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Active Shooter Incident

Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to review the following video, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of Fitchburg State University's emergency preparedness efforts, we have adopted many of the recommendations from the DHS model.

https://www.dhs.gov/video/options-consideration-active-shooter-preparedness-video

How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in your Vicinity

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that people are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an active shooter situation.

Get Out

  • If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

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:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

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:
  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Committing to your actions