By Tyrone Feeling, Safety Summit 2015 Keynote Presenter
The January 2015 slaying of 12 Charlie Hebdo employees, including several famed cartoonists, by alleged extremist terrorists in a Paris office building is the most recent example of how active shooters can infiltrate the workplace and inflict deadly violence on innocent workers.
And, the global “Je suis Charlie” movement isn’t just a show of solidarity on the right to free speech. It’s a staunch reminder that no workplace is immune from active shooters threats.
In 2014, a study was initiated of active shooter incidents during a 14-year period to provide federal, state, local, campus, and tribal law enforcement with accurate data to better understand how to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these incidents.
These are the facts!
An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.
- An average of 11.4 incidents occurred annually with an increasing trend from 2000 to 2013.
- An average of 6.4 occurred in the first 7 years studied and an average of 16.4 occurred in the last 7 years.
- Incidents occurred in 40 of 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- 70% of the incidents occurred in areas of commerce (73, 46%) or education (39, 24%).
- 60% of the incidents ended before police arrived.
- In 64 incidents, where the duration of incident could be ascertained, 44 (69%) ended in 5 minutes or less, with 23 ending in 2 minutes or less.
- 486 people were killed in the 160 incidents and 557 were wounded (not including shooters).
- In at least 15 (9.4%) incidents, family members were targeted resulting in 20 killed and 1 wounded.
- In 16 (10%) incidents, current, former, or estranged wives as well as current or former girlfriends were targeted resulting in 12 killed, 3 wounded, and 1 unharmed. In addition, 42 others were killed and 28 wounded.
The shootings in that Paris workplace, the 2014 shootings on Ottawa Canada’s Parliament Hill, and those in a Sydney, Australia café did not involve rogue employees, but they are a reminder about how critical it is to realize that active shooters can strike at anytime and anywhere.
Employers understandably have concerns about how to keep their workers safe amid this growing global threat. But how?
For starters, there are four key questions that safety and HR professionals should be able to address:
1) What is an active shooter?
2) Who fits the profile?
3) What is the run, hide, fight mantra?
4) Do you have a survival mindset?
Come to BLR’s Safety Summit 2015 to learn the critical answers to these questions. I will discuss shootings that have occurred in American workplaces and teach you the common link those deadly incidents share so you’re better prepared to manage active shooter risks.
Tyrone Feeling is a management and program analyst and the deputy emergency safety official for a federal agency’s information technology branch. Mr. Feeling has nearly 10 years of experience in workplace safety and emergency management, and he is hazmat certified and trained and certified on OSHA standards and guidelines and public safety communication strategies. As an analyst, he writes and implements policies and procedures pertaining to the evacuation of government facilities within the D.C. metropolitan area. He has presented extensively on evacuation procedures and active shooter protocols. Feeling will deliver the keynote address on Day 1 of BLR’s Safety Summit, Preparing for an Active Shooter.