Active Shooter / SHOTS FIRED!

Active shooter response safety procedure banner with stick figures: run, hide or fight

News Safety Update 5# — When the gunfire erupts, now what do we do? I’m going to talk about this proactively so if it happens, you can quickly react.
For many this is a worst case scenario, rightfully so. It is something most of us have never had to deal with and is terrifying.

Lets start off with building on our Situational Awareness. Where ever you are, inside a building or outside, urban or rural.. keep you eyes peeled.. keep your head on a swivel and try to look around, identify things that might be problematic or hazardous to you or your crew.

When you are observing, break the field of view into three levels. 1) Look at eye level, do you see anything at your “level” 2) Look above you, Is there anything in the trees or on an elevated position like a window or parking garage level? 3) look at ground level, do you see anything laying on the ground, nearby or under your vehicle. Perhaps a suspicious bag or box? If you do see something, DO NOT TOUCH IT!

What makes it suspicious? does it look like it was purposely hidden or placed inconspicuously. Wires sticking out? excessive tape holding it together? When in doubt, move people away from the immediate area and call 911 or tell a law enforcement officer.


Looping back: So we are walking around covering our event. We are scanning at eye level, high and low.. we are looking for hazards BUT we should also be looking for ways out of wherever we are. What are the exits?  Side of the park, where can i run towards to take cover?


Let’s talk terms: Cover & Concealment. Concealment is something that hides you.. It does not stop bullets. Cover does! Concealment is good for you to use if you are working the edge of an event or a protest and want to be as low profile as possible.


Concealment to separate, Cover to Protect! Cover is what you want if gunfire breaks out. When you are scouting out the area, look for things you could duck behind that would give you protection from gunfire. You should also consider where you think the gunfire is coming from. Cover is any object that not only hides you but also acts as a shield between you and any projectiles headed your way. There are two types of COVER, we have SOFT and HARD, no we are not talking about books.


SOFT COVER is something that will eventually break up when repeatedly hit by gunfire. think of something like a heavy wooden object or even a cinderblock wall. After a few strikes, it may crumble.


HARD COVER is something metal or perhaps a very thick object like a stone wall, engine block on a car or a monument / statue in a park. If you are going to use a car for cover, you need to be by the engine. Don’t dip behind the door thinking the thin sheet metal will protect you. A bullet of even the smallest size will slice right through a car door travel through the passenger compartment and go out the other side, hide behind the metal engine!
If gunfire is coming from what you think is an elevated position, out a window, use hard cover between you and the source.

If you can, RUN.. and at a last resource, you could lay face down in a gutter with the curb to one side of your body side where the shots are coming from. If you are in a crowded area with lots of people, it may be difficult to run away, safely, opting for cover first and escape later might be best.

Typically active shooter events last only a few minutes.
If you or a colleague are hit, focus immediately on bleeding control. Direct pressure on the wound and tourniquet if needed. Learn how to use all the items in a IFAK kit and critical skills like wound packing by taking a @StopTheBleed course.


Don’t get crazy with med supplies, a CAT Tourniquet from @NARescue, “Israeli” style bandage and some @QuikClot hemostatic gauze, some gloves and you are good. Next @NPPA in-person event, i want to do a STB class in person! look on the @StopTheBleed web for classes near you.


Also, even if you are wearing body armor and have a ballistic helmet, you DO NOT want to take excessive risk until gunfire has stopped. Seek IMMEDIATE cover and wait it out.

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