You Want to Protect Your Employees: Where Do You Start?

 Strategos International training event

Strategos International training event

You’re not buying t-shirts: Lives are on the line. Choose appropriately.

By Vaughn Baker
President, Strategos International

“Can companies train workers to survive shooters?”

That’s the headline of this report by CBS.

Our answer: Yes. They can and they should.

However, the article says there is a "glut" of active shooter training for businesses. If you’re seeking answers, where do you begin?

We start from the standpoint that all training is not created equal.

Run, hide, fight?
Strategos has developed its own field-tested approach that is distinctly different from the "run, hide, fight" training promoted by most governmental entities.

While “run, hide, fight” is better than doing nothing, we created our own strategy for a reason. We teach:

  • Lock out Shut the shooter out
  • Get out Get away from the shooter
  • Take out Stop the shooter with whatever is at your disposal (a stapler, a board, a fist)

We’re passionate about this approach because (1) it’s simple to remember and (2) the tactics can be used in any order, depending on the situation.

Lock out, get out and take out are not sequential. That is, you do not necessarily use these tactics in a prescribed order. You do what’s needed, given the situation. If you can simply get out, then do it. But if the bad guy is outside, then you should lock him out instead.

One of the shortcomings with “run, hide, fight” is that it is often presented as something that should be done in order: (1) run (2) hide (3) fight. Now, this may not have been the original intent of the creators. However, it often morphs into just that.

Running may be the worst thing you can do (are you running toward or away from the shooter?).

And hiding? You’re much better off locking and reinforcing a door before you even think about crawling under a desk. Finally, fighting is often inadvertently presented as a last resort. The fact is, fighting (take out) is simply one of three options for prevailing.

 Vaughn Baker onsite in Des Moines, Iowa, during the filming of "Prevail!"

Vaughn Baker onsite in Des Moines, Iowa, during the filming of "Prevail!"

And speaking of prevailing, the producers of the “Prevail!”™ active-shooter video sought us out to consult on site as they filmed the movie. Instead of “run, hide, fight” they built their business training video around lock out, get out, take out.

Back to our question: “Can companies train workers to survive shooters?”

Instead of training them to survive, let’s train them to prevail.


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