At a recent Florida Facilities Managers Association meeting, two of Hufcor's very different market segments crossed paths about a tragic subject: active shooters. Now you may wonder why Hufcor is keanly associated with the subject of active shooters and why venue managers should be looking into this type of training. That's simple. For the past decade, Hufcor has supplied our specially designed FlexTact movable wall systems to law enforcement and military training facilities that assist in reconfigurable live-fire, scenario-based training. Thousands of law enforcement first responders and SWAT units have trained inside FlexTact training systems at academies, private facilities and individual departments. The US Air Force and National Guard train within Hufcor FlexTact facilities to learn the techniques for force-on-force, search & rescue and active shooter situations.
The recent article in Venues Today outines the opinion of Miami PD officer, Marcos Perez. Offier Perez is a member of "Operation: B.A.T." (Businesses Against Terrorism) and his message is clear; most active shooter incidents last an average of 12 minutes and, as such, venue staff need to be trained in first responder techniques as the first line of defense. Lots of bad (and good) can happen waiting for trained law enforcement and SWAT teams to arrive on scene.The above facility is located in Coral Springs, Florida, just outside Miami and is used by many area law enforcement first responders for training. Click here to read the full article.
Hufcor advocates that venue managers review Officer Perez's recommendations as has the staff at the American Airlines Arena. As members of the International Association of Venue Manager (IAVM), Hufcor encourages organizations to take steps to set up training programs with the assistance from professional academies like Indian River State College (Fort Pierce, FL), Wake Tech College (Raleigh, NC), or Schoolcraft College (Livonia, MI). IAVM could be a catalyst in creating some online training programs where even simple active shooter safety procedures could be demonstrated, filmed and distributed to members. Venue security should reach out to law enforcement organizations like the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to learn of other training programs available to them locally.
Local collaboration is the key to successful response. Venue security staff should be trained in immediate active shooter response techniques, practice mass evacuation routes and train side-by-side with local law enforcement to set up proper response techniques designed for the specifc venue. Sport venues and events are known targets for internal US terrorist attacks. The bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon is a horrific example. A 2008 paper published in The Smart Journal, "Sport Venue Security: Planning and Preparedness for Terrorist-Related Incidents," (2008. Hall,Marcini,Copper) concisely outlines the threats facing security at venues. In this paper, the authors outlined some Protecitve Measures that all venues should implement. One main one was, "conduct internal training exercises for local emergency responders.." Click here to learn more.
As a Wisconsn Badger football season ticket holder, I was impressed this summer when UW-Madison conducted "Operation Wisconsin Dawn" at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI. The simulated attack on the stadium involved more than 400 first responders and "actors" creating a scenario of many casualties and the need for cross department coordination. To learn more, click here. Didn't we all learn this lesson in kindergarten, "practice makes perfect." Seems logical all venue security would rehearse these situations like UW-Madison first responders did this past July.
Hufcor FlexTact systems can help improve the skills of local emergency responders. If you're a security professional responsible for training, I encourage you to reach out to IAVM's Academy for Venue Safety & Security or contact Hufcor for assistance in finding a location where your teams can train within a FlexTact reconfigurable shoot house like the Nassau County Sheriff's facility in New York shown below.
Interested in learnng more, review the FlexTact system on our website.