Mental Health Impacts on Personnel Responding to an Active Shooter Incident within a Large Public Service Utility Company
Date of Award
Doctor of Science (DSc) in Emergency Management
This study explores the long-term mental health impacts experienced by individuals who were both impacted by an active shooter event within their own organization and participated in the response operation to said event. Through purposive sampling, a population of 278 individuals from a large privately-owned public utility company, with greater than 20,000 employees, were provided a cross-sectional survey to assess for the presence and severity of indicated PTSD. This assessment was conducted using the Short Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Rating Interview (SPRINT) survey tool. A total of 118 participants completed the survey, the results of which determined that PTSD occurred in 32.2% of respondents six-months post-event, and 13.6% ten-years post-event. The use of organizationally provided and privately sought support services, such as crisis counseling, was significantly correlated with a reduction of indicated PTSD. It was also found that the use of organizational support services immediately following the event correlated with the continued use of services into the future, and the longer support services were utilized, the greater the reduction in indicated PTSD and its severity was observed.