This is the first blog in a three-part series
Slated for release May 1, NFPA 3000™ (PS), Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program, provides a roadmap for first responders, medical professionals, community leaders, emergency management officials, facility managers, and the public as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from active shooter and other hostile events, which are unfortunately becoming more common in the United States.
When NFPA 3000 technical committee members were at NFPA for their final meeting in late March, I had the opportunity to sit down with several of them for interviews as I prepared to write my upcoming feature article on NFPA 3000, which will appear in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal. The committee members’ stories, rooted in firsthand experiences with some of the county’s most horrific and well-known mass shootings, became the lens through which I told the story of NFPA 3000.
Below is an excerpt from the section of my piece that discusses the preparation component of active shooter and
Las Vegas officials knew the city, a global tourism hub, was a target for an incident like the October 1 shooting. But what they and NFPA 3000 committee members will also tell you is that these events can happen anywhere—even an idyllic New England town of 27,000 residents like Newtown, Connecticut. In 2012, a gunman killed 26 people inside the town’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Most of the victims were six- and seven-year-old children.
“Newtown was the kind of place that you would never expect something like that to happen,” said Dr. Richard Kamin, a trauma physician at the University of Connecticut, who responded to the incident in an advisory role with law enforcement. “But as has been shown over and over again, the unpredictability of these active shooter events and a lot of the hostile events around the world [mean] we can no longer assume that, just because where we live seems to be one of these places where you wouldn’t expect it to happen, we can sit back and rest on the fact that it won’t happen.” … Kamin said he hopes NFPA 3000 will provide communities everywhere with that awareness and a sense of the need to be prepared.
For all communities, a critical part of preparation is conducting a risk assessment, as outlined in NFPA 3000, to identify the locations in that area that are most at-risk for an active shooter or hostile event, and then making sure the people who are in charge of those locations, such as facility managers, are prepared.
Watch for part two of this blog series, which comes out Thursday and will include an excerpt from the response section of my article.