Tuesday, October 28, 2014

There is Strength in Numbers. Don't Forget Your Most Important Assets

There is Strength In Numbers Don’t Forget Your Most Important Assets In any business or educational institution, what is your most important asset? Your employees, students, patients, clients! People! And we protect our most important assets, right? We develop policy designed to keep them safe while they are in our charge; and depending on the potential danger, we practice, conduct classroom training, and drill safety into their minds. From the moment we step foot into kindergarten, and even prior to that, we are taught what to do in the incident of a fire. Training for fire safety continues throughout our lives as a part of every school and business’s overall safety plan. And every business and school, for the most part, has Emergency Preparedness Plans and associated policies. This is great! We need to have policy and procedure for these types of incidents. Here’s where the problems come in: Without the appropriate time committed to training for each and every potential specific threat that may surface within our organization, effectiveness in our plans and policies will lack greatly. We have a responsibility to our schools/companies and our employees/students to do everything possible to train them to stay safe! It’s just impossible to cover every potential threat to a point of proficiency. What we can do, however, is train them in some very basic principles that can provide significant advantage regardless of the potential danger! We can instill a mindset of leadership, a process for making exceptional decisions during sudden and traumatic incidents, an ability to see opportunity, educate them on the process of team forming, empower them to take control of unplanned critical incidents and take control away from adversaries using tactics that only call for violence as an absolute last resort. We can teach them to out-think their adversary! Winning the battle of the mind is what this is all about! When attempting to analyze a competition and determine a potential winner, what are some of the things we consider? What types of things provide advantage to one person/team over another? Size, strength, numbers, weapons, skill, etc. In a one-on-one match-up, skill will almost always determine a victor. However, other things can completely eliminate this advantage of “skill”. Example : A 10 year old black-belt in martial arts will likely not overpower and defeat a grown adult male with absolutely no self defense training. Why? Size and strength will assuredly overpower this skill. Similarly, 5 untrained adult males would likely prevail over the worlds single most experienced and talented street fighter. Now consider placing a high capacity semi-automatic firearm in the hand of a small child, experienced with the weapon, against the top 5 most experienced and talented adult fighters. In this case, the child with the weapon may prevail. If, however, these adult males, even with no fighting experience, have the appropriate skills in making fast and effective decisions, they can prevail over this child, or even an adult, with a firearm. They must, however, be immediately looking for the weakness in their opponent and looking for an opportunity to do something, in order to prevail. But there is strength in “numbers” (students, employees, clients, staff, etc)! Especially if and when the “numbers” are trained! What am I trying to say? In an incident of workplace or school violence (an active shooter incident as an example), whether we have extensive training, or not, numbers is our greatest advantage. Remember, the students/employees will be everywhere! Our adversary cannot account for the whereabouts of anyone other than those within his/her direct line of sight. This means that everyone outside of his/her sight is available to do something. In this type of an incident, we need everyone to be capable of playing a leadership role even if only in a formed small “cell” put together rapidly to “do something” designed to play a role in an overall victory! And “doing something” can be many things including keeping themselves and others safe, evacuating or locking down, assisting in evacuating or locking down, stopping the threat or assisting in stopping the threat! The Bottom Line: Too many businesses and schools stop their critical incident training short of their “numbers”. Employees and students will likely always far outnumber staff and administration. Not training your “numbers” is the equivalent of taking them out of the fight and creating a more dangerous situation for themselves and others. And taking your “numbers” out of the productivity potential of the incident is not only giving away your greatest advantage back to your opponent, its not making use of a tremendous potential resource. Everyone within your charge should be trained to take on a leadership role if they are capable, to do something productive (whether it be protecting themselves or others) during such an incident, or in a last resort situation, stop the threat. This should be a part of your overall safety plan. Remember, in most shooter situations, you will be on your own! We hope to see you at our Complete School/Business Safety Training Course on November 21, 2014 at The Executive Court in located at the Executive Court Inn in Manchester NH. To register please visit www.blueUcorporate.com

Friday, October 10, 2014

Blue-U Defense is Offering a Unique, Practical and Complete, Single Day Business Safety Course - Friday November 21, 2014 Manchester NH

