Scout Safety tip #2
I felt compelled to write this blog entry in the wake of thetragic incident that occurred yesterday (19 November 2018) at Mercy Hospital inChicago. During a domestic dispute turned active shooter incident, a gunmantook the lives of his ex-fiancé who was a doctor at Mercy, a pharmacy resident,and a responding police officer. The gunman was quickly confronted by policeand killed as a result of the ensuing gun battle. It is unclear at the point I amwriting this post if the offender died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshotwound or police gunfire. Regardless, it was the police response thatneutralized the offender.
I am writing this entry to help you plan for and respond to an active shooter incident. We can all wish that we would never be in such a situation. But as my father always told me, “you can wish in one hand and crap in the other, which hand will fill up first?”. I don’t mean to be vulgar, but I say this because it is true. If you develop no plan and simply wish nothing will happen to you, if an incident does occur all you will have is a crappysituation.
Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.
The FBI, State, and local Law Enforcement are currentlyteaching the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT! conceptof responding to an active shooter situation. If you are unfamiliar with RUN, HIDE, FIGHT, it is as straightforward as it seems. I have included the FBI’s training video link ( https://youtu.be/5VcSwejU2D0 ) so thatyou may have a visual aid as well.
If you are at workand you begin to hear gunfire take immediate action!
I have mentioned in a previous post that your lifetime of experiencetells you when something is out of the ordinary. This is referred to as your 6thsense. Trust it. During crisis, people often have a hard time believing the situationis real. Getting caught up in this mindset can cost valuable time and maybeyour life. Believe it. It is real. Workthrough it.
Step 1. RUN
If you hear the gunfire coming from a certain direction, make every attempt to flee in the opposite direction. Don’t wait for the people mentioned above. The non-believers. Keep your ears open, listen for the gunfire and screaming. They will give you a good indication to the current location of the shooter. Communicate with other people who are fleeing. Warn people as you leave and others outside not to approach. Relocate to a safe location and call police. Give police the best information you can regarding the offender. Clothing description, last known location, type of weapon, amount of shots fired. If known, intelligence of this nature will aid in the response.
Step 2. HIDE
If the offender is too close or running is not an option, HIDE. Try to find a location with aheavy lockable door. Barricade the door to your room with heavy furniture,machines, wedge chairs in front of the door. Any means of slowing or denying entryto the offender.
When hiding, consider the difference between cover and concealment. In the Law Enforcementcommunity, we consider cover as anobject that can stop bullets from penetrating. These items include brick,cinderblock, heavy metal objects, dense wood like a big tree, etc. Concealment offers no ballistic protectionandsimply “conceals” your location.Concealment includes dry wall,hollow core doors, glass, sheet metal, etc. When hiding, choose cover whenever possible. Brick and cinderblock will stopmost handgun and rile fire temporarily, depending on the thickness. Stay low. Bullets can penetrate dry wall anddoors.
Text a loved one your location within the building so theycan inform 911 dispatch and the responding police of your location. Some policedepartments utilize social media like twitter as a means of communication duringcritical events. Consider social media as an option. Wait for responding officers.Most officers are issued a credit card type identification card. If you feelthe need to verify the police are in fact actual officers and not the offender,request they slip an ID card under the door. You can also contact 911 to verifythe police are in fact who you are speaking with.
Step 3. FIGHT
Fight like your life depends on it. Ruthless, violent, combat.There is a reason the military and police use speed, surprise, and violence ofaction as a tactic. Because it works. Use it to your advantage. Improvise a weaponwhen possible. Pens, pencils, chairs, break glass and wrap a shirt around it,use the glass as a knife, throw a pad lock in a sock. Anything you can use toobliterate the offender. Use numbers to your advantage if in a group. Even ChuckNorris would have a problem fighting more than one person at a time in real life.Control the offender’s weapon if possible and go for the vitals. Throat, eyes, head,take his/her ability to see and breathe. This is a fight for your life. Completelyneutralize the threat. Self Defense Techniques
When planning a response to an active shooter incident besure to communicate with co-workers. Develop a plan that works best with yourbuilding security, layout, and resources.
Request assistance from your local police department. Manyagencies will send a representative to assist in the planning/training phase. Securityconsulting agencies will assist in developing a plan for a fee. Once a plan isdeveloped ensure all employees are trained in the plan. A systematic response helpsreduce panic and chaos during an incident.
DON’T FORGET THE DISABLED!!!!!
There are several people with disabilities working in ourcommunity. A hearing disabled person may not be aware an incident is occurring.A visually disabled person may not be able to traverse the building quicklywithout guidance. A wheel chair bound person may need assistance with stairs orfallen objects impeding the walk way. Regardless of the situation, people withdisabilities may need assistance during a crisis. Include them in the planning phase and create measures to assist themduring an incident.
Report domestic abuse.Don’t be afraid to speak up.
I know there is a need for tougher gun laws and increasedresources for mental health treatment and I hope we can find an answer soon.
In my 14 years working some of the most crime ridden neighborhoodsin the Nation, I have yet to see a law prevent a violent offender access to afirearm. Chicago touts itself as having some of the strictest gun laws in the Nationyet is devastated by gun violence daily.
Until a solution is found, the only way to stop a bad personwith a gun is with a good person with a gun.
My prayers go out to the families of yesterday’s victims.
God bless the responding Chicago Police Officers. GodspeedOfficer Samuel Jimenez. You have given everything for those you did not even know.You are a hero and you will never be forgotten.
Don’t forget to watch the FBI video – Run Hide Fight, in the link above.
Please subscribe to my blog and comment below. Contact mewith any questions you may have and thank you for reading.
Stay safe out there. Continue to have fun and learnsomething.