The unfortunate truth in our industry is that Active Shooter policies, procedures and training are not only necessary but may be required, depending on your community’s levels of care and licensure. There is so much information from FEMA, OSHA, Homeland Security and other validated sources that it can be overwhelming to review.
Evolucent suggests beginning with an evaluation of your current policies and practices. What do you have in place and how have you operationalized your training? Are your policies and practices based on validated sources, evidence based research and standardized protocols? Have they been reviewed annually and revised if needed? Has your community conducted a security risk assessment?
Training on Active Shooter response is the most critical aspect of your program. Plain language and drills that teach responses to an Active Shooter are consistently referenced as necessary and effective approaches. Your community should also include training and policies related to the follow up of events including working with law enforcement to maintain a secure crime scene, minimizing both emotional and physical trauma for residents and staff members, while maintaining recommended standards in infection control practices.
There are numerous resources available however none are specifically oriented toward long-term care communities. Some resources we have found helpful include:
In summary, train the trainers in your community on Active Shooter procedures and begin an honest appraisal of your community’s capacity to effectively respond to an Active Shooter. Review the legal requirements for weapons on the property of your community and if and what postings are required. Make sure your policies and procedures are not in violation with state or Federal laws and methodically lay out your community’s responses to this potential crisis.
Remember, being prepared is the key and as always, should you need assistance with developing your plan please contact your Evolucent Risk Manager.