Protocols of reaction in the event of active shooter
With the increasing occurrence of active shooter/active threat incidents nationwide, many people are looking to learn how to prepare themselves in case they find themselves in this situation. The average police response to an incident can be 5-6 minutes and even much longer in more rural areas. In a situation such as this, it becomes incumbent upon you, the individual, to be proactive to protect yourself and possibly others around you. These incidents have happened at nearly any type of location you can think of: businesses, churches, schools, shopping malls, restaurants, open venues, etc. Unfortunately, we know it will happen again. Let’s think about what we can do to prepare.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends the following response protocol: Run, Hide, Fight. This protocol gives you options to choose as your response based on your specific circumstances and information at hand.
First, if possible, RUN away from the danger. Don’t worry about gathering your belongings, just get out. It’s important to be aware of your possible escape routes and exits at any location you may be at during the day. This can include your work place, the grocery store, church, or the restaurant you’re at for dinner.
Second, if escape is not a viable option based on your location and circumstances, you should HIDE and BARRICADE yourself somewhere safe. Hiding includes locking the door, barricading that door with any items you have available, staying out of sight from the actor, looking for additional escape routes including windows, and preparing yourself in case the barricade is defeated.
Lastly, and only as a last resort, FIGHT for your life. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t have time to run or hide. In this case, you need to do everything possible to survive. This means move, be aggressive, throw objects, make noise, and physically assault the actor. Anything you can do to disrupt the threat will make him/her less accurate. Remember, once you are engaged in the fight, remain engaged and don’t give up – your life depends on it.
Let’s consider some possible indicator, or “red flags” that may indicate a person has potential to become violent. This list is not all-inclusive, nor does it suggest that someone displaying any one of these indicators will become violent. But, these indicators can provide insight into a possible issue.
Increased absence from work/school
Repeated violations of work/school policy
Arguments with co-workers, family, friends
Drug and/or alcohol abuse
Becoming irrational or heightened levels of anger
Feelings of paranoia
Obsession with violence and weapons
Social media posts indicating these thoughts
Remember, any of us may have some of these feeling from time to time, but if you notice someone displaying these behaviors and you have concerns – See Something, Say Something. Report disturbing behavior to work supervisors, other family members, mental health professionals, or law enforcement if appropriate.
Finally, this information is not meant to cause you to live your life in a paranoid state thinking that an incident is around every corner. We want you to be aware and be prepared. A small amount of mental preparation and consideration can make a big difference.
If you or your organization would like more information about Active Shooter/Active Threat Response, please contact Trooper Bieber at 570-368-5700.
Idea/Concept: Trooper Bieber
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Trooper Bieber
Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Arcadia Theatre