Definition of a Critical Incident and Emergency Management

A critical incident is an event that can develop from a normal situation becoming more tasking then the initial responders have the capabilities to deal with immediately. There are times that incident can turn to the critical stage after balancing between, standard emergency and response, to active engagement to preserve the priorities of life. Other examples of critical incidents include, natural, man-made, civil disorder, and any and all incidents that put lives in jeopardy with a higher than normal probability of serious bodily injury or loss of life. In these types of situations, extraordinary measures, which require extraordinary actions due to exigent circumstances, dictate the level of force to mitigate the threat.

An active-shooter is the most common and discussed incident relative to emergency management at present within the conversations and planning phases of police and EMS operations. An active shooter is “loosely” defined as a person with a firearm attempting to inflict as many casualties as possible in a single event. The attack phase of an active-shooter incident can be coordinated to archive multiple events simultaneously or a destructive attempt to kill or maim as many victims as possible. From a responder phase, the goal of resolving the critical incident is swift and deliberate actions up to and including the removal of the threat by most means possible. The Columbine High School shooting is more than likely the most notable event to reference. The police were not prepared for the event and there was little if any protocol in place to have the “ACTUAL” first responders tries to stop the threat without the assistance of a tactical unit. Now patrol officers are trained to arrive in teams and do all that is possible to eliminate the threat immediately once three of four officers arrive on scene, they are trained in response techniques. The Virginia Tech shooting is an example of “better” (not great) pre-planning that Columbine as although there was a massive loss of life, the incident was handled to the best of the officers abilities and resources at the time.

These are the three elements of an active shooter:

1. An Incident that threatens to take lives or actually takes lives
2. Causes substantial risk to the property or well being of a portion or all of a community
3. Requires the commitment of resources beyond those normally available

Thanks for reading,

Christopher Grollnek

By Chris Grollnek

Active Shooter Prevention Trainer and Public Speaker PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: Chris Grollnek is a dynamic Public Speaker and forward-thinking Director of the Active Shooter Prevention Project, LLC. ( An Interview and Investigation specialist with a record of success at the Executive and National level for Leadership and Management efficiencies regarding Policy and the Curriculum Development for Terrorism related Prevention. Chris recently wrote and appeared in the Department of Justice Active Shooter prevention Training Video (2022-2023). Complete understanding of government and corporate contracting and investigative programs to enhance corporate standards of policy implementation. An architect of efficiencies with a results-oriented pattern of success in investigative techniques, security, safety, sales leadership, and interviewing while leading teams and establishing best practices. A well-versed public speaker, freelance television contributor, and radio news commentator. Experience in testifying before serval governmental bodies, including The United States Congressional bodies of the House and Senate committees, regarding Terrorism Prevention, Response, and Training Initiatives. #activeshooterexpert #NEVERHERE

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