A study conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) analyzed 63 active shooter incidents and found that nearly 70% of them ended within five minutes or less, and nearly 37% ended in two minutes or less. Even when law enforcement was present or able to respond in minutes, many civilians were still forced to make life or death decisions for the safety of themselves and for those around them.
As research shows, time is of the essence in the case of a threat. Therefore, it is crucial for occupants of all ages to be engaged in active shooter preparedness training and discussions. One training option that facility managers can consider for their organizations is “ALICE” training. This week, we’re diving deeper into what this training entails, and how it has the potential to protect lives against violence.
What is ALICE training?
ALICE training is a specially-designed civilian response training that aims to increase the odds of survival during violent events. ALICE goes beyond conventional lockdown procedures and teaches occupants how to proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter.
What do the letters in ALICE stand for?
ALICE training is based on five key elements: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
- Alert: In the case of an active threat, occupants must be made aware that a crisis situation is taking place. This way, people are empowered to respond both quickly and appropriately. An “alert” may include seeing a person with a weapon, hearing gunfire or shouting, or receiving a call from a concerned peer.
- Lockdown: Once occupants are alerted to the situation, they must take action and lock down the room they are in. This step is crucial, especially if the room or area is unsafe for evacuation. Occupants should take appropriate steps to barricade doors, cover windows and hide themselves in a place that does not trap them.
- Inform: In the meantime, occupants should call the police and specify the aggressor’s location in the building. Occupants are encouraged to communicate with one another, gather items to protect themselves and determine a plan of action if the aggressor enters their area.
- Counter: As a last resort, if someone encounters the aggressor, they are encouraged to disrupt their ability to shoot by creating any form of distraction. This could include throwing objects at the aggressor, or working together to attack and disarm the gunman. Occupants may attempt to separate the weapon from the aggressor, but should never pick up or handle the weapon. A person who picks up the aggressor’s weapon may be mistaken as the shooter.
- Evacuate: Only when it is safe to do so, occupants should evacuate the building to a secure area. When exiting the building, occupants should hold up their hands to communicate to police that they are unarmed.
Do occupants need to follow the steps of ALICE in order?
While “ALICE” may seem like a sequence of actions to follow, it is important to note that the acronym is only meant to remind occupants of important choices they may need to make to keep themselves safe. For example, if a person is able to do so, they may choose to evacuate instead of going into lockdown. Each active threat situation will be different, so it’s important for occupants to know the best course of action to take in an emergency.
Is ALICE training right for my organization?
According to the ALICE training institute, this program may be a good fit for police officers, emergency response teams, K-12 schools, healthcare institutions, higher education, businesses, government and houses of worship.
While active shooting incidents may seem rare, reported cases are on the rise. In the event of an active shooter situation, you and your facility have to be ready. Facility managers have the ability to prepare for and prevent disaster, including active threats.
Free Download: Active Shooter Protocol for Facility Managers
To help you and your team prepare for critical emergencies, AkitaBox has compiled the 2019 Active Shooter Protocol for Facility Managers. This full report explores active shooter preparedness and how to appropriately respond when faced with an active shooter. For more information on creating a safety and security plan for your facility, check out other free resources here.