The K Street Group is now offering specific training curriculums to the hotel and hospitality industry in the aftermath of the recent attack in Las Vegas. While there is no absolute way to completely eliminate the potential threat of an attack on any venue, there are still proactive measures that can be taken to increase the likelihood of survival and minimize the event of collateral damage. Please feel free to review the course primer below, along with the agenda outline, and let us know how we can assist you and your staff moving forward.
Millions of people in the United States attend sporting events, concerts, graduations and other forms of outdoor entertainment at our nation’s stadiums, arenas, and similar venues each year. Many of these venues have significant financial as well as iconic value. Because of their visibility, the large crowds in attendance, the potential for fatalities or injuries, infrastructure disruption, economic losses, and psychological impact; they present a potential target for any group or lone individual focused on causing mass casualties.
Recently, the suicide bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, and now the Las Vegas shooting put a new, horrific spin on security concerns since the assailants did their damage from outside the concert venues. Event promoters are now showing concern that outdoor festivals such as Lollapalooza, Pitchfork and Spring Awakening in Chicago, could be particularly vulnerable because of access to high-rise structures and other concealed areas outside the venues that might escape typical event security measures. In the case of outdoor concerts and festivals, attendees are typically well screened and scrutinized as they enter the venue—the question now becomes: Is there a concealed yet higher ground position external to the venue that an assailant can take to target the crowds that attend these events?
These venues along with the promotors must now realize securing the facility and its access is only one component to insuring the overall safety and security of the attendees. External, high ground threats create exposure and liability they may not have any control over. The venue essentially has no jurisdiction or operational control or ability to manipulate the external, high-ground variables around security, so that, in and of itself makes it very complicated and very dangerous. It becomes more and more foreseeable if you operate certain types of venues, those venues will be seen as opportunities for mass shootings or attacks of some sort.
The importance of training for hotel employees
Immediately following the Las Vegas shooting, employees, staff and management at hotels across the country began seeking outside consultants that offer training curriculums to better understand what could signal a dangerous guest. Being able to identify and understand those “red flags” may ultimately allow you to react differently to potential threat situations. Authorities also believe that hotels, perhaps pressured by their insurance carriers, will increase training of staff to spot suspicious behavior or materials left in rooms—as well as implementing training to increase situational awareness. In other words, hotels and other entertainment spaces where horrific mass shootings could potentially occur may not just need to beef up safety measures to soothe customers. They may need to add new measures to prevent shootings because, if they don’t, the hotel could be seen as legally liable.
What can a hotel establishment do?
What hotels can cost effectively do is train staff, and not just security personnel on the importance of security and what all staff members should look for and try to do when there is a situation or incident at the hotel. Hotel staff should be encouraged if not rewarded to report situations that are dangerous or that present themselves as the potential to cause a problem. A trained staff that can identify and react appropriately in the identification of potential and or actual risk is the best and most cost-effective security technique for any hotel. Training programs can also range from simple to complex but there is no substitute or excuse for hotel staff not to be given basic training on the importance of hotel security and situational awareness.
Every hotel staff employee is a de facto and integral member of the security department. Room attendants, bell captains and room service associates are some of the best sources of information about what is going on in the hotel, as they not only access many rooms per day, but are also up on the floors where they can see activities occurring or overhear conversations—they should be the eyes and ears. For example, if a bellman grabs a bag that is not appropriate for that location’s climate or regional activities, that is a sign. A large ski equipment bag does not belong at a beach location. If a single guest checks in with several bags and requests that the room should not be cleaned, that is something out of the ordinary that should be brought to management’s attention immediately.
The K Street Group has been providing a broad portfolio of training programs to a wide range of industries and market segments for the past 10 years. Our instructors are extremely thorough in presenting an effective curriculum that engages attendees, keeps their attention and gives them practical tools that can be applied both in their personal and work environment.
Given the recent attack in Las Vegas, The K Street Group is introducing a modified version of its “Situational Awareness” training curriculum that focuses exclusively on the hotel and hospitality industry. This curriculum will provide some practical basics on identifying “red-flag” behavior, optimizing situational awareness, de-escalating potential volatile situations and coping with the collateral damage of a mass causality event.
The training curriculum is typically held over a full day starting at 9:00 AM and concluding by 4:00 PM, along with appropriate breaks and other pauses. The class size is flexible ranging from 25 to 50 attendees at one time. At the conclusion of the class, each attendee will receive a certificate of completion for their personnel file. Hotel management will also receive a letter of satisfactory compliance that could be submitted to their insurance carrier.