Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Active Shooter Response Instructor Development Course

This past weekend I attended the I.C.E Training Company Active Shooter Response Instructor Development Course at Endeavor Defense and Fitness in Hilliard Ohio. I have been an instructor in the A.L.I.C.E. program for a few years and have conducted numerous seminars on this subject. However having trained and taught with I.C.E Training Company on the firearms side as a Defensive Firearms Coach and Combat Focus Shooting Instructor I knew any program they developed would have value. I also believe this subject is something that needs continued focus and applies to "gun people" as well as those that will never even touch a firearm.

I arrived a day early and was ready bright and early the next day for training. Upon arrival at Endeavor we signed a liability waiver and moved into the training room/classroom. Our Primary instructors would be Aaron Jannetti ,who was the prime mover in developing the Active Shooter Response program and Rob Pincus owner of I.C.E. and developer of the Combat Focus Shooting program . As always with any I.C.E course we started off with a discussion of the Safety,Comfort, and Competency. The context of the Active Shooter Response Course is to give a base understanding of an active shooter response geared towards individual actions.We then moved into History of Active Shooter events, some statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and anecdotes on those "that took action." We also discussed "The Plan." I.C.E. teaches that the plan consists of Evade, Barricade and Respond/Fight. They made it very clear that they had not come up with some magic formula and that  many other programs recommended similar actions. However their approach to training and the depth of knowledge the instructors are required to demonstrate are what sets the program apart.

The majority of the rest of the day was spent teaching and training the physical drills that correspond to the RESPOND portion of the plan. The basic concept behind RESPOND is to do what you need to do to stop the "bad guy" from hurting you. We discussed basic strikes and how to teach them to people unfamiliar with physical aggression. We talked about tackles/wrapping up. We talked about using third leverage points and ground fighting. We also were introduced to the concept that there are no bystanders and everyone has a job, We discussed gear selection and training area set up. And by talked about I mean we demonstrated and participated in these drills. Heart rates were elevated at times and we also discussed how to scale the drills for those that may or may not be used to physical activity. The first day ended about 6 pm.

Day 2 was primarily taught by Rob Pincus and we extensively covered the other two parts of the plan.  We talked about the EVADE concept, getting to a place where the "bad guy" can't hurt you. Talking about being prepared and not paranoid. Discussing non traditional evasion options and how to employ them. We talked about differences between active shooters,spree killers and mass shootings. We then moved on to the BARRICADE concept of doing what you need to do to keep the "bad guy" from hurting you. We talked about close quarter battle tactics and relative positioning in a room depending on if you are armed or not. We talked about improvised weapons and hiding as a subset of barricading. We also talked about auxiliary concepts to include arming ourselves and communication. The day ended with lecture on Demystifying the Gun. The day was also sprinkled with 3-4 teach-backs where we had to demonstrate or explain the concepts and principles we had just been taught. These were subjectively evaluated and follow up questions were asked. It is not possible to recreate the incredible depth of knowledge and detail that was imparted on these subjects. I have over 20 pages of notes. This is very typical of the I.C.E. instructor development process. They truly make you a subject matter expert and teach you how to teach. Day 2 ended about 8 PM with follow on homework to be completed after class and studying to be done for the next days written exam.

Day 3 started with a lecture on inducing weapon malfunctions and then moved into a block on Immediate Casualty Care. I like this course's approach on casualty care. It is simple and the emphasis is on doing what you can with available materials. This is another area in which this course is set apart from something like A.L.I.C.E. In the two day instructor course for A.L.I.C.E we never once talked about casualty care. As a paramedic some of the concepts taught for ICC in this course caused me to think about how I am teaching my own 4 hour course on lay person trauma care. Good stuff..good stuff. We continued with more teach backs on the material. After ICC we discussed reality based scenarios. We talked about scenario development,safety for students and role players. We then spent the rest of the afternoon participating in and running various scenarios. Once all the scenarios were run and debriefed we took the written test.  We were required to achieve a 90% on the written portion and as is normal the test was not a gimme. After the completion of the written test we debriefed the course and ended operations. This course was intense as expected and if certified I am excited about adding this course to my calendar of offerings.


  1. Thanks for the thorough write up and your work during the course.
    It's great to have you on our team and I look forward to you helping us spread the information in the ASR Program. -RJP

  2. I'm intrigued with this concept. In schools we do tornado drills, fire drills, but few in our area do anything about training staff in what to do in the case of intruder. Is there a "workshop" for staff of preschools, public schools etc. in the basics of intruder drills; and what would you include in drills for children. Needs to be effective with a plan that each can internalize without scaring them. What do you think?

    1. This material is adaptable 100% to schools... in fact, for I.C.E. Training, it is really an evolution of our School Attacker Response Course (SARC), launched several years ago.
      As with any course, the instructors need to tailor some of the delivery to the audience, which certainly has included school children.