Law enforcement officials understand the value of pre-planning. If one knew where the next hostage situation was going to be, police would conduct a scout on that location. This would allow for pre-planning where the command post should be; traffic control posts could be mapped out and line of sight evacuation concerns could be addressed. There would be pictures and floor plans. Think about being the first responding supervisor to an active shooter situation. What if that supervisor could pull out a package that had command post, line-of-site evacuations, traffic control concerns, evacuation centers, helicopter landing zones, ground photos, air photos, floor diagrams, contact numbers, as well as student gathering locations mapped and planned? Based on history, we know where active shooter situations are likely to take place, thus officials should prepare a package for each of these locations.
QUAD Administrative Seminars address the conditions in Phase 1, and this training has been conducted for thousands of police, fire and school personnel throughout the United States and Canada.Phase 2
Quick Action Deployment (QUAD) Training: Phase 2 provides law enforcement with the tools necessary to quickly locate, engage and neutralize an active shooter. Since the inception of this tactic in 1999, the active shooter has evolved, and the QUAD tactic has evolved to incorporate those changes as well.Phase 3
Extraction of the Injured: Once the shooter has been located, or once the indicators have been lost, the next step is to extract the injured. The concept of the "Golden Hour" is driving police to get the injured to medical help — quickly. If the injured get to a hospital operating table within an hour of sustaining injury, they have a much greater chance of survival. The QUAD tactic incorporates a method which facilitates this rapid extraction.Phase 4
Secure Avenue For Escape (SAFE): Once the known injured have been extracted, this stage trains for the quick location of the additional injured and evacuation of the non-injured. At this point, a secured structure will still not be available for many hours and law enforcement does not have the luxury of waiting to reach additional victims. SAFE provides officers with the tools necessary to line the hallways and cover the evacuation of those who are still in the school.
QUAD Training for Civilians: Police response to active shooter situations will continue to become more rapid and efficient. This phase provides the instruction with how to prepare citizens to manage during the 3 to 10 minutes it takes for officers to arrive. Citizens need to be provided with the training and equipment necessary which will enable them to stay alive while they await police arrival.
Active shooter situations have plagued society for decades. In recent years, the incidents have increased in frequency and evolved tactically. Disturbed individuals are carefully planning their attacks and discussing their plans via the Internet, where they have the ability to communicate with like-minded individuals who encourage and support their plans. They know that police will respond — and fast, so they barricade doors and carry more weapons. As a society, we have a responsibility to protect our children. As police officers, we are mandated to train and plan to a level of excellence. We no longer have the option to operate under a basic or generic plan, and with the knowledge gained from the tragedies of the past, a tactical plan can be formulated.
Author's note: Since active shooters are partially motivated by the desire for fame, their names have purposely be left out of this article.
James Scanlon is a 30-year veteran of the Columbus (Ohio) Division of Police. He has been on its full-time SWAT team for 16 years. Scanlon is also co-founder of North American SWAT Training Association. He can be contacted at email@example.com.