Our hearts are heavy as details emerge from Parkland, Florida about yet another active shooting incident in our country. While the refrain, “when will it end?” has been uttered by politicians, pundits, and the public since a 19-old pulled the fire alarm at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida school and killed 17 members of an unsuspecting community, NFPA has been focused on another question, “how can we help?”
NFPA can’t prevent these tragedies, but we do think there is more to be done in how they are responded to. NFPA has sped up its typical standards development process to develop the world’s first standard to help communities prepare, respond and rebound from hostile events. NFPA 3000™ Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, slated to be available as early as this April, is being developed by a technical committee comprised of representatives from FEMA, DHS, the FBI, the fire service, law enforcement, emergency medicine, hospitals, facilities, the government, and public education.
While no standard or code in the world can prevent horrific attacks from occurring in the future, NFPA 3000™ is intended to make communities better-equipped to deal with such tragedies by providing guidelines for cooperative planning, integrated response, and whole community recovery. The document will hold policymakers and authorities accountable for cross-collaboration, enforcement, and public outreach; while emphasizing Run. Hide. Fight. and Stop the Bleed - key messages to minimize loss at the hands of perpetrators.
FBI statistics tell the story of the disproportionate number of active shooter and hostile events in the United States; and underscore the need for guidance for communities. NFPA 3000™ and efforts to make Active Shooter Hostile Event Response (ASHER™) programs mandatory will go a long way in helping cities, towns and jurisdictions establish safe infrastructures. But it’s going to take buy-in, practice, and coordination from policymakers, first responders, skilled professionals, code enforcers, and the general public. Without such an ecosystem, we will not only fail our citizens, but all those that have lost their lives in these tragedies.
The deadline to submit public input on NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events is this Friday, February 23 at 5:00p.m. (EST).