Is Your Agency Prepared for a Mass Shooting? 10 Steps to an Effective Active Shooter Response with Mission Manager Incident Management Software

Although mass shootings are rare occurrences for individual communities, they are sadly a disturbing trend across America. As a result, there has been an increased demand for incident management software tools like Mission Manager, which can help agencies prepare for and respond to these tragic events.

Based on the principles of Preparation, Readiness and Execution, cloud-based Mission Manager lays the foundation for the well-coordinated response needed to save lives. Designed to be used as a daily tool, Mission Manager provides a simple solution to ensure all team member and equipment data is kept current. This speeds response times, because administrators can quickly determine who is qualified to deploy.

In the field, the web-based software acts as an online Incident Command center, providing a common operational picture on multiple devices in disparate locations. This helps ensure a Unified Command.

It begins with preparation – the daily task of managing your team and assets. Mission Manager ensures team readiness by automating the management of documents, task delegation, timekeeping and scheduling.   Execution of the mission is achieved through the software’s 3-way callout system, drag-and-drop teambuilding function, robust mapping capabilities and real-time communications.

Every event is captured and logged in Mission Manager’s highly secure database – providing a second-by-second account of the incident – making the reporting process easy. Rather than re-tracing the chain of the events with pen-and-paper, administrators can quickly produce reports with a click of a button.

Mission Manager is an unprecedented one-stop solution for active shooter preparation and response. It also ensures your reports are timely and accurate. Here’s how:

Personnel data is kept current in a team member roster so administrators know who is ready and qualified to respond. Personnel data, including contact information, training, certifications and personal gear, may be managed by members themselves. 
Equipment and asset records are kept up-to-date, including maintenance records, photos and descriptions of the equipment. This enables administrators to quickly identify which assets/vehicles are available for the mission.

Floor plans and evacuation plans for potential targets, including school campuses, government buildings and airports, are stored in the document library. Checklists of Incident objectives are created in advance and uploaded into Mission Manager when the need arises.

Active shooter training drills can be organized using calendars with automated RSVPs. Individual training classes and certifications are documented / logged in the personnel roster for future reference if needed in a potential courtroom hearing. It also expedites callouts of qualified personnel.

Immediate/rapid personnel notification is achieved using SMS text, voice and email (or all three simultaneously).


ICS positions are identified and filled by responding staff.  Positions are also noted in Mission Manager’s team member functions. The Command Post location is established and indicated on Mission Manager’s maps. All responding agencies as well as local dignitaries and the media may be given staging locations.

With automated check in/out features, newly arrived outside resources are rapidly logged in. They are now part of the pool of personnel available for this event, and are easily tracked using Mission Manager’s member function. Their special skills and operational capabilities are also noted and tracked. 
Teams are created with a drag-and-drop function. As teams deploy, they can be tracked on the map that has been created for the mission.  Any new members logged into the mission may be retained as part of your permanent database for future deployments.

Real-time maps of pertinent locations/information may be displayed on a large screen TV inside or outside the mobile command vehicle.  The maps can be viewed by staff, Command staff, government officials – and sometimes the media and families – as the commander deems appropriate. Officials and other responding agencies can also view the mission events in real time on their own devices, irrespective of their physical location.

Pertinent messages are sent out to team members using Mission Manager’s messaging function, including changes in the operation, locations of team members and suspect(s), new areas to respond to, etc.   All incoming and outgoing messages are captured in the communications log for post-mission reports. All messaging is secure and cannot be picked up by radio/police scanners.

Crime scene elements, including photos and clues, are noted and tracked in Mission Manager as the investigative portions of the incident take shape.  Victim and witness information are also tracked.

 Complete, accurate details of the operation are quickly retrieved and exported as NIMS / ICS compliant reports for briefings, after action reviews and legal compliance.  Reports can include the entire spectrum of    important data that accompanies a critical incident, such as mapping feeds, crime scene information, evidence collected, witness statements, cooperating agencies, and the number of responding personnel and  victims.




San Diego Officials Address Preparedness and Disaster Recovery Resources in the Wake of Recent El Niño Storms; Two Lifeguards Also Honored for Swift Water Rescue Effort

In the wake of dozens of rescues during recent storms – including 67 water rescues over a five-day period – San Diego officials held a press conference yesterday to help residents better prepare for and recover from El Niño-fueled storms. San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts remarked: “If anyone had somehow missed the warnings, this series of storms should put us on notice …. This El Niño and the concerns with El Niño are very real, and they’re going to be with us through this rainy season.”  (Source:‘s report,  “City, County Officials Discuss El Nino Preparedness Resources Ahead of Expected Storm Season.”)

During the conference, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Brian Fennessey also honored two brave lifeguards who rescued two men who were trapped in the widest part of the San Diego River. The rescue effort “demonstrated how our public safety teams worked together in the height of the storm,” remarked Chief Fennessey, noting that the  effort involved San Diego Police, the San Diego Lifeguard Swift River Team technicians and paramedics.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Brian Fennessey honors two lifeguards at press conference.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Brian Fennessey honors two lifeguards at press conference.

