It can happen anywhere – the movie theater or grocery store, at work or school. Active shooter incidents are unpredictable and evolve quickly. While it is unlikely that you will ever be involved in an active shooter incident, your chances for survival are best if you are prepared for the worst.
What is an active shooter?
The agreed-upon definition of an “active shooter” by US government agencies (including the White House, US Department of Justice/FBI, US Department of Education and US Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency) is “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a conﬁned and populated area.”
Because active shooter situations are often over before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation. In most cases, active shooters use ﬁrearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
Are police prepared?
Dublin Police are highly trained to effectively respond to an active shooter situation. All officers go through annual active shooter training.
Dublin Police advocates preparedness for this type of incident and have A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) certified instructors that are available to train and/or assist your business, school, or organization prepare for an Active Shooter incident. The purpose of this training is to prepare and EMPOWER individuals to handle the threat of an Active Shooter by actively participating in their own survival. While there are no guarantees, this will greatly increase the odds of survival should anyone face this form of disaster.
Are you prepared?
Having a plan beforehand is important. The attackers are planning…shouldn’t you? The next step would be to attend training. Contact our department to make arrangements.
How to respond to an active shooter event
In the unlikely event that an active shooter makes his or her way into a school, hospital, church, business, or other public location, there are steps that you can take to increase your chances of survival, which are based on A.L.I.C.E. training.
Evacuate the building
- Once you recognize a threat, initiate a response immediately. Your perceptions is your reality, do not second-guess yourself.
- If you can evacuate, do it.
- Run away from the building as quickly as possible and do not stop until you can no longer see the building.
- Stop once you feel you are in a safe area and call 911
If you are unable to evacuate the building
- Take shelter in the closest room or closet.
- Lock and barricade the door with anything available in the room (chairs, desks, electrical cords, belts etc.)
- If in a group, stay low and spread out in the room while maintaining a position that you cannot be seen through the glass, and provides you with the element of surprise.
- Do not open the door for anyone. Police will be able to gain access without you opening the door.
- Look for alternate escape routes.
- Is escaping from the window an option?
- If on the second floor, consider hanging by your hands from the window ledge before dropping to the ground or utilizing electrical cords, belts etc. as an improvised rope in order to limit the distance of your fall from the window.
- Call 911 and provided detailed information.
- Be prepared if the shooter gains access to your room.
If you cannot escape and are confronted by the shooter:
- Utilize anything close at hand as a weapon (chairs, computers, trash cans etc.) and prepare yourself for the physical encounter.
- Throw anything at the shooter. Aim at the face to distract.
- Attack in a group. Grab shooters extremities and use your body weight to force them to the ground.
- Do not let the shooter up from the ground. Secure the shooter by using your body weight, belts, electrical cords etc.
- Fight as if your life depends on it…because it does
- Move any weapons away from the shooter. DO NOT HOLD THE WEAPON.
- Call 911 and tell them your location and that the shooter is down. Stay on the line.
How to respond when law enforcement arrives on the scene:
- Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
- Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
- Keep hands visible at all times and free from holding any objects.
- Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety
- Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
- Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises
- Remember that the number one goal of law enforcement initially responding to the situation is to stop the shooting. They will not stop for injured or deceased victims
- Rescue teams will follow as soon as possible to help injured victims
Information you should provide to law enforcement or a 911 operator:
- Location of the victims and the active shooter
- Number of shooters, if more than one
- Physical description of shooter(s)
- Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s)
- Number of potential victims at the location
Recognizing signs of potential workplace violence
An active shooter may be a current or former employee. Alert your human resources department if you believe an employee exhibits potentially violent behavior.
Indicators of potentially violent behavior may include one or more of the following:
- Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
- Unexplained increase in absenteeism, and/or vague physical complaints
- Increased severe mood swings, and noticeably unstable or emotional responses
- Increasingly talks of problems at home
- Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms, and other dangerous weapons and violent crimes
Other helpful links:
If you would like Active Shooter Training for your business or facility, please contact Sgt. Tim Hosterman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 614.410.4805.