Great Emergency Plans Are a Smart Thing Training is Everything

June 10, 2024

When I enlisted in the U.S. Army, I wasn’t just issued a uniform and weapon and then deployed. I was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for eight weeks of basic training. 

In addition to weaponry training, my drill sergeants taught me the absolute need for command, control, communications and movement on the battlefield—just like your people should be trained to respond to an emergency in your workplace.

Since the time of Alexander the Great, military leaders have understood the universal law that saves lives: People respond the way they were trained, and untrained people freeze.

When soldiers, police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, airline pilots or your employees must make rapid decisions in emergency conditions, their training kicks in.

First, of course, you need to have a plan for responding to all foreseeable emergencies at your workplace. 

Your Emergency Action Plan should, at minimum, address:

  • Active shooter
  • Lots of other Workplace Violence
  • Fire
  • Medical emergency
  • Toxic spill
  • Tornado or severe weather
  • Earthquake or other natural disaster

Yet your plan will be useless without training your people. If you don’t get the words off the page and into your employees’ heads, you’ve failed them operationally and legally. 

Emergency Insight: Your untrained people won’t rise to the occasion; they will sink to their level of training. 

Training is not only smart but also required by federal law.
National research reports that 85% of your employees believe safety at your workplace is their most critical issue—by far, more important than raises, salary and benefits.

Over the last 23 years, I’ve trained over 47,500 employees like yours. Our anonymous and confidential surveys show that 98.5% said they felt confident they could respond successfully after being trained.

Frequent employee comments include, “This is fantastic that management did this for us,” “Can we do this more than once a year?” and “I can use this in my personal life.”

You can bet, dear readers, that this level of success is not because of my boyish charm. Instead, training is all about employees and their most critical issues. Training takes the scary out of decision-making. Training makes employees confident they can successfully act during any emergency. Training empowers all to know how to respond when an emergency strikes.

I’m so confident about employee training that I make this promise to our clients:

Give me your employees for three hours, and I’ll give you back employees who can respond to any emergency. 

And I have research to prove it.


About the Author

Bo Mitchell | President of 911 Consulting

Bo Mitchell is the President of 911 Consulting. He holds the following designated certifications: CEM, CPP, CHS-V, CBCP, CSI-ML, HSEEP, CSSAS, CNTA, IAC, MOAB, CHSP, CHEP, CSHM, CESCO, CHCM, CFC, CSSM, CSC, CAS, TFCT3, CERT, CHSEMR, CMC

Bo was a Police Commissioner of Wilton, CT for 16 years. He retired to found 911 Consulting, which creates emergency, disaster recovery, business continuity, crisis communications and pandemic plans, and training and exercises for organizations like GE HQ, Hyatt HQ, H&R Block HQ, MasterCard HQ, four colleges and universities, and 29 secondary schools. He serves clients headquartered from Boston to Los Angeles working in their facilities from London to San Francisco. Bo also serves as an expert in landmark court cases nationally.