M3 Senior Risk Manager, Ted Hayes and Captain Mike Bolender of the Peaceful Warrior Training Group authored M3’s Active Shooter Survival Tips Series and continue to partner in delivering their “Prepared, Not Scared” presentations to schools and organizations throughout the state. In the wake of yet another tragedy, the two offer these reminders:
REVERSE EVACUATION (“LURING”):
School shooters have used fire alarms to “lure” victims out into the parking lots or hallways and then attack to create a congested area and utilize “flock shooting” to increase casualties.
Suggestions to combat a “luring” tactic:
- Remember to “create distance” and use of ‘quick peeks’ and ‘metering’.
Schools generally have good fire suppression and alarm systems, when there is a fire alarm you should not just blindly exit your room or the building. Know that “luring” has been used in the past and new “luring” strategies will likely be employed in the future. During fire alarms, enact a response of performing metering and a quick peek prior to leaving your room and building to ensure the hallway and parking lot is clear of threats.
Unfortunately, even when employing metering and peeking, once you get into the hallway or parking lot an attack could begin. This is where it is critical that you have an “action script” prepared for someone stepping into the hallway – and into an attack. Talk with your students about the “reverse evacuation” concept. Identify where you would go while traveling your evacuation routes. If you can’t create distance from attacker or get to a lockable location –remember “where choice ends, violence needs to begin.” Everyone throw distractions, apply your A, B, Cs of fighting with a threat as a single or team or utilize an improvised weapon and remember how the Gang-Fu (swarm) technique can be applied.
SHOOTING THROUGH WALLS:
It has not happened frequently but there are times it has. Remember our training on what is “Cover” – areas the will stop bullets (Brick walls, engine blocks, etc.) and “Concealment” – items that conceal you from view but won’t stop bullets (Dry wall/stud walls, doors, etc.). Whenever possible identify and use “cover”. If you are lockdown in a room and believe the shooter is just randomly firing through walls and you have no “cover” remember to find and use a “secondary exit” whether it is there or you have to create it (window break, etc.). Protect yourself (including your eyes) and use it to get out and RUN!
EVACUATE 300-500 YARDS AND GET BEHIND COVER!
PREVENTION – BE VIGILANT AND TAKE ACTION WHEN SOMETHING FEELS OFF:
THESE EVENTS DO NOT SPONTANEOUSLY OCCUR.
Open the pathways of communication through trust and respect with students, parents and community. 93% of shooters cause concern with members of their peer group and when these concerns come forward don’t minimize them with “just” “It’s just ______, he’s just upset that’s why he said it.” We have to take these statements seriously. If you don’t think so, turn on your TV.
Is everyone in your organization prepared to deal with an armed intruder or an active shooter? Read the full Active Shooter Survival Tips Series with lifesaving tips to help you increase your chances of survival when the unthinkable happens.