Surviving the Unthinkable: Essential Active Shooter Training and Prevention Tips

June 20, 2024

Surviving the Unthinkable: Essential Active Shooter Training and Prevention Tips

Active Shooter Response Learn how to survive a shooting event

By Daniel Brunner | Chief Operating Officer | Brunner Sierra Group

In recent years, headlines have been dominated by tragic stories of active shooter incidents in places once considered safe havens—schools, churches, and community centers. From the devastating events at Sandy Hook Elementary to the heart-wrenching attack at the Pulse nightclub, these incidents serve as stark reminders that no place is truly off-limits. The reality is alarming, and it’s crucial to be prepared for the unexpected. This article delves into essential active shooter training and prevention tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe in an unpredictable world.

Active shooter prevention starts with awareness and preparedness. For individuals and families, this involves staying informed about potential threats and understanding their surroundings. Simple measures such as identifying exits in public places, staying vigilant for suspicious behavior, and knowing how to report threats can significantly enhance personal safety.


For companies, active shooter prevention includes implementing security measures such as controlled access points, surveillance systems, and regular safety drills. Employers should foster a culture of safety where employees feel comfortable reporting concerns without fear of retaliation. Additionally, providing regular training sessions on recognizing warning signs of potential violence can empower employees to act before a situation escalates.


During an Active Shooter Event: The “Run, Hide, Fight” Protocol

When an active shooter event occurs, knowing how to respond can mean the difference between life and death. The widely endorsed “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol offers a clear and effective strategy:

1. Run: If there is a safe escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises immediately. Encourage others to leave with you, but do not delay your escape if they hesitate. Leave your belongings behind, keep your hands visible, and follow any instructions given by law enforcement officers.

2. Hide: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction. Lock and barricade doors, turn off lights, silence your phone, and remain quiet.

3. Fight: As a last resort, and only if your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter. Use any objects at your disposal as weapons, commit to your actions, and work as a group if others are present.

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The Role of Training in Enhancing Preparedness

Active shooter training is essential for individuals, families, and companies. For families, training sessions can help establish a clear plan of action for different scenarios, whether at home, school, or in public places. This includes teaching children how to recognize danger, where to go, and who to contact in an emergency.

For companies, regular training helps employees understand their roles during an active shooter event. Drills simulate real-life scenarios, providing practice in executing the “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol and familiarizing employees with emergency exits and safe zones. Training also includes guidance on communicating with law enforcement and other first responders during and after an incident.


Expectations from Law Enforcement During an Active Shooter Incident

When law enforcement arrives on the scene of an active shooter event, their primary objective is to neutralize the threat as quickly as possible to prevent further harm. This may involve officers moving past injured individuals to locate and stop the shooter. While this can appear alarming, it is a necessary strategy to ensure the safety of the greatest number of people.

It is crucial to understand that officers are trained to address the most immediate threat first. Once the shooter is contained or neutralized, medical personnel will attend to the injured. During this time, individuals should remain calm, keep their hands visible, and follow all instructions from law enforcement.



Active shooter training and prevention are critical components of personal and public safety. By understanding the importance of preparedness, learning how to respond effectively using the “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol, and knowing what to expect from law enforcement, individuals, families, and companies can enhance their ability to survive and recover from such traumatic events. Regular training and a proactive approach to safety can make a significant difference in protecting lives during an active shooter incident.

If you are interested in additional training or more information on active shooter preparedness, contact Bruner Sierra Group. Our experts can create a tailored training and security package designed to meet the specific needs of your family, company, or office. Stay safe and prepared with Bruner Sierra Group’s comprehensive security solutions.