Active-shooter awareness |
Posted 8/30/2012 Updated 8/30/2012
Minot Air Force Base Antiterrorism Office
8/30/2012 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Perhaps one of the most feared events for many people is an active shooter scenario. In most cases there is no way to predict when and where the shooter will strike. Even though there may be common characteristics active shooters share, there is no one specific profile for an active shooter, so predicting this type of violence is highly unlikely.
In the aftermath of the mass shooting event in Aurora, Colo. and other incidents such as Fort Hood, Virginia Tech and Columbine, the Minot Air Force Base Antiterrorism Office wants to reinforce the key steps individuals should take if they encounter an active shooter.
Even though active shooter events happen in communities small and large, "We hope our base residents and visitors are never confronted with such an event, but we want to prepare them with some vital information if they ever find themselves in this predicament," said P.J. Pallotta, Minot AFB Antiterrorism Officer.
Is there increased potential of more attacks on military bases right now? Yes it is possible. We are always subject to copy cats and by virtue of our profession we are a potential target.
Although active shooter events are mostly unpredictable, motives are different, and warning signs may vary, there are things people can do to increase chances of safety and survival.
Below are tips for you to follow if you ever encounter this type of situation:
1. If you hear gunfire, very quickly evaluate the situation.
2. If you can't get out of the building or immediate location of the gunfire safely, find a place to hide and shelter-in-place. Take cover and stay calm. Your best chance to avoid being shot is to remove yourself from sight. Work as a team if you're in a group.
- Go to a room, barricade doorways; turn off the lights, get down on the floor and hide if possible; make the room look unoccupied.
- Make sure no one can be seen from outside the room, remember to lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone.
- Remain quiet as if no one is in the room. Do not answer the door, and wait for law enforcement to assist you out of the building.
- If you are hiding in a room, law enforcement will eventually be clearing each room, stay flat on the floor with your hands on your head and do not move until you are given instructions.
3. If walking down a hallway when you hear gunfire, look for an open room to hide in. Barricade doorways; turn off the lights, get down on the floor and hide if possible. Remain quiet. If the room has shades or curtains, close them.
4. Always try to escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying, don't let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape. If fleeing, you should have an escape route and plan in mind; also, notify anyone you encounter to exit the building immediately.
- Do not attempt to carry anything while fleeing.
- Do not attempt to remove wounded or injured people.
- If outside, get behind a tree or wall; lie down and wait for rescue.
- If in a parking lot, hide behind the front tire/engine of a vehicle.
5. Consider overpowering the shooter only as a last resort; work together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons and fight for your life.
6. Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 911 or 701-723-3096. Provide law enforcement: Your name, location of incident, your location, number of shooters (if known), the number of persons that may be involved, and any injuries to any one (if known).
7. What to expect from the first responders:
- Law enforcement will respond immediately to the area in which shots are being fired or last reported. Their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
- Most first responders will be armed; if you know where the shooter is, tell them.
- The first law enforcement officers on scene will not stop to aid the injured. Follow-on teams will come in after area is secured
8. Unfortunately the reality with an active shooter event is that we will very likely experience injury and death. While these incidents may be near impossible to predict, there are mitigating actions that can be taken to minimize the effects of such an attack. First, you must be able to "realize" and "accept" the event is happening. Next, you must "evaluate" the threat in relation to yourself and take "action" from that perspective. Finally, you must sound the alarm and alert law enforcement ASAP.
9. ALWAYS report suspicious activity and behavior. If you see something, say something by dialing 911 in an emergency or call 723-3096.