What is Tactical Time & Why is it Important in Active Shooter Emergencies?

In previous blogs, we have shared the importance of reducing notification time and response time to save lives in active shooter emergencies. But there’s a third time that is equally critical – it’s called tactical time. What is it, why is it important, and what can we do to speed it up as much as possible when faced with an active shooter?

Tactical Time in an Active Shooter Emergency

We’ve all been in an emergency at one time or another when we’ve needed help. Think back … do you remember how long it took to realize you were in danger or in need of assistance? Did you panic and do nothing for a minute or two?
  • Did you have to search for your phone?
  • Did you have to think about who to call – 911 or another trusted person?
  • Did you fumble while you were dialing?
Identifying that you’re in a true emergency situation, rationalizing what you need to do next, then actually doing it is “tactical time.” Studies by Ed Sanow, Director of Training, International Disaster Emergency Service, show this delayed notification can last 5–7 minutes. Now imagine an active shooter is in your workplace, school, church, or hospital. By the time your brain can sort through the trauma and get to a phone to call 911, the shooter will have already killed and may even be finished killing (most shootings are over in less than six minutes). That begs the question – how can tactical time be reduced if it’s a physiological process that happens without us realizing it? We can improve active shooter tactical time by providing easy-to-use tools that improve our “situational awareness.” This is when all five senses come together to create an understanding of what is happening in the moment to help us make informed decisions as quickly as possible.

How Situational Awareness Influences Tactical Time

In an active shooter emergency or any type of emergency that threatens our well-being, our senses do not have any easy time understanding the meaning of what is happening. According to Dr. Rich Gasaway in an article for Situational Awareness Matters, “When there are massive amounts of input to any one sense, our brains can lock-on to that sense and not pay attention to any others and turn off the processing of other sensory inputs.” For example, if you see the shooter, you may not hear the gunshots or any emergency signals. Your visual sense is controlling your understanding. It is also common to experience a loss of hearing and sight of all things EXCEPT the color red. This is why most emergency signs, tools, lights, levers, and fire trucks, are red. In summary, when one is in an active shooter emergency, there will be conflict and confusion and situational awareness and reaction time will erode. All five senses may be involved, yet the situation may still not be understood by the brain, which influences the ability to quickly get help and get to safety. This is tactical time.

Guard911® Improves Active Shooter Tactical Time & Reduces Notification Time

Guard911®, SchoolGuard®, and CampusGuard911™ active shooter mobile panic button apps were engineered by law enforcement officers and technology experts with a psychological approach to active shooter emergencies. Guard911 mobile safety apps were designed to overcome situational awareness confusion, improve tactical time, and reduce law enforcement notification time with an early warning system for armed intruder tragedies. Guard911 active shooter panic button technology is simple and powerful.
  1. Approved staff download the chosen Guard911 app to their smartphones.
  2. In the event of violence, an armed intruder, or active shooter, users press the RED panic button icon on the screen, which is front-and-center.
  3. An alert is immediately sent to the Hero911® network of participating federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, on and off duty, who are near the property.
  4. The app also simultaneously speed-dials 911 and connects the user to emergency services.
  5. All other staff with the app are immediately alerted and a map of the initial alert location is displayed on their smartphones. This allows staff to react accordingly.
  6. Alerts all other Guard911 protected properties within 5 miles for their situational awareness, as 20% of active shooters go mobile.
Guard911 mobile safety alert apps can be the difference between life and death – When Seconds Save Lives®.
When the Guard911 red icon is touched, any officer with the federally approved Hero911 app who is in the vicinity of a protected property is instantly notified and can usually be there faster than those dispatched conventionally. This feature is exclusive to Guard911 apps.

When Notification & Response Times are Reduced, Lives Are Saved

Overall notification time is made up of tactical time (5–7 minutes) and the time it takes a 911 call to be processed and first responders dispatched – on average, another 4–11 minutes (even more for rural communities). When added together, notification time can take well over 10 minutes. Then there’s response time, which is how long it takes for dispatched police officers and first responders to arrive at the scene after being notified. According to the FBI, the average response time has improved to 3-4 minutes for active shooter emergencies, but when added to total notification time, it can be 10–20 minutes for help to arrive, depending on their suburban or rural locations. Two-thirds of active shooter massacres are over by the time law enforcement arrives.
The Tucson, AZ, Gabriel Giffords’ shooting left six people dead and 13 wounded in 15 seconds. Police response time was four minutes after notification. – Ron Borsch, PACT Consultant Group Manager Bedford Ohio          

Why Your Business or Organization Needs a Mobile Safety Alert App

The Guard911®SchoolGuard®, and CampusGuard911™ apps have a proven history of reducing notification and response times in active shooter incidents and other emergencies. Guard911 apps are also the ONLY active shooter mobile safety alert apps in the country with the Hero911® network of over 60,000 federal, state, and local officers ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Lt. Col. Grossman asks the question, “Are we accepting responsibility for ourselves and preparing to keep our school children, co-workers, customers, and loved ones safe from people intent on violence? Preparation and proactiveness to stop active killers now, more than ever, is essential.” Contact Guard911’s helpful team today for a no-obligation conversation about how you can protect your property and its occupants with one of our mobile safety apps. 618-973-9174info@guard911.com. If you are a law enforcement officer, be sure to download the FREE, federally-approved Hero911 mobile app today.
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