I recently read that there are three stages of a crisis: prevention, response, and sequelae. For this article, a crisis is defined as a violent criminal act committed in a public place. In summary, the article talked about how to plan to prevent a crisis, offered suggestions on how to respond in the moment of crisis, and then what actions to take after the immediate crisis has passed. While the article didn’t specifically mention two-way radios, I think it should have. This is why.
Businesses and institutions spend billions of dollars annually to help prevent a crisis. As the old saying goes, “not on my shift,” security personnel install cameras, metal detectors, X-ray machines, and a host of other tools to observe and record those who come and go. The problem here is that these types of devices are only effective at “keeping the honest, honest.” Two-way radios allow immediate notification to key personnel when a situation is observed developing. Two-way radios are the only tool available that offers immediate and instant communication at the touch of a button.
If a gunman walks into a building with the intention of shooting, it’s safe to assume that the guy with the X-ray machine will be the first victim. The key to protecting most people when a crisis develops is to immediately communicate the threat and work to minimize it. The recent shooting at Fort Hood is a prime example of this. Military personnel were immediately locked up to keep them safe and security personnel invaded the scene of the shooting. As a result, lives were saved. The shootings at Virginia Tech several years ago showed weakness between the school and law enforcement officials because they did not communicate and more lives were lost as a result. Two-way radios offer key personnel the ability to communicate during a crisis and make decisions about the best way to respond. Locking buildings and rooms immediately, getting security personnel to the right place, and eliminating confusion among those charged with leadership during a crisis are key to minimizing the situation.
The aftermath of a crisis presents its own set of challenges. Many times you have to deal with emergency services personnel, the media, law enforcement, and concerned family / friends. Providing the correct and coordinated response reduces panic, misinformation, and additional chaos. Your leadership team must communicate instantly, have the ability to coordinate on the fly, and come together to make immediate decisions. Two-way radios allow equipment to spread across the facility or campus while maintaining instant communication.
Unfortunately, incidents affect all types of companies and institutions. In the 30 days prior to this article, there have been shootings at a Publix grocery store in Florida, a Walmart in Texas, a roller skating rink in California, a school in Colorado, the Pentagon, and these are just stories that were national news. . Businesses and institutions should have a plan to protect their employees and their customers, and two-way radios should be an element of that plan.