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Mighty Oak Active Threat: ‘The threat has a plan, so should you’

De Pere-based company provides businesses, organizations with tools to recognize warning signs, react quickly

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May 1, 2024

DE PERE – Since 2014, Jedd Bradley, owner of Mighty Oak Active Threat in De Pere, has trained nearly 30,000 employees from across the country on what to do in an active threat situation.

Bradley, a law enforcement officer, said the only thing predictable about threats is that they are unpredictable.

The “who, what, when, where and why vary in every case,” he said.

The threat, Bradley said, has a plan – so should you.

Mighty Oak Active Threat, he said, provides businesses, organizations, etc. with the tools necessary to recognize warning signs and react quickly.

Becoming a speaker
Bradley said he started Mighty Oak Active Threat by happenstance.

He said he was asked the night before to speak at a Society for Human Resource Management conference by a personal friend after the scheduled speaker canceled.

Bradley said he couldn’t say no, recognizing he already knew the content from training the police force.

“I threw something together on a napkin,” he said. “It went over well. I had a line of people waiting to talk to me about bringing this presentation and training to their employees at their companies.”

With 26 years on the force, Bradley said he lives and breathes law enforcement, currently serving as a tactical instructor.

However, a few years ago, he said he looked in the mirror and realized he was training the wrong people.

“Yes, we still have to train cops, and we have to be good,” he said. “But the reality is we’re not going to be there because nothing like this ever happens in front of us – why would it?”

Bradley said he does trainings all over the country – and even has an upcoming trip to Canada planned – and focuses on schools, churches, companies and corporations.

In the last 12 years, Jedd Bradley said he has trained nearly 30,000 employees through Mighty Oak Active Threat. Submitted Photo

Interest, he said, even prompted the hiring of two additional trainers.

“When I have an opportunity to train with the Schreiber’s, the KI’s – big companies like that – it’s thousands of employees right in my backyard,” he said. “We see them at restaurants, church, maybe my kids went to school with their kids. The list goes on, and that means a lot to me.”

Preparation is key
Bradley said it is a proven fact that preparation increases your chances of survival.

Knowledge and tactics, he said, improve your ability to save your own life and potentially the lives of others.

With that in mind, Bradley said he encourages businesses and organizations to talk about and prepare for potential threats.

“The best training companies, schools and businesses can do is to talk,” he said. “Talk with somebody for 10 minutes on what exit doors you’re going to use. If you’re not going to be able to exit, how are you going to bunker or shelter in place?”

Being clear, level-headed and remaining calm while focused on safety is critical because Bradley said the window of response time for law enforcement to show up is four to six minutes.

“I don’t want people thinking at all – I want them doing,” he said.

During his presentations, Bradley said he asks the same questions: “What do you do if you’re on fire? Stop, drop and roll.”
He notes there is no time to think, only time for action.

This is the kind of philosophy Bradley said he wants to bring to people regardless of the environment.

Empowerment is an asset
At Mighty Oak, Bradley said the mission is to empower training participants with knowledge that allows them to be prepared to make critical decisions that will enhance their ability to survive in an active threat scenario.

“You’re not going to stop the event,” he said. “If someone wants to come in and do harm, they’re going to do it. It’s how you react that dictates the outcome of the event. I’ll say that 30 times in an hour.”

Bradley said he also focuses on the fact the threat coming in has a plan – to do as much harm as they can before the good guys show up.

This, he said, is where empowerment comes into play.

Bradley said most people don’t understand the four- to six-minute window, and adding emphasis to the timeframe, the active threat events on average are done in under 12 minutes.

Putting that in perspective, he said he often asks participants: “Who is the first responder? Law enforcement or you?”

That spin of focus, Bradley said, sheds a different light on the topic – advising the threat’s plan is simple, and yours needs to be, too.

“Come up with a couple of exits,” he said. “If you can’t get out of those exits, think about how you’re going to stay put safely.”

Bradley said other questions he often asks presentation participants include:

Do we have fire extinguishers in buildings?Do we have defibrillators in buildings?Do we train CPR?
The answer to those questions, he said, is nearly always “yes” because society sees the value of saving property and life.

“We’ve asked everybody to be a first responder their entire life,” he said. “Whether they choose to do so or not is up to them.”

Bradley said he recognizes this may be a difficult topic to discuss, which is why Mighty Oak focuses on individualized, in-person trainings.

Instead of sparking fear, Bradley said training participants typically use the words “educated,” “engaging,” “empowered” or “prepared.”

Jedd Bradley said Mighty Oak Active Threat stresses the importance of in-person trainings. Submitted Photo

He said he thinks people should take pride in protecting and preparing themselves – not only at work but in other areas of their lives as well.

“I teach empowering skills people can bring to their local churches and local venues, like the Resch Center or even a (Green Bay) Packers game,” he said. “That’s why I’m passionate about training. The more people who get educated on this, the better we are in our communities.”

Beyond identifying exits and discussing barricades, Bradley said he hopes Mighty Oak trainings spark conversation – noting if people think about these things, talk about them and take simple preventive steps, they work.

“This whole thing is about time and challenge,” he said. “If you put time and challenge on your side, you control the situation… Simply put, you dictate the outcome, not them.”

An example Bradley said he gives of this, is: an employee hears an argument getting heated down the hall, so the employee decides to get some fresh air outside, in a different room – that might not seem like a lot, but consider, you’ve put time and space in between you and the possible situation – and that’s the simplicity of the plan.

Another example – which Bradley said is a well-known strategy – is locking, barricading or even wedging the door during an active threat.

This action-oriented strategy, he said, could prompt the threat to move on.

“What’s happening the entire time?” he said. “The good guys are dictating the outcome.”

Bradley said both scenarios are examples of simple, action-oriented strategies.

Continued growth
Though he never intended to start a business, let alone become a speaker, Bradley said he’s realized he’s got a knack for speaking with people and crowds – especially on a topic he’s passionate about.

“It fell into place, and now I take a lot of pride in that because there’s a lot of other companies that want to work with Mighty Oak because they see the impact we’re making,” he said.

Bradley said in Mighty Oak’s 12 years in business, he’s been able to train nearly 30,000 employees.

When it’s time for him to retire from the police force, Bradley said the plan is to further immerse himself into Mighty Oak Active Threat.

One such area of planned growth, he said, is de-escalation training opportunities.

These trainings, Bradley said, would be geared toward HR managers and frontline supervisors on how to de-escalate a situation before it turns into a worse situation or leads to violence.

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