The two victims were submerged in deep water and surrounded by dense vegetation in the pitch dark, making it extremely difficult for the police helicopter to safely hoist the men.  The lifeguards proceeded to make their way through the deep mud and debris, and after over two cold, wet and challenging hours, carried out a successful swift water rescue. (See more details about the rescue via’s report).


During the press conference, officials also urged residents to utilize  resources including  ReadySanDiego and AlertSanDiego – the region’s mass alert system – to prepare for upcoming El Niño storms.

Those who have already suffered damage are advised to visit the San Diego County Recovery Site, which includes information on government assistance programs,  tips on what to do when returning home, general  cleanup information, advice on rebuilding for homeowners and renters; where to replace personal documents and records; and additional resources, including schools, city websites, hospitals & health, and disaster relief organizations.


RED BOOKAnother valuable resource for disaster survivors is the The Red Guide to Recovery, which is also promoted on the San Diego County Recovery Site. This comprehensive, easy-to-read handbook walks disaster survivors step-by-step through the recovery process.  Authored by Sean M. Scott, the guide also raises awareness of the many pitfalls that may present themselves in post-disaster scenarios.  The publication has been adopted by fire departments, emergency management agencies and relief  organizations across the U.S.

In addition to a 10-Point Quick Start checklist for the first 24 hours of recovery, the guide includes detailed chapters on these topics:

  • Emergency services to secure and protect property
  • Disaster relief and financial assistance
  • Homeowners insurance issues after a loss
  • Personal property considerations
  • Estimating repair costs to structural damages
  • Selecting a qualified contractor
  • Public insurance adjuster services
  • Trauma intervention and grief counseling
  • Avoiding Disaster Scams And much more

The Red Guide to Recovery is offered in a variety of formats, including Paperback ($19.95), eBook and a Customized Version.

Additional resources by author Sean Scott include:



Learn How an Automated Incident Management Software Tool can Improve Emergency Preparedness and Response – Anywhere at Anytime in the Cloud

Today’s emergency managers face enormous pressure when faced with a natural disaster, as evidenced by the major floods, hurricanes and fires that have devastated parts of the nation in recent months. Agency leaders need to be prepared – long before a disaster strikes – so they can deploy the right people with the right qualifications at a moment’s notice.

During deployments, emergency managers / incident commanders need to effectively manage their field-deployed personnel and spontaneous volunteers.  They need to see a common operational picture to make split-second decisions, and quickly produce reports for legal compliance and reimbursements.

However, field leaders often have inadequate situational awareness due to geographical and device restraints. The traditional method of managing incidents with pen-and-paper, push-pin boards and traditional paper maps are EMgraphic1inefficient and not shareable.  It is also difficult and expensive for first responders to communicate across the myriad of communications networks and radio systems.

Add to that the laborious process of managing a team’s assets and personnel data – including members’ medical history, training and certifications – using manual spreadsheets. Additionally, preparing after action reports required for federal reimbursements can be a time-consuming, administrative-heavy task.

Reducing the Burden with Automation

The good news is that incident management software tools like Mission Manager can automate the entire process – improving efficiency and effectiveness of front-line responders and their agencies.

An automated solution significantly reduces the burden for emergency managers and incident commanders, allowing them to focus on protecting the public.  It also saves their agencies money by reducing overtime hours and consolidating disparate systems.

Cloud-based Mission Manager provides a one-stop integrated solution for team and asset management, real-time communications, situational awareness with robust maps, and automated reporting capabilities.

Mission Manager can help emergency management agencies become more proactive vs. reactive – and ultimately improve response times – because it is based on the core principles of “Preparation. Readiness. Execution.”

Managing Teams and Missions on a Common Operating Platform

As a daily team management tool, Mission Manager provides the current status and qualifications of members, including training, certifications and expirations. Administrators can also easily track and manage their team’s equipment and maintenance schedules.

Because this data is readily available, emergency managers can quickly determine who is qualified and available to respond when an emergency strikes.

When used as an online command center, Mission Manager helps ensure 360-degree situational awareness. It provides a common operational picture – on multiple devices – that can be shared among agencies in multiple jurisdictions that are responding to the mission.

Mission Manager features robust mapping capabilities with more than 90 mapping overlays, including topography, natural hazards, locations of hospitals and police departments, as well as social media feeds at points of interest.

Highly secure and customizable, Mission Manager’s robust database provides a second-by-second record of every event. This data can be easily exported for ICS NIMS compliant reports.

Mission Manager has supported more than 6,500 missions around the world since 2011, ranging from single-person rescues to large public events and full-scale natural disaster response. Mission Manager is currently used in all 50 U.S. states, and on every continent except Antarctica. Truly a global tool, Mission Manager is available in 80 languages.

To learn how Mission Manager can assist your agency, email us at or call 877-257-8240.

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