Mitigate the Attack

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The second phase of the Mass Attacks Defense Chain concerns halting mass attacks as quickly and with as few casualties as possible.

"Heroes are made because they prepare for an incident. People never rise to the occasion; they fall back on their training." — Police interview participant

What You Need to Know Now: Key Prevention Priorities

Overall: You Need a Coordinated Response for Mitigation. Active shooter incidents have underscored the need for a coordinated response by law enforcement, security personnel, and others to save lives. This requires advance planning, coordination among all response partners, and training.

Securing Venues Bystander and Security Response Law Enforcement Response and Medical Response Command and Communications
Venue staff should put distance, movement, and physical barriers in place to separate shooters from bystanders. The goal is to keep shooters from surprising a crowd at close range with few opportunities to escape. Bystanders should understand the basic strategy of "Run, Hide, and Fight," as well as the value and risks of intervening to try to stop a mass shooting. Training is critical for law enforcement agencies but should be done in partnership with fire departments, emergency medical services (EMS), and public and private entities (e.g., entertainment venues); it also should include other potential actors, such as hospitals and private security. Using the Incident Command System (ICS) is a critical feature of command and communications.

For Leaders: There Is a Need to Support Planning, Coordination, and Training. Leaders need to ensure that the necessary advance planning, coordination, and training occur. They also should provide ongoing strategic direction and resources—or, if necessary, seek out resources. The Recommendations for Policymakers and Executives page provides tips.