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A.L.I.V.E. Awareness: Strategies for Active Shooter Preparedness

Updated: Apr 3


The contemporary issue of active shooter incidents presents a disturbing trend that spans across various venues, including workplaces, schools, places of worship, and entertainment areas. The frequency of these events has seen a significant rise, highlighting a concerning pattern. Such statistics emphasize the urgent requirement for thorough active shooter training programs. Learn the steps you need to take to keep yourself and those you know protected.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • Overview of the importance of active shooter training

  • The rise in active shooter events

  • Understanding the Need for Active Shooter Training

  • The impact on employees, parishioners, students, and attendees

  • Compliance with mandatory training requirements

  • Addressing concerns and the cost of unpreparedness

  • The A.L.I.V.E. & In Person Training Program

  • Overview of the program

  • Key learning objectives

  • The importance of preparation and empowerment

  • Online Active Shooter Training Courses

  • Features of the online platform

  • Benefits of online training

  • Course options and content overview

  • Surviving an Active Shooter Using A.L.I.V.E.

  • Recognizing warning signs

  • Overcoming the freeze response

  • Actionable survival steps

  • Empowerment Through Education

  • Building confidence and determination

  • Helping others in an active shooter situation

  • Booking and Course Information

  • How to book in-person and online training

  • Customization options for organizational needs

  • Conclusion

  • The critical role of active shooter training

  • Encouragement to take action and ensure safety


In today's world, the threat of active shooter incidents has become an unsettling reality. From workplaces to educational institutions, places of worship to entertainment venues, no location is immune to this growing menace. The statistics are alarming, with a marked increase in such events over the past few years. This rising trend underscores the critical need for comprehensive active shooter training—a necessity, not a luxury, for ensuring the safety and preparedness of individuals across various sectors.

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The concept of being caught in an active shooter situation is a fear that many have come to realize could happen to them at any moment. This fear is not unfounded. News headlines frequently recount the harrowing details of shootings that shatter lives and communities, leaving behind a trail of trauma and unanswered questions. The aftermath of these events isn't just measured in the immediate loss and devastation; the long-term psychological impact on survivors, witnesses, and even those who hear about the incidents through media, can be profound and enduring.

Against this backdrop, the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Training program emerges as a beacon of hope and empowerment. The acronym A.L.I.V.E. stands for Assess, Leave, Impede, Violence, and Expose—a methodology designed to offer practical, actionable strategies to survive an active shooter event. This program is not just about learning to respond to a crisis; it's about transforming fear into action, uncertainty into clarity, and victims into survivors.

The Rise in Active Shooter Events

The increase in active shooter events is not just a statistic; it's a call to action. These incidents have escalated not only in frequency but in fatality, making it clear that traditional responses to emergency situations are no longer sufficient. Active shooters often target locations where people gather, capitalizing on the element of surprise and the vulnerable state of unprepared individuals.

This escalation can be attributed to a complex web of societal, psychological, and environmental factors. Easy access to firearms, the glorification of violence in media, and the pervasive sense of alienation in modern society all contribute to this phenomenon. Moreover, the digital age has facilitated not only the rapid spread of information but also the dissemination of extremist ideologies that can radicalize individuals into taking deadly action.

However, the rise in these tragic events has also spurred a movement towards better preparedness and resilience. It has led to a growing consensus on the importance of active shooter training programs that go beyond the traditional "run, hide, fight" paradigm. The A.L.I.V.E. program, with its comprehensive approach to survival, represents a significant advancement in this direction. It equips participants with the knowledge and skills to recognize potential threats, respond effectively, and recover from the aftermath of violence.

As we navigate this challenging landscape, the value of active shooter training cannot be overstated. It's about creating a culture of safety and vigilance, where every individual is empowered to protect themselves and others. In a world where the unthinkable has become all too common, being prepared is the first step towards not just survival, but resilience.

Transitioning from the foundational understanding of the escalating threat posed by active shooter situations, we delve into the heart of the matter—the profound need for active shooter survival training. As we transition into the next section, it becomes crucial to explore not only the impact these traumatic events have on individuals and communities but also the undeniable importance of preparedness and the role of training in fostering a secure environment.

Understanding the Need for Active Shooter Training

The necessity for active shooter training stems from a simple, yet powerful premise: knowledge empowers and preparation saves lives. In an era where the occurrence of active shooter incidents has become more frequent, the question is no longer if such a situation could happen, but when. This stark reality brings into focus the critical need for individuals and organizations to be proactive in their approach to safety and security.

The impact of active shooter events extends far beyond the immediate physical harm inflicted.

