Fallston Group

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Active Shooter: Run, Hide, Fight

According to the Department of Homeland Security, an “Active Shooter” is a motivated individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms 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. Follow the run, hide, fight model if you find yourself in an active shooter situation:

  • Run (Evacuate) – if there is an accessible escape path, attempt to quickly evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
  1. Have an escape route and plan in mind;
  2. Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow;
  3. Leave your belongings behind;
  4. Help others escape, if possible;
  5. Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be;
  6. Keep your hands visible
  7. Follow the instructions of law enforcement;
  8. Do not attempt to move wounded people;
  9. Call 9-1-1 when safe to do so.
  • Hide – if evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:
  1. Be out of the active shooter’s view;
  2. Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (e.g. an office with a closed and locked door);
  3. Not trap you or restrict your options for movement;
  4. To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
    • Lock the door;
    • Blockade the door with heavy furniture;
    • Silence your cell phone and any other mobile devices;
    • Turn off any source of noise (e.g. radios, televisions);
    • Hide behind large items (e.g. cabinets, desks);
    • Remain quiet;
  • Fight – If evacuation and hiding are not possible:
  1. Remain calm;
  2. Dial 9-1-1, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location;
  3. If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen;
  4. Take action against the active shooter;
  5. As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to:
    • disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
      • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her;
      • Throwing items and improvising weapons;
      • Yelling;
      • Commit to your actions to save your life.

The first order of leadership is providing a safe place to work; preparedness is critical. Make sure your organization has policies in place to minimize damage during an active shooter or any violent situation that may spill into the workplace.

Video: Run, Hide, Fight


For more information about how to protect your people, assets and brand, contact Fallston Group at 410.420.2001 or by email at Info@FallstonGroup.com.


Image by: The Purchase Phoenix

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