An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use a firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.”
From 2000-2013, there were 39 active shooter events (mass shootings) in America that took place in schools. That equates to 24.4% of the total mass shootings in America during that same time frame. When you add a business to that, those two categories represent over 70% of the targets. In 2016 alone, there were 210 events that were classified as mass shootings!
When it comes to our children, safety must be one of the most important goals.
In the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, September 2010, entitled “Those Terrible First Few Minutes: Revisiting Active-Shooter Protocols for Schools” most active-shooter protocols contain the same advice:
- Implement lockdown procedures
- Minimize the target profile
- Wait for the police to neutralize the situation.
Teachers and students should hide quietly, lock or barricade doors, and turn off lights and electrical equipment that would attract the shooter’s attention. If possible, they should provide detailed information via 911 contact to guide authorities and, then, remain quiet until a recognized voice advises that it is safe to move.
The rationale for the existing active-shooter protocols is obvious. Once a school is in lockdown, “hide and hope” defensive actions minimize the chances of being a target, and maximize the police latitude in clearing the building. Concealment and cover reduce potential casualties.
Now that we recognize the problem, what is the best way to combat this?
School Resource Officers
School Resource officers (SRO) have been helpful for normal everyday situations in the school, but there are many issues to be addressed with them.
- Who pays for them?
- Do you have 1 dedicated SRO per school, or does that SRO cycle through multiple locations?
- How does 1 SRO cover a school when the active shooter is moving around?
SRO’s have been a big help, but there are limitations to what they can do in an active shooter incident.
This topic is gaining some attention, but let’s be honest, with today’s political climate the chances of this kind of legislation being based are slim. Even if a law was passed and the teacher was a skilled marksman, would they have the tactical skills to neutralize a threat while still protecting their students? The teacher’s first priority is the safety of the children, not hunting down an active shooter.
BIG 6 is dedicated to developing a solution that is not only effective but also easy to implement. With this in mind, BIG 6 developed a safe space that can fit every classroom in America, whether existing or new schools, without major construction or environmental studies.
Big 6 Introduces the Vast6!
The VAST6 is a cutting edge design that keeps everyone safe during active shooter events and tornados. This is “security through physical design”, ultimate security protection for students and teachers.
The VAST6 is an innovative collapsible active shooter protection, available for entry in less than 20 seconds and meets FEMA 453 active shooter ballistic requirements and certified F-5 Tornado protection from FEMA P-361 specifications.
When the VAST6 is folded way, it is only 29” thick and takes up limited floor space. The VAST6 unit itself can be scaled to fit just about any class size to make sure there is room for everyone to feel safe and secure.
The ballistic panels meet FEMA Manual 453, National Institute of Justice Level III, and UL 752, Level 8 requirements.
What does that mean? The VAST6 stops .308 ball/7.62 mm rifle lead core full metal copper jacket, military ball, 150 grain at 2,750 feet per second. To put it simply, the VAST6 will stop bullets from pistols, shotguns and semi-automatic rifles such as the AK-47, AR-15 and AR-10. The ballistic material exceeds the protective capabilities of steel. The ballistic panels of the VAST6 will absorb the bullet which will prevent ricochets while at the same time will not spall (flakes of a material that are broken off of the wall when a bullet hits that wall from the other side. This causes that material to become projectiles themselves) on the inside walls.
Other benefits of using ballistic panels instead of steel:
- No Electrical Conductivity
- No Radio/Cellular Electronic Signal Blockage
- Effective Delay Against Forced Entry
- Non-Toxic Materials
- Tested and approved for use in a one-hour firewall
- Lighter weight than steel
The unit can even be painted in your school colors or match the color scheme of the classroom.
Key Features of the Vast6
American Disabilities Act Compliant
With its integrated wheelchair ramp, its height-accessible touchscreen, and locking mechanism, it meets all requirements of the ADA.
3 Point Main door latching system
The VAST 6 offers a single movement action of 90 degrees to slide steel bolts into the top, bottom, and side door frames. This system is accessible from wheelchair height.
Primary Anchoring System
The VAST6 anchoring system boasts an anchoring system on one anchor per foot of shelter width that can hold up to 45,000 pounds per square foot.
Front Anchoring System
Ball-lock pins slide through frame, through metal deck plate into ball lock pin receptacle below the deck plate. This feature is for added protection during a tornado event.
Incoming Ventilation Vents
5 directional vents (3 vents in the front, 1 left side, and 1 right side vent) with 360-degree directional spin with full open to full close capability.
Ventilation Access Protection
Armored bullet stop design for intake and exhaust fans’ airflow access
Integrated Power Systems
There are 2 independently wired 12-volt batteries, each capable of powering the VAST6 electrical system for 12 hours, in the case there is a power failure at the facility. There is a “smart” battery conditioner that constantly monitors and recharges each battery.
USB recharging capable during both AC (when on facility power) and DC (internal power) power configuration.
Normally equipped by the user with storage available for water, first aid kit, hearing protection/ear plugs, dust masks, radio, and other supplies.
Each VAST6 has a designated storage position for its fire extinguisher. An internal camera system can photograph the fire extinguisher gauge and report via WiFi for monthly verification of the fire extinguisher without having to open the VAST6.
The touchscreen gives continual monitoring of sub-systems for battery power and controls for fans and lights. Is also accessible from wheelchair height.
The LED lighting system offers adjustable light levels, uses low energy, radiates low heat, are reliable and long-lasting.
Speaker Box with Audible alarms
Speaker mounted outside of VAST6 in the armored box offers 2 different very loud audible alarm tones to choose from, and is controlled from the touchscreen.
Local organization establishes the purpose for each alarm tone
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