The psychological trauma, the sense of vulnerability, and the disruption of communities highlight a deeper, more pervasive issue. Employees, students, parishioners, and attendees of public events carry with them not just the fear of what might happen but also the concern of not knowing what to do in such a situation. This lack of preparedness can exacerbate the chaos and confusion when seconds count and decisions matter.

Moreover, organizations face a significant responsibility in ensuring the safety of their people.

Compliance with mandatory active shooter and workplace violence training requirements is not just a legal obligation; it's a moral imperative. The cost of unpreparedness can be measured not only in terms of potential loss of life but also in the financial and reputational damage to the organization. Employers, educators, and leaders must ask themselves—what is the cost of the lives of their people? Is the organization prepared to face the consequences of inadequate training?

Feedback from individuals within these organizations often reveals a common concern: a lack of confidence in knowing how to react in the event of an active shooting. This uncertainty can lead to paralysis in critical moments, reducing the chances of survival for oneself and those around. The fear of making the wrong decision, or worse, doing nothing at all, underscores the pressing need for a structured, comprehensive training that addresses these concerns head-on.

The A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Training program emerges as a solution to these challenges. By equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to recognize, react, and recover from an active shooter event, the program aims to transform uncertainty into confidence and fear into action. Through a combination of awareness, preparedness, and empowerment, the program seeks to mitigate the risks associated with active shooter situations and foster a safer, more resilient community.

As we delve deeper into the nuances of active shooter training, it becomes evident that the path to safety is not paved with fear, but with education and empowerment. The following sections will explore the A.L.I.V.E. program in detail, shedding light on the methodologies and strategies that can help individuals and organizations navigate the complexities of an active shooter event with confidence and resolve.

Building upon the established need for active shooter training, we venture into the specifics of the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Survival Training Program. This section details the program's objectives, methodologies, and the pivotal role it plays in equipping individuals with the necessary skills to not just survive but thrive in the face of an active shooter event.

The A.L.I.V.E. & In Person Training Program

The A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Survival Training Program stands as a cornerstone in the landscape of personal and organizational safety. Developed in response to the increasing frequency of active shooter incidents, A.L.I.V.E.—an acronym for Assess, Leave, Impede, Violence, and Expose—provides a structured framework designed to empower individuals with actionable strategies and critical thinking skills necessary for surviving an active shooter event.

A.L.I.V.E. Program Overview

The A.L.I.V.E. program breaks down into several key components, each focusing on a specific aspect of active shooter response. The curriculum is built around the core principles of situational awareness, rapid decision-making, and effective action under pressure. 

How to Respond When Facing an Active Shooter: A.L.I.V.E. Guidelines

1. Assess

  • Stay calm: Stop, breathe, and assess the situation carefully.

  • Formulate a plan considering the nature of the incident.

  • Evaluate your options in relation to your plan.

  • Decide if it's safer to leave or if you must fight.

  • Call 911 at the earliest opportunity.

  • Inform everyone within your area about the situation with a clear command to exit if possible.

  • Take a moment to think critically about your next steps. Avoid rushing into potentially dangerous areas.

2. Leave

  • If a safe exit path exists, evacuate immediately without waiting for others.

  • Leave all belongings behind.

  • Assist others in escaping, if possible.

  • Prevent others from entering areas where the threat is present.

  • Keep your hands visible to law enforcement.

  • Do not attempt to move the injured.

  • Continue moving away from danger until you're safe. If responsible for others, lead them out with urgency and call 911 while evacuating.

3. Impede

  • If you cannot evacuate, find a secure place to hide from the shooter.

  • Call 911 if possible. If you can't speak, leave the line open.

  • Lock all doors and silence electronic devices.

  • Turn off any noise sources and hide behind large objects.

  • Stay silent and make yourself a difficult target for the shooter.

4. Violence

  • If you're unable to evacuate or hide, prepare to defend yourself.

  • Arm yourself with any available objects.

  • Act aggressively and use elements of surprise against the attacker.

  • Aim to incapacitate the shooter, understanding the severity of the situation.

  • If possible, work as a team to disarm and disable the attacker.

  • Engage the shooter with the intent to neutralize the threat, fueled by the determination to protect yourself and others.

5. Expose

  • Once the threat appears to be over, carefully assess your situation before revealing your position.

  • Exit the area with your hands up and follow law enforcement instructions.

  • Be aware of the possibility of additional threats.

  • Stay calm and ensure your hands are visible at all times.

  • Follow officers' commands, understanding they're for everyone's safety.

  • Be prepared to assist with injured individuals once rescue teams arrive.

Remember, providing accurate information to law enforcement is crucial:

  • Location and number of shooters

  • Description of the shooter(s)

  • Type and number of weapons

  • Potential number of victims

These guidelines aim to enhance your safety and decision-making in critical moments.

