Command and Control Software

Command & Control Software Aids Response to Active Shooter

Are You Prepared to Respond to a Multi-Pronged Active Assailant Threat?

I recently attended the SafeZone APAC Conference in Queensland, Australia, where dozens of customers and interested parties gathered to exchange ideas on how to protect the tens of thousands they’re entrusted with safeguarding. One of the themes that resonated most with attendees was just how much more complex a multi-pronged active assailant attack can be, the demands it places on their staff, and the additional information and resources needed to help them effectively tackle these challenges.

Given the string of recent attacks in various cities – which includes stabbings, bombings and shootings – organizations are beginning to realize they are not adequately equipped and prepared to respond to a multi-pronged active assailant threat.

While many believe they are prepared to deal with a singular incident e.g. an assailant with a blade, most security leaders acknowledge that when faced with a multi-pronged attack, their teams lack the communication resources, data visualization tools, and the manpower required to adequately respond to such an attack.

Current Limitations

Although local security and safeguarding teams can ultimately hand off large-scale incidents to specialized resources such as a SWAT or a hazardous materials team, the initial time frame they’re in control of the situation is crucial to the health and safety of those they’re entrusted to protect.

In those moments when an incident first transpires, security leaders need to assess the extent of the situation and answer a number of key questions, including:

  • What is the nature and location of each attack?
  • What was the impact of the attack?
  • Where are all your available resources relative to the various attacks?
  • Are your first responders on-scene or already on the way to respond?
  • How many assailants are there and what was their last known location?
  • Is the attack still ongoing?
  • What is the containment strategy?

These widespread, large-scale incidents, which can range from a fire, explosion, chemical spill, compromised biohazard lab, etc. typically require multiple resources.  However, security leaders have a hard limit on active and available resources and so it’s critical for them to be able to view their location and availability so they can be deployed for maximum effect.

Getting accurate and timely information and then being able to visualize that information quickly is essential.  But therein lies the problem. Most security teams don’t have the command and control functionality to help them coordinate and respond to the incidents.

Command & Control Functionality

Given the command and control functionality and the situational awareness it provides, this comprehensive security solution is particularly well-suited to address large-scale incidents and address these gaps. SafeZone delivers geo-targeted and templated mass notifications to cordon off the impacted area and keep people away from exposure to the incident, and provides instructions on whether to stay in place or muster to certain locations. This is particularly valuable for organizations that have remote sites miles away from major police capabilities.

SafeZone Command provides command center leadership and Emergency Operations Centers with complete situational awareness of the location and availability of all resources by role i.e. First-aiders, Security, fire wardens, student volunteers, contracted security, and emergency response teams.  This means you can not only view the location of your resources, but you can also communicate with them, coordinate and direct their response, see the result of those actions and issue new commands – all in real-time with a common operating view.

And with SafeZone OmniGuard, the command and control software extends into the field, where all safety and security teams can immediately visualize their location and availability relative to their colleagues in real-time, as well as any incidents that are reported. This situational awareness enables your team to respond swiftly and provides them shared visualization so each person has the same data, regardless of their roles. Furthermore, after the incident is over, a recording of the entire event can be played back to analyze and optimize team performance going forward, as described in this blog under “Post-Incident Debrief”.

As a CriticalArc customer, I’ve seen first-hand how our control room team and patrol officers use OmniGuard – part of CriticalArc’s SafeZone solution – to enable real-time coordination of resources. It helps us direct the right response to the right incident and if we have multiple incidents occurring at the same time, we can see them all and prioritize resources accordingly.  Without this level of situational awareness, it’s difficult to imagine how a security team can effectively command and control.

In conclusion, as large-scale incidents continue to grow in frequency and severity, organizations have begun to recognize they need additional capabilities to effectively fulfill their duty of care and protect staff. SafeZone is one example of technology that can have a material impact on an organization’s ability to visualize these incidents in real-time and better coordinate response to mitigate outcomes.

If you’d like to explore how your organization can better prepare for and respond to multi-pronged attacks, request a demo or contact them to explore how SafeZone can help your team address these unique challenges.

[Special thanks to Sean Peckover, National OHS Manager at the prestigious CQUniversity in Australia who guest-authored this blog.]

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