Blue-U Defense is holding the most complete, single day, business security and Drug Recognition for Employers training available. This is a complete offering of our most popular and requested courses including Understanding Active Shooter/Workplace Violence, Practical Personal Defense and Drug Recognition for Employers all in a one day, single session event at The Executive Court Inn, 13500 S Willow St, Manchester NH from 8am-4pm on Friday November 21, 2014. Our courses are in extremely high demand as they are highly unique, extremely effective and utilize very practical tactics. Our Instructors are full time NH Law Enforcement Professionals to include SWAT Team Leadership positions. The likelihood of violence within your business, school or healthcare facility rises every week. Did you know that OSHA, through their General Duty Clause, requires you to keep your employees safe from workplace violence and active shooter situations? What would you and your employees do if such a sudden and traumatic incident took place within your business? See why our company has quickly become a leader in business safety training! This is must attend training! Please visit for complete details of this training and to register.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Making Good Decisions Things To Consider as an Incident Commander When an incident of sudden potential danger arises, the Incident Commander will be expected too make fast, effective and successful decisions with an ultimate purpose of keeping those in their charge safe. The Incident Commander will be looked upon as “the expert”, “the one with the training and qualifications” and therefore expected to know exactly what to do. The best Incident Commanders will work in advance to train everyone in their charge to not only protect themselves, but to provide them with reliable and appropriate information. The best Incident Commanders will train everyone in their charge to be as proficient in making their own decisions as they are. The problem with proficiency in Incident Command is that every single situation that arises is unique and dynamic. This makes it virtually impossible to prepare for any one specific situation. It is, therefore, necessary to become proficient in managing fear, remaining calm and establishing some general goals that must be accomplished, regardless of the details of the incident that you are managing. When an incident of sudden potential danger emerges inside of your school, you must immediately consider what you will need to know to make fast and effective decisions. Some of these things are: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How The success of decisions will only be as good as the information considered in making the decisions. So, as far as advance planning, who is going to provide you with this information? Most likely it could be one of many people. This means that everyone must be trained, in advance. How might you train one to provide good information? In general, it’s extremely difficult. In order for an incident to be successfully resolved it must include far more than just the Incident Commander directing others. So if an Incident Commander must be proficient in managing fear, controlling their heart rates, and making good, fast and effective decisions, then everyone within an organization must be proficient in the these same areas. Some things to consider when someone reports a problem? Your immediate goal is to obtain as much information as possible so that you can make good decisions. Consider what first responders will need to know to quickly address the threat Consider the level of the threat. Is it really a threat or only a potential threat? You can elevate a potential threat to an actual threat if you do not handle it properly. What do you need to do to isolate the threat? Should you even attempt to isolate the threat? Should you attempt to confront the suspect on your own? What do you need to do to keep as many safe as possible? Partial lockdown? Partial evacuation? You need get as many people to safety as possible.  The Importance of Team The decisions above, and many more, are types critical decisions that must be made and executed in seconds, or less! While you will be expected and required to make the ultimate decisions, you cannot expect to receive the details required to make these decisions without relying on others, your team, to provide them. What is a team in this case? Everyone within your organization! This includes administrative, supervisory, employees and students! Think about this: Your administrative staff to student/employee ratio is, relatively speaking in instances where the more overall people that you have the better, very low. In an active shooter situation it should be hundreds vs. one, in most cases (there have been instances where more than one shooter was present). In instances of violence you need your entire team trained to react to protect themselves, stop or contain the threat and provide you with information. If you take the majority of your potential overall team, your students, out of the team equation, you have suddenly cut your advantage way down. Consider this when you question whether or not students should be required to assist and/or potentially proactively offensive: They are there regardless! You can either train them to do something productive for themselves or the good of the overall team, or you can ask them to potentially be “lame-ducks”. One way or the other, they are there! You are doing them a tremendous disservice by not properly training them as a critical and core function of the team. Training and Planning So the best thing that you can do as a likely Incident Commander is plan and train. Just like an Commander on a battlefield, coach of a sports team, CEO of a company, you must prepare all of your team members in advance in their respective areas of responsibility, train, and practice. You must regularly think about various incidents and exactly how you might respond to them. You are not going to be an effective Incident Commander if the first time you have to make real decisions is the first time that you think about the decisions that you might have to make. Training, in order to be effective, must include a good combination of both classroom and practical (Live Drills and Table Top Exercises). Again, consider a football or any sports team – you practice regularly, study, receive lecture, get into the appropriate physical condition for the game. Why? So that you are best prepared to win! Imagine how bad a team would perform if they never practiced! Imagine how much worse they would be if they never did anything except talk periodically about playing. Just gather a bunch of people together and go play a game against another team! It would be absurd. You cannot expect to perform any differently than how you train. If you don’t train, discuss, mentally prepare, and constantly better yourself, you will lose! Training in Incident Command is a must! Please make arrangements to get it done. Blue-U Incident Command Training Blue-U Defense will begin offering Incident Command training as a part of our new Blue-U Active Shooter Systems program. We will also offer it as a stand-alone course. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lockdown! Is it the Best Choice for Schools and Businesses?

