The National Fire Protection Association is fast-tracking development of a new standard for responding to active shooter incidents and other hostile events.

Prompted by a dramatic increase in these occurrences in recent months, NFPA is creating NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events as a provisional standard, which means it will be available for use as early as this April.

Headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, NFPA works to eliminate death, injury, and property and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. With that goal in mind, the organization has created more than 300 codes and standards designed to minimize the risk and effects of fire by establishing criteria for building, processing, design, service, and installation around the world.

The development of this new standard marks only the second time in NFPA’s 121-year history that provisional standard status has been authorized by the NFPA Standards Council.

Provisional standards are developed when there is a serious life safety concern that warrants an abbreviated standards development process. The typical process is condensed so that a standard can be issued more quickly in the interest of the public, and in this case, first-responder safety.

"This is great news," says Mike Miele, president of Safety, Security, Emergency Preparedness, and Response LLC in Prospect.

"There is clearly no single solution to a very complex problem that continues to have devastating results.

Learning about and preparing for the type of threats each of us may be exposed to is no longer optional.
"Someone once said our individual and collective ability to anticipate and respond to these threats is directly proportional to our level of preparedness. While we all have been afforded the tremendous benefit to live in a free and democratic society, learning about and preparing for the type of threats each of us may be exposed to is no longer optional.

"I look forward to NFPA 3000 as a means to help all of us become better prepared and part of the national debate as we continue to look for solutions."

Deadly 17 Months

In a statement released in mid-February, NFPA noted that although the new standard will benefit authorities around the world, mass killings are largely a United States phenomenon.

With just 5% of the world's population, the U.S. holds the unfortunate title to 31% of all public mass shootings.

Over the course of nearly 17 months from June of 2016 until early Nov. 2017, three domestic perpetrators—responsible for the shootings in Orlando, Las Vegas, and Sutherland, Texas—inflicted nearly half the casualties (134 dead and 519 wounded) that the nation witnessed in the 13 years from 2000 through 2013.

“Hostile events are happening with greater frequency and ferocity today,” says NFPA President Jim Pauley. “It’s critical that we take steps to protect people from this increasing threat.

“By employing the unified response outlined in NFPA 3000, first responders, facility managers, hospital officials, and community members can minimize risk before, during, and after these devastating incidents.”

What the Standard Does

NFPA 3000 establishes preparedness, response, and recovery benchmarks with a focus on integrated protocol and civilian and responder safety.

When issued, the standard will provide guidance for organizing, managing, and sustaining an active preparedness and response program so that the risk, effect, and impact of hostile events can be reduced.

Efforts to establish NFPA 3000 began in October 2016, shortly after the Pulse Nightclub incident in Orlando.

I am hopeful we are at or reaching the tipping point regarding workplace violence and active shooter events preparedness and response strategies.
A new NFPA Technical Committee comprising representatives from the Department of Homeland Security; Department of Justice; FBI; NSA; national police, fire and EMS organizations; hospitals; private security; and universities, was quickly formed.

Initial public comments on the issue were gathered in just four months. The NFPA Standards Council then unanimously approved the new standards project, and development of NFPA 3000 began in June.

"I am hopeful we are at or reaching the tipping point regarding workplace violence and active shooter events preparedness and response strategies," says Miele.

"However we must continue to invest in technological advances to help with predictive capability and advance identification and prevention of these events."