ALICE – A Proactive Response to an Active Shooter Event

Technology Debamalya Mukherjee Programming 01 December 2023 4 Mins Read

Times are constantly changing, and with the rapid rise of school shootings that we’ve witnessed over the years, fostering a sense of preparedness in educational institutions has become vital. Although there are different methods and approaches to responding to emergency situations such as an active shooter event, one approach managed to stand out from the crowd. We’re talking about ALICE, an active-shooter training that has garnered quite an amount of popularity in the United States.

Although it’s gained some controversy due to its proactive response, ALICE remains as one of the most popular active-shooter response methods out there. In this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits, misconceptions, and efficacy of the ALICE training program while also explaining its definition, what it stands for, and why it’s so important. 

What is ALICE?

ALICE is an active-shooter program designed to train students and school staff for a potential encounter with an armed intruder. It’s an approach that many self-defense trainers and law enforcement professionals advocate for. Much like Run-Hide-Fight, ALICE is an options-based approach to addressing emergency situations such as an active shooter event.

What this means is that students and school staff can decide what’s the most appropriate way to respond to the situation at hand rather than following a predetermined set of steps. In doing so, they are able to ensure the best possible outcome in a critical situation that involves an intruder with lethal intentions.

What Does ALICE Stand For?

Memorable and easy to understand, the ALICE acronym stands for five different steps you can take in emergency situations. The first letter – A – stands for Alert, and it refers to the action of becoming aware of the dangerous situation at hand and notifying others about it.

The next letter – L – stands for Lockdown, which involves steps taken towards barricading different entry points.

The I in the acronym stands for Inform, and it’s a step where you’re communicating as much detailed information as possible, either by using PA announcements, 911 calls, or video surveillance while using direct, precise, and plain language.

The letter C stands for Counter, and this option encourages a range of different actions taken to distract the armed intruder whether through movement, noise, distance, or some other form of distraction. Finally, the E in the ALICE acronym stands for Evacuate, and it refers to the action of removing oneself from harm’s way when it’s safe and possible to do so.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About the ALICE Training Program?

Now that we’ve defined the ALICE training program and what its acronym stands for, it’s time to address different misconceptions about it. For starters, many people know the answer to questions such as what is an ALICE drill and the like, but there’s a common misconception that this program involves five steps that need to be followed in one particular order.

Many people also assume that entering this program means learning different fighting techniques and that the students and staff are encouraged to confront the intruder with lethal intentions.

In reality, the ALICE program offers a list of options that can be taken in emergency situations depending on what feels the most appropriate. And rather than fighting back, this program encourages taking a different set of actions first and only using Counter as the last resort.

Why is ALICE Training Important?

Ensuring the safety of children is of vital importance for educational facilities. It’s a number one priority and also a big responsibility of the school staff who are morally and legally obliged to take care of these children.

Unfortunately, school shootings have become far too frequent, so much so that one look at the statistics is enough to realize just how important it is to foster a sense of preparedness in these institutions.

The ALICE training program aims to protect students by offering everyone from school police, administrators, teachers, and security officers the tools needed to address emergency situations properly and effectively.

What Are The Benefits of Using ALICE?

When an armed intruder enters the building, they are counting on the school staff being unprepared to respond to their actions. They view their act of violence as a mission they need to complete, and are counting on everyone involved in the event being confused and passive.

The ALICE training program aims to achieve the opposite – it aims to prepare the staff and students by arming them with confidence and tools needed to respond to the act of violence and do so with less anxiety and independence.

It also aids in mitigating risk by helping facilities and organizations not only meet but also exceed requirements regarding an active shooter response. Finally, the ALICE program is designed to save lives, thus increasing the survivability rate of these unfortunate events.

Fostering a Sense of Preparedness Through Effective Training and Drills

In an active shooter incident, seconds matter, and a speedy approach and response is crucial. By offering the tools, supplies, and confidence needed for an effective response, the ALICE program can help foster confidence and a sense of preparedness among school staff and students.

This, in turn, will go a long way in ensuring an optimal level of safety in learning environments that are educational facilities.

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Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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