If you have charge over others, whether it be a teacher at school, supervisor of a business, healthcare professional with patients, etc, what is your responsibility when a potentially dangerous situation is reported or known to you? This is a question that, all too often, creates for confusion. Unfortunately, it should! I think that, on one hand, the responsibilities are either viewed as, or written to be, overly complicated yet, on the other hand, far too general in nature. Why do I say this? Let's use the following, very simple, scenario as an example: A student/employees sees another student/employee inside of their school/business with a firearm inside of a bag and reports it to you. What exactly does your policy call for you to do? If you are not certain about what your policy says or you do not have a policy, then what makes the most sense? Most school policies require that you go immediately into lockdown. Lets look at a very standard Lockdown Procedure: 1) Students and staff report to the nearest room 2) Close and lock all doors and windows 3) Cover all hallway doors and windows if possible/necessary 4) Move students so they cannot be seen and to the best area to protect them 5) Turn off lights 6) Remain silent 7) If fire alarm is activated DO NOT evacuate 8) Wait for further instructions 9) Be prepared to institute other actions as necessary In a recent incident at a Manchester NH High School, a non-student was seen inside of the school carrying a bag with a firearm and knife inside of it. It was reported that a student informed a teacher and a lockdown was ordered. Reports following the incident stated that the Principal and Staff followed protocol and executed their plan perfectly. Since this time Ive had requests from schools to confirm exactly what plan they should have in place for this type of an incident. So lets think through an incident like this and attempt to determine whether "Lockdown" is an appropriate, automatic protocol. First of all, if you see a potential danger, or one is reported to you, what is your immediate goal? I would hope that you would say to keep yourself and others safe! So you must take an appropriate and immediate action to start the process of accomplishing this goal. The problem in this initial response is that your first step may be quite different depending upon your "responsibility". If you are a student, you have no responsibility to protect others and, therefore, your initial step may be to get quickly away and to safety; maybe even evacuate the building before reporting the problem. If, on the other hand, you are a faculty member, your initial step may be more towards a goals of protecting others as much as protecting yourself. So, even at this very initial stage, there are dynamics in effect that, depending upon what your goals and responsibilities are and what your choices are as a result of those goals and responsibilities, can impact the overall outcome of the situation. Ultimately, one of your top priorities is going to be to call 911 and get help started. This is a very normal reaction in those who find themselves in danger. If you want fast and effective help, however, law enforcement is going to require detailed information. Where is the person now? What is the physical description of the person? What is the person doing? What did the person say? Will you have all of this information? Maybe, however this will only be the case depending upon the choices that were made upon initial contact with the person. If someone sees another with a firearm or other dangerous weapon and has concern for the safety of others, is it best to walk away to report it and leave the suspect to potentially harm others? Think about this: If the suspect is seen on the far east side of the building, does it makes sense to have those on the far west side of the building lock down, as opposed to evacuate? Should this subject begin to harm people, you have now entombed those who potentially could've gotten to safety were it not for an automatic lockdown response. The problem is, when you walk away from a threat, you have no idea where they go and who they potentially place in danger. You have no idea what they are doing. You will not have the most important information needed by law enforcement as they respond to resolve the situation. Again, as each step progresses, an automatic response becomes less and less practical and less and less safe! In order for law enforcement to resolve a dangerous situation quickly, we must know details of who, what, where and when. As an example, many time we respond to facilities for a panic alarm investigation. The problem is, we have no idea why the panic alarm has been activated. Is it a medical emergency? Armed robbery? Error in activation? So we arrive with absolutely no idea why we are responding. Unfortunately, this adds a tremendous amount of time to ultimate resolution. Lockdown is a wonderful tool! However, its only a tool and this doesn't mean that it is the best tool for every circumstance! Schools and businesses in their entirety, to include staff, students, employees, etc, must be trained to understand sudden and traumatic situations and how to quickly formulate an effective "team" plan that will bring an incident to conclusion quickly and safely. Every staff member, employee, student, etc must understand that a policy exists, what its purpose is for them specifically as well as overall, and be training in how to react to an incident of violence or danger in the school/workplace. In the example above, training might bring the quick ability for the student to quickly recruit another to covertly watch the potential threat while they go and report it. A plan of this type established in advance would mean very quick and effective reaction. It may mean confronting the person while they are free of danger as the weapons are inside of a bag. There are so many potential options available if everyone is appropriately trained, in advance. If lockdown is only one potentially usable and highly valuable tool, training brings the additional tools. We all have a toolbox and training fills them with options. And options are the bottom line: In a sudden and traumatic incident of violence, those involved need to be empowered to make their own decisions about what they are going to do. These decisions should be based on the circumstances that they face at the specific time that they face them. Its difficult to provide protocol that will work every time. Its dangerous to so as a result. The goal should be to train your most important assets, your people (students, staff, employees, teachers, etc) to react to many different kinds of incidents.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Stand Your Ground Seminar Scheduled for Oct 4th at Peterborough Sportsman's Club