A.L.I.V.E. Key Learning Objectives

The program's learning objectives are tailored to instill a comprehensive understanding of active shooter dynamics and to equip participants with life-saving techniques.

Upon completion, participants will:

  • Recognize early warning signs of potentially violent situations to prevent escalation.

  • Understand the psychological and physiological responses to high-stress situations and learn to manage them effectively.

  • Navigate the chaos of an active shooter event with clarity and purpose, using the A.L.I.V.E. steps as a guide.

  • Make informed decisions about when to hide or evacuate, and how to do so safely.

  • Develop the mental resilience to counter an active shooter if confronted directly.

The Importance of Preparation and Empowerment

Central to the A.L.I.V.E. program is the belief that preparation breeds confidence, and confidence breeds action. In the high-stress scenario of an active shooter event, hesitation or inaction can be fatal. 

The program, therefore, emphasizes not just the physical actions to take but also the mental preparation required to execute those actions under pressure. It seeks to transform the mindset from one of fear and vulnerability to one of empowerment and determination.

Through interactive sessions, real-life scenarios, and hands-on practice, participants are not merely informed but are engaged in a way that ensures the lessons become second nature. The program is designed to be accessible to a broad audience, including employees, students, and members of the community, acknowledging that everyone has a role to play in enhancing collective security.

In an era where the threat of active shooter incidents looms large, the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Training Program stands out as a beacon of hope. It offers a path forward, equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate these terrifying situations. 

As we move forward into the specifics of online training options and the broader implications of such preparation, it's clear that A.L.I.V.E.'s approach is not just about surviving; it's about empowering people to protect themselves and others, ensuring that they can live their lives free from the paralyzing grip of fear.

This segment delves into the adaptability and accessibility of active shooter preparedness through the digital medium, highlighting the A.L.I.V.E. program's commitment to widespread empowerment and education.

The demand for flexible, accessible training solutions has never been greater. Recognizing this need, the A.L.I.V.E. program extends its reach beyond traditional in-person sessions to offer comprehensive online active shooter training courses. These courses represent a significant leap forward in ensuring that critical survival strategies are available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Features of the Online Platform

The A.L.I.V.E. online platform is designed with user engagement and learning efficacy in mind. It provides:

  • Accessibility: Available 24/7, allowing participants to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule.

  • Interactivity: Engaging content that includes videos, quizzes, and simulations to reinforce learning outcomes.

  • Adaptability: Courses tailored to different environments, including workplaces, educational institutions, and places of worship, ensuring relevance and applicability.

Benefits of Online Training

Online training offers several unique advantages:

  • Convenience: Removes the barrier of scheduling and location, making it easier for individuals and organizations to integrate training into their lives.

  • Scalability: Enables organizations to train a large number of employees, students, or members simultaneously, ensuring a consistent level of preparedness across the board.

  • Retention: Engaging and interactive content helps improve knowledge retention, empowering participants with the confidence to act decisively.

Course Options and Content Overview

The A.L.I.V.E. online active shooter training courses are structured to cater to a diverse audience, from civilians to private sector professionals. Each course builds upon the A.L.I.V.E. methodology, tailored to address the specific challenges and dynamics of different settings. 

Participants will learn:

  • To identify potential threats: Understanding the indicators of potential violence and how to respond proactively.

  • Decision-making under stress: Strategies to overcome the paralysis of fear and make life-saving decisions quickly.

  • Practical survival steps: This section provides detailed guidance on how to effectively Assess, Leave, Impede, Violence, and Expose in an active shooter scenario.

By completing the online courses, participants not only gain the knowledge and skills taught in the classroom setting but also the flexibility to revisit the material as needed, ensuring ongoing preparedness and reinforcement of critical concepts.

Empowering Digital Preparedness

The advent of online active shooter training courses marks a pivotal shift in how individuals and organizations approach the challenge of preparedness in the face of potential violence. The A.L.I.V.E. online platform embodies a commitment to accessibility, ensuring that the power to save lives through education is extended to all, regardless of geographical constraints or scheduling conflicts.

Transitioning from the adaptability and reach of online training, we focus on the crux of active shooter preparedness: the Surviving an Active Shooter Using A.L.I.V.E. course. This section delves into the life-saving strategies and principles taught in the course, highlighting how it equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to navigate the chaos of an active shooter situation effectively.

Surviving an Active Shooter Using A.L.I.V.E.

