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Partnerships with Local First Responders Key to Preparing for Active Assailant Incident

​In a recent webinar on preparing for an active shooter incident, Lee Neutzling, PSP, director, security of Safelite Group, emphasized the importance of building partnerships with local law enforcement and first responders as being an important part of preparing for a variety of emergency situations.

The webinar, “Preparing for the Possibility of an Active Shooter Incident,” was a joint production of Security Management magazine and Everbridge and is available on-demand for free. It features Kevin McNulty from Everbridge sharing results of a survey conducted late last year and tips and experiences from Neutzling.

One of the tips Neutzling shared was from one of his previous employers at which he helped coordinate a first responders day.

“We had local county fire, EMS, as well as sheriff’s departments come in and bring in fire trucks, SWAT vehicles, and all the tools and toys they have that they can utilize in event of an emergency.”

Such an event has many positive outcomes:

  • Employees are interested in learning about safety and security protocols, and are reassured that should an emergency happen that their local responders are ready and able to help.
  • It builds relationships with the first responder community.
  • As experts, first responders can tour the facility and offer thoughts and insights into an organization’s emergency management policies and procedures.
  • It also gives employees the chance to hear directly about what is likely to happen in an emergency situation, such as an active assailant incident. If there are injured people “it’s the brutal fact that law enforcement is going to step over them,” Neutzling said, “and go to the threat, find it, and neutralize it. And once the scene is clear, then EMS will come in and treat those that are wounded.”

​Neutzling also described a tool he has available at the Safelite headquarters: MARCS.

“In Ohio we have a MARCS system, which is a Multi Agency Radio Communications System. Keep in mind these radios are not cheap. Depending on where you live, it could be upwards of $5000 for a radio. The nice thing is you can have instant communication with law enforcement so you don’t have to worry about, in the middle of horns and sirens and strobes and mass notification systems and other people trying to get a hold ​of you as director of security—all of those distractions you don’t have to worry because you can push a button and have communication with law enforcement.”

Check out the on-demand webinar​ to benchmark how your organization’s active assailant preparedness compares to others and to learn how organizations set up communications and alert systems.