(L-R): Jeff Tulish, DVAED president and Stephenson Equipment vice president; Officer David Phillips, of the Plymouth Township police department, Montgomery County, Pa.; Dan Fackler, sales and product support of Asphalt Care Equipment Inc., who was instrumental in organizing the meeting’s theme; and Mark Lacy, also of the Plymouth Township police department.
The Delaware Valley Associated Equipment Distributors (DVAED) held its Fall Meeting Oct. 17, 2019, at Norris Sales Company in Conshohocken, Pa.
The equipment dealer group regularly tackles important business issues, such as workforce development and regional construction forecasts during its meetings; however, the subject matter for the Fall meeting, though unique, was equally, and unfortunately, important for every business today — how to create the best possible workplace active shooter safety plan.
Officer David Phillips, patrol division, and Officer Mark Lacy, detective/community police unit, both of the Plymouth Township police department, Montgomery County, Pa., led DVAED members through the warning signs of potential shooters, when to report suspicions to the police and strategies to protect workers when an active shooting situation arises.
To provide guidance to members on how to spot a potential mass shooting suspect, both officers began their presentation by identifying the five stages on active shooter: fantasy stage (coming up with the idea to do it), planning stage (determining the logistics to accomplish the objective), preparation stage (stockpiling weaponry and other gear to commit the crime), approach stage (making final preparations and even leaking information to others about the plan), and the implementation stage (when the act is being perpetrated).
The officers both cited statistics and most salient among them was that an average mass shooting incident lasts eight to 12 minutes. Because of this and how rapidly law enforcement responds to these incidents, alerting authorities as soon as possible while simultaneously seeking a hiding place, some implement to potentially render a suspect immobilized, such as a chair, and barricading yourself and others from the suspect all serve the goal of trying to survive in that span of time. When calling the authorities, the officers stressed, it is best not to spend much of any time actually speaking with a 911 operator; rather, they said, call and leave the line open so that the operator, who is trained to assess emergency calls, will determine that there is a threat and to dispatch law enforcement immediately.
Preparation work ahead of time, of course, can mitigate the casualties if an active shooter situation unfolds: that means knowing where all exits and if any exit is unfeasible to reach, where the most effective safe places are in the building.
Keeping along the theme of the night's meeting, an open forum followed the officers' presentation during which members shared experiences and strategies dealing with other types of business-related crime, including credit card fraud, rental equipment delinquency and payment issues and more.
Dan Fackler, sales and product support of Asphalt Care Equipment Inc., a DVAED member, organized the meeting by inviting Officers Phillips and Lacy to speak.
At the meeting's conclusion, DVAED president and Stephenson Equipment vice president, Jeff Tulish announced that the group's annual holiday party will take place Dec. 5 at the Blue Bell Inn in Blue Bell, Pa. CEG