HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Lead Security Manager of Hedge Security Solutions, Daniel Dean starts our interview with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, "the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing at all."
The agreed-upon definition of an active shooter by US government agencies (including the White House, US Department of Justice, FBI, US Department of Education, US Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Emergency Management Agency) is “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a conﬁned and populated area.”
Dean walks me through some of the must-dos when it comes to reacting to an active shooter situation.
"We have to do something. Freezing is not an option. If you freeze up, you're probably going to be a victim," said Dean.
Dean also does not teach the active shooter protocol of 'Run. Hide. Fight.'
"We do not teach hide. Hide puts you in a victim mentality. If you're playing hide and seek, what are you expecting to happen? You're expecting to be found," said Dean.
Instead, Hedge Security Solutions focuses on another type of active shooter survival plan, called ALIVE.
ALIVE is meant to buy time in these situations because in these situations... time is of the essence.
"Majority of your active shooter cases are incidents are over in 10 minutes or less. I believe it's like 69% of them are 5 minutes or less. So the gunman is working on a short time. The longer or the more time you can buy yourself, the better chance you're going to survive that incident," said Dean.
Let's dive right into what each letter stands for when it comes to the ALIVE active shooter survival plan:
The A is for aims for assess. You want to take just a split second, take a deep breath, get some oxygen to your brain and come up with what your next best move is.
The L is for leave. Get as far away as possible until you're safe. Don't just go outside and stop. Keep going.
The I is for impede. You want to slow the killer down. Put something between you and the killer, you know. Get away. Slow them down. Take up some of their time.
The V is for violence. If you can't leave, if you've impeded, you need to be ready. If they breach wherever you're holed up out, if they breach that door, you got to be ready to attack. That's where the V comes in.
Once the event is over, that's where the E, the expose comes into play. You have to expose yourself carefully, smartly. If you come out, you need to come out slowly with your hands up, palms forward. You want to show your hands.