at each location from July-December 2016
- All staff participate in training by the end of 2016
Data gathered from the evaluation demonstrated the success of the training and exercise program. A test/class evaluation was administered after each classroom session. Staff response was overwhelmingly positive.The Emergency Management Bureau was also please with the results of the survey administered after the exercises. The data indicated that staff remembered the classroom information they'd taken months before.
Post -Exercise Survey
- In Cooper's Color Codes what condition is white?
81.8% answered correctly
- Have you used Cooper Color Codes since Active Shooter and Personal Safety class?
Yes 58.2 % No 41%
- Did the classroom training prepare you for the full-scale exercise?
Yes 92.1% No 7.9%
- Did you notice your awareness level changing during the exercise?
Yes 95.1% No 4.9%
- Did your body experience any physiological or psychological changes during the exercise?
Yes 85.7% No 14.3%
- Did you better understand OODA Loop Observe, Orient, Decide and Act?
Yes 96.9% No 3.1%
- Do you now feel you are better prepared for on active shooter event?
Yes 97.4% No 2.6%
- What three things can you do in an active shooter event that makes a difference?
Run, Hide, Fight Yes 100%
This is just a quick sample of feedback the SLCoHD requested from participants:
What was the most important thing you learned from the full-scale exercise?
There is no perfect scenario.
The reality of sound and emotional outcome of seeing the reaction as if this was a real. Having to put the mind into alert mode and think fast but cautiously. Because of the drill and the police force interacting with us employees, it was one the greatest ideas. It helps in a roundabout way. Instead of being told of what to be prepared for we are all acting it out. Thank to everyone that takes great pride for people and employees of the Government.
As to being better prepared; Yes this class has help in more ways than we tend to realize. I feel these types of demonstrations is a great idea. Instead everyone standing around and wondering? Now we are in full action force to make a better decision with every caution needing to take. As if we can never stop learning; other than to be on the alert of caution and reaction. Thanks to everyone that worked so hard to prepare us as employees of the government. Terry Begay you are amazing!:-)
What I had planned to do changed during the scenario.
This was a great training. Thank you for providing this exercise and training for us. I feel more prepared.
To keep calm, it helped me to think better.
It has made me better understand why we have to prepare ourselves to what might happen and what we need to do to protect ourselves by either running, hiding or fighting. We have been able to observe and be oriented about the situation and then to decide and act are the greatest challenge that is put on anyone that is in this situation. It is very hard to decide and act on the decision that you make is the right one especially if there is no other choice to be made.
The first exercise I completely froze, so I felt like doing multiple exercises helped me to realize what I would need to do to calm down and think clearly if a situation like this every actually happened.
To always be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for anything to happen at any given time anywhere you may be.
Most times running away is the best choice to save your life.
I learned to be more aware of my surrounding and look for exit signs. I also learned to level my train of thought in order to make life saving decisions.
To me everything was very important, I really love this drill, was amassing learning opportunity I will love to thanks to everybody!
during the third and final exercise , I felt more empowered , the officers that debriefed us brought up points that help me realize the incredible power of survival we all possess along with a brain that can be activated with know how to rise to the occasion , thank you again for your time and all you do to keep our communities safe , your life's and safety it's important to us . stay safe please.
There is not the perfect scenario, we have to expect the unexpected and try to be ready as best as possible, and always think before acting. Escape if you can, be ready to fight if you cannot escape.
To be more aware of my surroundings and to mentally review and/or have an escape plan. Thanks to each and every one that made this training possible. It was an eye-opening experience!
you are never really prepared
Keep a Clear head
It helped identify how to respond in a high stress scenario as the one we practiced.
- I feel that the entire exercise was very important. I have always told myself this is what I would do in this situation. Although I knew it was a exercise I did not think I would get emotional like I did and feel the anxiety. I feel like all companies should offer this to employees. Was a fantastic drill and well worth it. Good job to everyone.
Modifications were made to the classroom training to develop further in-depth certain concepts as feedback was received. There were three evolutions of exercise play at each location. Staff was debriefed after each evolution and input given to the SWAT teams. The SWAT teams provided many lessons learned for staff as they reviewed the exercise. Many staff tried different approaches during the evolutions, most of them being a better choice.
With both the verbal and written feedback responses being so positive, the Emergency Management Bureau deemed this a most successful training and exercise program.