Developed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, Enhanced Protection in Confrontation (EPiC) represents the next generation of school response training – reaching beyond tactics and addressing the underlying decision-making and human performance that inform the use of countermeasures.
Grasping the Active Shooter Threat
Although still rare, school shootings now rank first in a grim statistic: more casualties at schools have been caused by assailants than were caused by all natural disaster risks – tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fires, hurricanes – combined.
Given the increasing awareness of the threat, the public – and parents specifically – expects schools to have an effective response in the event of a violent confrontation: to have suitable knowledge, tools, and planning to meet this serious challenge. School administrators are left with a delicate balancing act of weighing the needs of a conducive learning environment against those of a secure environment.
When compared to other threats that are typically part of a school emergency plan, active shooter and other violent attacks have unusual challenges and risks:
- Assailants are calculating and adaptive – and have the capability of focusing the most pressure at the weakest defense point.
- Assailants refine their behavior and strategies as the lessons from previous attacks are revealed – setting up a continuous cycle of act and react between perpetrators and security planners.
- More so than with other kinds of threats, survivability is influenced by leader ability and individual actions and decisions.
- These attacks combine a loss of control, high stress, and sudden violence. As a result, the aftermath is typically more traumatic and psychologically harmful for the people who lived through it.
As a result, instituting a comprehensive plan that addresses confrontational threats in a meaningful way requires a multi-layered and adaptive approach.
The EPiC Program
The EPiC program introduces a framework reinforcing a cohesive, adaptive, and resilient collective response, an approach that goes beyond the tactical countermeasures that comprise other training. Based on established cultural constructs used by emergency response operations, EPiC provides the toolsets to enable effective decision-making and coordinated action in stressful and chaotic situations. Both flexible and adaptable, these tools and concepts also serve to strengthen existing school emergency response strategies.
EPiC topics include:
- Facilities hardening practices, intruder countermeasures, barriers, and movement tactics for reducing exposure and risk.
- Improving human performance under stress.
- Leader roles and responsibilities during the arc of the incident.
- Integrating emergency response services.
- Limiting loss of life with injured victims.
- Building a collective staff response culture that is both cohesive and adaptive.
Developed in 2013 by a multi-discipline team of specialists from the fields of tactical law enforcement, emergency response, education, and the military, EPiC reinforces and improves internal responses to active shooters or other violent intruders. Noting “significant inadequacies” and the “low level of discussion and focus” of currently available programs, MCS CEO Lark McDonald commissioned the development of EPiC to fill a widening gap between the mounting needs of educational institutions and the interventions currently available to deal with confrontational threats.
EPiC is the newest member of MCS’s established At the Point of the Spear family of programs for response leaders. These programs are used worldwide to prepare fire and law enforcement personnel for leading units in high-risk and high-consequence environments.
EPiC is available in two versions that are designed to be used together but also are available separately depending upon the organization’s needs:
EPiC for School Administrators (16 hours)
Designed for school administrators, key staff members, school security, and local law enforcement liaisons, this hands-on two-day program uses exercises and simulations to illustrate EPiC concepts, building a solid foundation for preparedness, priorities, and policies.
Administrators can use EPiC for School Administrators and the associated toolset to build and conduct their own internal staff training.
Training time: Consecutive two days, on weekdays or weekends, 8:00AM-5:00PM
EPiC for Frontline Educators (8 hours)
Designed to be the teacher’s counterpart to the School Administrator version, this one-day program is designed for teachers and other classroom professionals, focusing on the responsibilities and actions associated with classroom instructors, including protection planning in the classroom, defense procedures, and coordinated efforts.
Training time: One full day, weekday or weekend, 8:00 AM-5:00PM
Programs are conducted at your location of choice.
Number of Participants
Groups of 20 to 60 participants per session.
What is Included?
As part of the EPiC for Administrators program, participants have access to the EPiC Online Resource Library, which includes sample checklists, analysis and training tools, and useful articles that provide assistance in implementing new or modifying existing hazards protection protocols and procedures.
Programs can be contracted at the organizational level or hosted in an open enrollment format that allows other local organizations to participate. Contact MCS if you are interested in hosting a program for your organization or area. In some cases, limited tuition discounts are available for hosting organizations.
Who is MCS?
Mission-Centered Solutions, Inc., has been assisting the emergency services sector in leader and command development since 1996. An integral part of the Department of Homeland Security’s suite of training, MCS programs are used by emergency response organizations worldwide to improve resilience and adaptiveness in high-risk, high-consequence environments. The firm has gained its reputation for consistent, well-designed, high-quality training programs through its work with hundreds of emergency response organizations and tens of thousands response leaders. Current clients using MCS programs to develop their workforce and incident response capability include key response agencies of the U.S., Canadian, and Australian governments and large municipalities such as the City of New York.
EPiC is facilitated by experienced tactical law enforcement officers who have trained over 10,000 law enforcement officers and military personnel in active shooter response. These experienced instructors integrate practical tools with the larger context to help participants build a more comprehensive understanding of how they best respond to emerging risks.
Other Support Services Related to EPiC
MCS provides additional support services to organizations, on an as-needed basis:
- Sole Responder active shooter training for law enforcement and security officers
- Site security analysis
- Program and policy reviews
- Response exercises and evaluation services
For more information