We are pleased to announce that we will be conducting a Stand Your Ground/Making Good Use of Force Decisions Seminar at the Peterborough Sportsman's Club located on Old Peterborough Rd in Dublin NH. This course is scheduled for Saturday October 4, 2014 from 9am-1pm. We are very pleased to be able to hold this seminar at this club! If you have not attended this course it is imperative that you do if you are a firearm owner and are prepared to use them in a self defense situation. If you think you understand Stand Your Ground, think again! This course also combines some of our material from our Practical Personal Defense Seminar. When you take this course you will leave with a completely new way of thinking about personal defense and have some extremely practical defensive tactics that can be utilized immediately. Please register at the Seminar Registration Tab above (www.blue-u.com). The cost is $50/Person. If you do not use Paypal and wish to attend please send me an email at tchoatejr@blueucorporate.com and provide the names of anyone who will be attending. Please keep in mind that there is a maximum attendance so if you do not register in advance via Paypal honoring your verbal commitment is critical. If you tell me that you are going to be there, please be there so that all open seats can be filled. We are looking forward to this event and hope that you will join us.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pay for 1 / Bring 1 Free Offer for June 20th Practical Personal Defense Course

Blue-U Defense Offers Promotional for June 20 Practical Personal Defense Seminar at Cheshire County Fish and Game Club

As a value-added promotional to previous and new attendees of our courses, we are offering a
Pay for 1/Bring 1 Free package to the Practical Personal Defense Seminar that is scheduled for Cheshire County Fish and Game Club on June 20, 2014 from 6:00pm-9/10:00pm. If you are interested in attending this course you can bring a friend, spouse, child, etc for the price of a single attendee $50.00.

If you would like to register please email your name(s) and email address to tchoatejr@blueucorporate.com. You can either pay at the door or prepay via Paypal at  the seminar registration tab above.

This course is packed full of numerous, highly effective and practical, ways to avoid conflict and protect yourself should the need arise. For those who have attended our Stand Your Ground or Active Shooter/Workplace Violence courses, you have received a small portion of some of the methods and theories that this course offers. The methods and theories that we teach are extremely unique and highly effective. It is an ideal course for women and children over the age of 12 years old and includes topics that will keep you and your family safe while at work, home or anywhere that you might be.

We look forward to your participation. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blue-U Corporate Defense is Offering a Free Active Shooter/Workplace Violence/Practical Personal Defense Workshop for Local Executives, School Administrators and Director Level Security Personnel

Blue-U Corporate Defense will be conducting a free Active Shooter/Workplace Violence Workshop on Tuesday July 15, 2014 from 1000am-1130am at Samson Manufacturing located at 4 Forge St in Keene NH. The workshop is being offered to corporate executives, school administrators, director-level security professionals, and others responsible for decision-making in the areas of safety in the workplace.

You can't go any more than a couple of days without hearing of yet another incident of school or workplace violence or a mass shooting. Is your business and are your most valuable assets, your people, ready for such an event? Further, do you have your "people" ready to avoid and react appropriately to violence while away from work? If "people" are your most valuable assets, protecting them while away from work is just as important as protecting them while at work, right?

We have designed this greatly abbreviated version of our complete Active Shooter/Workplace Violence/Practical Personal Protection training course to give those responsible for security within the workplace a very usable overview of the extremely unique, practical and highly effective methods that we teach.

Many businesses just don't realize that training and planning in the areas of active shooter and/or workplace violence are an OSHA requirement under the General Duty Clause. Further, Assault/Violence/Homicide are the number two cause of death in the workplace amongst men and the number one cause of death amongst females. We train for fire from the time that we first enter kindergarten and continue this training through our working years when death or injury in the workplace from fire is extremely rare. Conversely, few business train and plan for an incident of active shooter or workplace violence even when the likelihood of such an incident is far greater than that of fire.

While this workshop will present a greatly abbreviated version of only one of many of our training courses that we offer, it is eye opening and will provide you with highly valuable and usable tools that can be put into practice immediately. It will also provide for a "mindset of safety" that will positively impact your lives away from work as well as while at work.

We will be offering this workshop in Manchester within the next couple of months as well.

To register for this course, please email your name, company, title, and phone number to tchoatejr@blueucorporate.com.