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Professional groups offer active shooter security protocols

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Standards and protocols developed to address safety and security issues that can be applied to active shooter threats are available for organizations to tap.

Some of the standards were established for public entities such as schools. The public entities are usually governed by boards or some central authority that can establish standards and coordinate activities among a given group or membership.

There are additional guidelines available for private industry and other entities.

Guidelines and standardization can be “great and helpful” in helping organizations manage exposures, said Nicholas Smith, security risk consulting practice leader at Willis Towers Watson P.L.C. in New York, including those provided by ASIS International. “I view any of these sorts of professional continued minimum standards and requirements to be useful in guiding clients.”

“I think the guidelines that are out there now are good. I think there are a lot of good curriculum available to employers,” from which to choose depending on the specifics of the business or enterprise, said Regan J. Rychetsky, former director of HHS enterprise risk management and safety for the Texas Health and Human Services System.

In that position, Mr. Rychetsky was responsible for risk management, safety, workers compensation, workplace violence programs, insurance, business continuity coordination and emergency management safety for five state agencies and approximately 54,000 employees statewide and had oversight responsibilities for 23 direct care facilities. He is now loss control manager with York Pooling, a unit of York Risk Services Group Inc. in Austin, Texas. He is also a past president of the Public Risk Insurance Management Association.

There are many information and training resources available in the public domain, Mr. Rychetsky said.

For example, the Federal Emergency Management Association, through its Emergency Management Institute, offers an independent online study course, “Active Shooter: What Can You Do?” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers an information card online featuring the “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol. And “Avoid, Deny, Defend,” which was developed by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University, can also be accessed online.

Still more such resources are under development for both the educational and private sectors.

The University of Alabama has partnered with Roswell, Georgia-based crisis management firm Firestorm Solutions L.L.C. to compile training materials for state schools, which can then be more widely distributed to businesses, said Harry Rhulen, Denver-based president of Novume Solutions Inc. and founder of Firestorm, which was acquired by Novume predecessor KeyStone Solutions, Chantilly, Virginia, in January.