Must-Read Active Shooter Response Guide

Must-Read Active Shooter Response Guide

Is this your first time researching active shooter response training?


Or, have you been researching how to better prepare your workplace, school, law enforcement agency or family for some time now? This guide will provide you informative resources on active shooter response.

As you conduct your investigation, do any of these apply to you?

  • Harrowing images and stories on the news about mass casualties haunt you.
  • You, or someone you know has been personally affected by an active shooter event.
  • As you began to realize the importance of this topic, your e-mail box overflows with information, opinions and strategies on how to deal with active shooters.
  • You searched the internet endlessly for the right information to inform your loved ones.
  • You met with the local police, but they don’t have the resources to provide in-depth training.

Active shooter incidents occurring in the United States and throughout the world led you here to this page. We created Guardian Defense’s Must-Read Active Shooter Response Guide to be your number one resource on the topic of threat response prevention, planning and response..

What Is An Active Shooter?

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an Active Shooter is defined as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.”

The majority of active shooter incidents occur in:

(1) Workplaces, including both those open to pedestrians, and closed to them; and

(2) Educational Facilities, including PK-12 schools and institutions of higher learning. 

Active Shooter Incidents can also occur in open spaces/public venues such as the 2017 Las Vegas Harvest Music Festival shooting and places of worship such as the 2017 First Baptist Church incident in Texas.


Planning for a Potential Active Shooter

Active threats such as an active shooter are unpredictable and tragic. Before an active shooter incident occurs, it is important to gain meaningful knowledge about what a threat is and what you can do to protect yourself and others.

Get Informed

Gaining meaningful knowledge about active shooters, active shooter training, hard and soft targets, and how to mitigate mass casualties is the first step to preparing yourself and others within your family and organization. It is important to gather this knowledge from reliable resources. These resources can include government entities, law enforcement officers or private consulting companies that possess the proper experience.


A Thorough Plan in Place

A thorough plan in place for active shooter response includes:

  1. policies in place that explain how your organization will respond if faced with a threat;
  2. empowering training for your employees and staff; and
  3. regular drills to help your staff practice the plan you have in place.

Without one of these integral components, your organization is not thoroughly prepared!


During An Active Shooter Threat

Over the years, the strategy of exactly what to do during an active shooter threat has changed. The Run. Hide. Fight. model developed by the Department of Homeland Security was one of the first, and most recognized response options for active shooter response provided to civilians.

Run- Hide- Fight

According to the recommended protocol or the federal government, during an active shooter event, one should do the following:

  1. Run away from the shooter or threat;
  2. Hide out if you cannot escape.
  3. Fight for your life in last resort option.

Our Approach for Active Shooter Response

Many law enforcement agencies and consulting companies have either adopted the Run. Hide. Fight. model or created a variation of their own strategies. At Guardian Defense, we believe the the Run. Hide. Fight. approach was a good start, but can be modified and expanded upon to provide even further practical options to civilians.

Your response to a threat in a school, workplace or public place will vary depending upon the threat that is presented in front of you. Your decision may differ if you are alone in an office, or if you are a teacher responsible for a group of students. Active Shooters are dangerous but weak-minded. This means that at the first sign of resistance, an Active Shooter will panic and will usually submit. The most important things to keep in mind during an active shooter threat are:

Get out if you can! 

  1. If you choose to evacuate, make sure you have an idea of where the active shooter is located so you don’t cross paths with the threat
  2. Move as far away from the threat as possible
  3. Attempt to evade by finding cover or concealment as you move to an evacuation location, or find a place to isolate yourself

Isolate yourself from the problem.

  1. If you cannot evacuate, isolate yourself from the problem
  2. Next, secure your room by locking door
  3. Barricade your door
  4. Assist children, dependents and adults in distress with locating places to hide within the room
  5. Find a weapon to defend yourself and position your body on the blind side of the door

If you need to fight…

  1. If you have to defend yourself, find a sharp or blunt object to use as a weapon such as scissors, fire extinguisher, or bat
  2. Make a full commitment with mind and body to defend your life and those who depend on you

Finally, when you feel that you are safe, call 911! Do not assume that others have done this too- or that they have the same information that you do.

Each situation is different. Be aware of your surroundings and commit to a decision quickly.

After An Active Shooter Event

After the threat has left your space (or was eliminated), yourself or others may have been inflicted with life-threatening injuries. Blood loss is a significant cause of death in mass casualty incidents. Equipping your facility with life-saving supplies such as tourniquets, chest seals and hemostatic dressing; and providing training with these items is a necessary addition to any training plan. 

First responders may take some time to enter the building. Law enforcement’s job is to neutralize the threat, and many EMS personnel cannot get to victims until that threat is eliminiated. The loss of precious time could equate to the loss of precious lives.

Ultimately, those involved in the active shooter incident must view themselves as the TRUE FIRST RESPONDERS.

Free Active Shooter Training Tips For You!

Active Shooter Response Training Services


Purposeful active shooter response training can help mitigate mass casualties in an active shooter incident. Ensure you choose the right program for your business, school, or place of worship. One that is comprehensive and customized to meet your organization’s unique needs.

At Guardian Defense, our initiative POLICY-TRAIN-DRILL, coupled with our experienced and knowledgeable instructors, provides your organization with a comprehensive program, that is catered to meet your unique needs and budget.




We hope you find this information useful in choosing the right Active Shooter Response Training Program for your organization. Knowledge is valuable, but in order to be truly prepared for an active shooter, you must put this knowledge into practice. Guardian Defense is ready to help your organization prepare!


Your Free Consultation


Are you ready to prepare your business, school, or place of worship? To learn more about the training programs that we offer, call us today at (954)654-8912, or >>click here to schedule a FREE consultation<<.