Preventing Stress during active shooter Security Incidents

Preventing Stress during Security Incidents

Why do we practice mass shooting safety?

Laws regarding rapid dismissals and safety drills have every school administrator wondering why there have to be so many disruptions to the educational process. As we all know already, there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish the tasks we set out to do. School Safety Drills and Rapid Dismissals have become mandatory in the hopes of creating a “procedural memory” response to quickly evolving emergency situations. The more you practice, the better you get.

How does stress affect our fine motor skills?

Okay, so we all know how to walk single file out of a classroom, down the hall, and out the nearest exit. The problem is that we don’t truly know if we can actually perform these simple tasks under high stress conditions. Normally, you perform fine-motor skills like tying your shoes, manipulating keys or small objects, and dialing a phone without even thinking twice.

That’s because your heart is pumping in the range of 60 – 80 beats per minute (BPM) and all body parts are receiving an adequate level of oxygenated blood to perform their specific function. Enter the stressor. Imagine the sound of the fire alarm, the smell of smoke, or the identifiable sound of gunshots. Instantly, your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is activated and begins preparing your body for survival. The activation of the SNS is automatic and virtually uncontrollable. It is a reflex triggered by the perception of a threat. Once initiated, the SNS will dominate all voluntary and involuntary systems until the perceived threat has been eliminated or escaped, performance deteriorates, or the parasympathetic nervous system activates to reestablish homeostasis.

1. In less than a second, your heart rate increases to 200 BPM as adrenaline is dumped into your bloodstream. Blood is funneled to your large muscle groups to protect against the perceived threat to survival. This allows for increased strength and the ability to perform gross motor skills such as running away from a threat. Conversely, blood is pulled away from the extremities (in an attempt to reduce the bleeding from wounds) where fine motor skills are utilized. The end result is that you may still be able to run or throw objects but you will have great difficulty in thinking clearly, manipulating keys, or attempting to send a text message for help.

Practicing Door Barricade safety drills

The mandatory safety drills provide the benefit of providing a rehearsal for “just in case” scenarios. Just as rote memory allows us to recall meaningful material in the classroom, repetition provides the opportunity for us to succeed in times of high stress by not having to think about the actions we are trying to perform. Practice activating your door barricade during an active shooting incident.  In short, we will unconsciously do what we trained to do in a high stress incident through procedural learning.

Sure, we would all like to have more time in the day to accomplish our required tasks, but practicing our safety drills allows us to ensure many more days for all of us to enjoy.

As an extra layer of protection, get a Bolo Stick door barricade.  Shop at our Door Barricade Device Store

Bill Barna,
President, Bolo Stick LLC

1. Grossman, D., & Siddle, B.K., "Psychological Effects of Combat," in Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, Academic Press, 2000

Preventing Stress during active shooter Security Incidents

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Bolo Stick LLC was founded by William J. Barna, a 33-year police officer in the aftermath of repetitive critical incidents occurring within schools, churches, medical facilities, manufacturing plants, and public venues around the United States. As a veteran officer and certified Police Academy Instructor, he saw the need for an instantaneous solution to barricade interior doors from unwanted intruders. Thus, the Bolo Stick was created to be a solid steel barricade capable of withstanding forces in excess of 2 tons while maintaining affordability to cash-strapped school systems, churches, mosques, synagogues, and businesses. While Bolo Stick was initially developed with schools in mind, it is being utilized in churches, hospitals, daycares, and workplaces as companies increase efforts for workplace security in light of recent public shootings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that 69% of the active-shooter incidents studied between 2000 - 2013 lasted less than 5 minutes. Bolo Stick was designed to serve as a barricade in the protection of human life against unwanted threats. The one-step activation allows for protection in seconds and the low attachment point on doors prevents unwanted room entry while saving lives. Bolo Stick is endorsed by NOCSSM, the National Organization of Church Security and Safety Management. Bolo Stick is a member of the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association (Member No. 973751)

Preventing Stress during active shooter Security Incidents

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