With the recent issues and threats in the UK, Canada, US, and Europe about Active Shooters, I thought it might be a good call to review some training in how to deal with this potentially dangerous situation. I'm using the term 'Active Shooter' however these rules would apply when any weapons are used, for example, knives, bats, axes or machetes.
3 Main Elements to Surviving an Active Shooter
Run, Hide and Fight
Run - Have an escape route in mind - don't run around, pick a direction and go - Leave you belongs behind - they are replaceable, you are not - Evacuate the area - regardless if others refuse to follow - Help others escape - if possible - Do not attempt to move the wounded - Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be - Keep your hands visible - Police need to not see your not a threat - Call 999 when it is safe to do so - Never re-enter the location until advised it is safe to do so
Hide (if you're not able to run) - Hide in an area out of the shooter's view - Put a physical barrier between yourself and the shooter - Lock door or block entry to your hiding place - Turn your phone to silence with vibrate off
Fight (if you are not able to run or hide) - Fight as a last resort only when your life is in imminent danger - Attempt to incapacitate the shooter - aim for vulnerable areas - Act with as much physical aggression as possible (Violence of Action) - Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter - Commit to your actions ... your life might depend on it - Keep fighting no matter what - even if you are injured in the process
Information to provide to Police operators when calling 999 - Location of active shooters - Number of shooters (if known) - Physical description of shooters - Number or type of weapons used - Number of potential victims at the location
When law enforcement arrives - Remain calm and follow instructions - Drop items in your hands (e.g. bags, jackets) - If you are approached by law enforcement - put your hands out to the sides, open palms and fingers apart. - Keep your hands visible at all times - Avoid quick movements towards officers - this could be mistaken for aggression - Avoid pointing, screaming and yelling - Do not ask questions when evacuating - just follow the instructions given
A lot of this information is taken from US Department of Homeland Security training pack with additions from myself due to my police background. I have never had to deal with an Active Shooter, but these guidelines fall in line with the response I would expect from the police in the UK as well as the US.
Keeping a cool head in a situation like this would be difficult but if you are able to put these points into action it could potentially increase your chances if you were in this kind of situation
If anyone has any question then do ask - and stay safe out there ...