The Surviving an Active Shooter Using A.L.I.V.E. course stands as a testament to the power of preparation. Built on the foundational principles of the A.L.I.V.E. methodology—Assess, Leave, Impede, Violence, Expose—this course is designed to transform fear into action, providing participants with a proactive plan to increase their chances of survival during an unthinkable event.

Recognizing Warning Signs

A critical component of the A.L.I.V.E. strategy is the ability to recognize the early signs of potential violence. This course teaches participants to identify behavioral cues and environmental indicators that may precede an active shooter event, enabling them to take preventive actions or make life-saving decisions sooner.

Overcoming the Freeze Response

Understandably, the immediate human reaction to sudden danger is often to freeze. The A.L.I.V.E. course addresses this instinct head-on, equipping participants with strategies to overcome the paralysis of fear. Through scenario-based training and psychological preparedness, individuals learn how to break the freeze response and move swiftly to action.

Empowerment Through Knowledge

Perhaps the most significant outcome of the Surviving an Active Shooter Using A.L.I.V.E. course is the empowerment it instills in participants. By understanding that they have options and learning specific actions they can take, individuals move from feeling powerless to empowered. This shift not only enhances their chances of survival but also fosters a mindset of resilience and determination.

A Comprehensive Approach to Survival

The A.L.I.V.E. course doesn't just focus on the immediate actions to take during an active shooter event; it also emphasizes the importance of situational awareness, mental preparedness, and post-event recovery. Participants are encouraged to adopt a mindset of vigilance, to anticipate potential threats, and to have a plan of action, all while maintaining a focus on the ultimate goal: survival.

By the end of this course, individuals are not only better prepared to recognize potential violent events and respond effectively, but they are also equipped with the confidence to take decisive action, ensuring their safety and the safety of those around them. 

Moving beyond the individual empowerment and actionable strategies provided by the Surviving an Active Shooter Using A.L.I.V.E. course, we pivot towards the broader implications of active shooter preparedness. This next section explores how the principles of the A.L.I.V.E. program extend beyond personal survival, fostering a culture of collective responsibility and safety within communities and organizations.

Empowerment Through Education

The fundamental objective of active shooter training, mainly through the A.L.I.V.E. program, extends beyond mere survival tactics. It aims to instill a sense of empowerment and responsibility in each participant, encouraging them to be proactive guardians of their own safety and that of others. This section highlights the multifaceted benefits of such training, emphasizing the importance of a well-informed and prepared community.

Building Confidence and Determination

Active shooter training programs like A.L.I.V.E. do more than teach tactics; they build confidence. This newfound confidence comes from understanding that one has the power to influence outcomes, even in dire situations. Armed with knowledge and strategies, individuals can transform their fear into determination—a determination not just to survive but to protect and assist others.

Helping Others in an Active Shooter Situation

The ripple effect of a single person's training can be profound. Trained individuals become invaluable assets during a crisis, guiding others, providing clear instructions, or taking decisive actions that can save lives. The A.L.I.V.E. program, therefore, is not just about individual empowerment; it's about creating leaders in times of chaos.

Participants learn the importance of:

  • Communicating effectively to calm and direct others.

  • Assisting those who are injured or unable to move to safety on their own.

  • Coordinating with law enforcement and first responders to provide critical information.

Community and Organizational Resilience

Empowerment through education fosters a resilient community and organizational culture. When members of a community or organization are trained, they collectively contribute to a safer environment. This collective preparedness can deter potential attackers and mitigate the impact of an active shooter event should one occur.

Organizations that invest in active shooter training demonstrate a commitment to the welfare and safety of their members. This commitment can strengthen community bonds, enhance trust in organizational leadership, and promote a culture of vigilance and mutual support.

A Call to Action for Leaders

Community leaders, employers, educators, and caregivers are heavily responsible for promoting and providing active shooter training. Recognizing the critical importance of such training is the first step, but true leadership is demonstrated when action is taken to ensure access to these life-saving programs.

Leaders are encouraged to:

  • Advocate for comprehensive active shooter training within their spheres of influence.

  • Allocate resources to facilitate access to training programs like A.L.I.V.E..

  • Foster an environment where safety and preparedness are valued and prioritized.

Pulling It All Together: A United Front Against Violence

The journey through understanding the need for, and the benefits of, the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Survival Training program brings us to a crucial realization: preparedness is not solely an individual responsibility but a collective one. Through empowerment, education, and action, communities and organizations can create safer environments, not just reactive but proactive in the face of potential threats.

To wrap this up, it's pretty straightforward: we've all got the power to make a difference in active shooter situations. With the right training, a bit of prep, and everyone pitching in on the safety front, we can come together to stand strong against violence, keeping each other safe even when things get tough.

Let us help you! Sign up for A.L.I.V.E. Active Training with us!


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