In a span of only twelve months, two school districts in the state of Lousianna have taken major leaps toward becoming environments in which both students and school officials can feel safe and secure. Fidelis NA LLC, a startup company that specializes in risk mitigation, has played a major role in these improvements by providing a sense of security and safety in these times of frightening uncertainty.
To maintain a balance of education, safety, and security, Iberia Parish School District held three situational awareness training sessions on March 7 and March 8 at Westgate High School’s auditorium. Fidelis NA, LLC delivered the private training sessions empowering 250 of Iberia Parish School District administrators, teachers and staff on a comprehensive awareness and preparedness curriculum. The curriculum included strategies to ensure the team has the tools to remain proactive in the face of unknown risks plus equipped the staff with strategies to be reactive.
Evangeline Bank & Trust Co. is one of the businesses who previously attended and has since incorporated those lessons into their lives. After months of tragic shootings, they say prior knowledge of active shooters is becoming irrelevant. "It's basically changing pretty much every day," says Security & Administrative Assistant LaChanda Alfred.
A common theme developed by the government and security companies to surviving an active shooter incident has been to create an easily articulated recommendation and strategy. “Run, Hide, Fight” which is the U.S. government’s “guidance” to surviving an active shooter incident is the first one that comes to mind. Search the web, and you’ll see numerous entities either training the Run-Hide-Fight methodology or creating their own acronyms that are highly marketable and resonate with people. But, are they effective?
In the early morning hours of 22 April 2018, a semi-nude gunman arrived at a Waffle House in South Nashville, TN, killing two people outside, then proceeding into the restaurant and killing two more before being taken down by an unarmed civilian. While this type of hostile act can happen anywhere and to anyone, there are strategies that individuals can apply daily to mitigate the risk to their personal safety in restaurants and other public venues.
Every organization, whether a school or business, should have an emergency action plan in place. The plan should be thorough, but not complicated, simple but sufficient. It should address any and all emergencies relevant to schools and your geographical locations. Active shooter, fire, bomb threat, natural disasters, Chem-Bio (white powder), and more should all be addressed.
“To evade you want to run the opposite direction of a sound of gunfire,” says Perron. Then you obstruct by making your way to a safe room. “First ring of security is you lock the door. ..lock the door…second ring barricade with any and everything you have available,” says Perron. Just as important is pre-recognition.