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Emergency Preparedness Guide
Active Shooter Protocol
Carlin Hall Basement
Trigger Warning – This video contains references to themes of violence which some individuals may find distressing.
Hi everyone, my name is Cassandra Sinnott. I am one of the Captains for the campus Department of Public Safety serving Gallaudet University and Clerc Center.
During the next few minutes, I will explain some of the ways to respond if there is an active shooter on campus. Situations involving an active shooter are unpredictable and evolve quickly. It is important that you are prepared to respond appropriately if you find yourself in an active shooter situation. The goal is to take the time to think about what you might do if you are in an active shooter situation – there is no right or wrong answer.
What is an Active Shooter? The US Department of Homeland Security defines “active shooter” as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”
First, PREPARE. Know where you are and your surroundings. Identify possible escape routes and the locations of the nearest exits. If you are on the Gallaudet campus, add the Gallaudet DPS text number to your mobile device’s contact list now – 202.651.5555.
If you find yourself in an active shooter situation, you must quickly make decisions: RUN, HIDE, or FIGHT.
RUN- if you are able to evacuate safely, RUN, even if others insist on staying in place. Leave all belongings behind. Keep your hands visible at all times with law enforcement. Once you are safe, contact 911 or text Gallaudet DPS if you are on campus and provide them with any information about the threat that would be helpful, including location and description.
HIDE- If you cannot run, HIDE in an area out of sight of the intruder. Stay away from doors and windows. Turn off the lights and make sure all doors and windows are covered. If possible, lock and barricade the door with heavy furniture. Stay still and quiet. Remain in place.
If the shooter is in your space and you are unable to run or hide, this may mean the FIGHT response. This is a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger. Act aggressively, throw items, and use improvised weapons.
When law enforcement arrives, there are some key points to remember. As long as the active shooter is still a threat, law enforcement’s primary objective is to stop the intruder before helping you. This means that they may run past and ignore you and others even if you are injured until the situation is under control. What you can do is:
– Remain calm.
– Do not make any sudden moves and keep your hands visible.
– Do not run towards officers.
– Do not scream.
– If you have information about the intruder, advise the officers.
– Stay in the safe zone/ green zone till officers advise otherwise.
Each of us can play a role in preventing any unsafe situations on campus before they happen. If you notice any suspicious behaviors or have concerns, please report them.
If there is an immediate threat to your safety or to others, please contact 911 or text DPS at 202.651.5555.
If it is not an immediate emergency but you are concerned about a friend, coworker, or classmate, please contact Gallaudet’s Behavioral Intervention Team.
An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.
Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
Good practices for coping with an active shooter situation
CALL 202-651-5555, email Contact OR CALL 9-1-1 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO!
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers and clients are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an active shooter situation.
1. GET OUT
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
2. HIDE OUT
If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:
To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
If the active shooter is nearby:
If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:
3. TAKE OUT
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.
How to react when law enforcement arrives:
Information to provide to law enforcement or 9-1-1 operator:
The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons. Expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. They may also call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises.
Once you have reached a safe location or an assembly point, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the safe location or assembly point until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.
Adapted from Department of Homeland Security publication “Active Shooter: How to Respond” published 2008.
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