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IU offers training on how to Run Hide Fight in case of active shooter

Nov. 30, 2016

The knife attack at Ohio State University's Columbus campus on Monday has shined a light on how universities and colleges prepare their students, staff, faculty and police for similar scenarios.

An exercise is planned for Friday at IU Northwest's School of Nursing. | PHOTO BY ERIC RUDD, IU COMMUNICATIONS

IU has conducted full-scale active-shooter drills at all of its campuses. Its police and emergency management staff offer a range of safety presentations that either focus on the preferred Run Hide Fight approach to armed assailant attacks or include it as part of safety presentations. Presentations and training usually can be tailored to the requesters. 

At IU Northwest, where an exercise is planned for Friday at the School of Nursing, police will sometimes follow a presentation with a simulated attack so the group can practice responding. Usually, said Lt. Brandon Campbell, the training is conducted where staff work, allowing police to show them specifically how they could escape or protect themselves.

"We want them thinking about what they can do," Campbell said. "This could potentially save their lives someday, regardless of where they are."

This six-minute video, which goes through the Run Hide Fight response, also is widely recommended. Run Hide Fight options are not a progression; individuals should select the best option for their situation.

Run: If a safe path is available, run.

  • Always try to escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
  • Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let their indecision slow down your escape.
  • Try to prevent others from entering the danger zone.
  • Keep your hands visible for law enforcement.
  • Call 911 once you're safe to report the incident and description/location of shooter(s).

Hide: If you can't escape, find a place to safely hide and be silent.

  • Turn out lights, close window blinds/curtains, lock doors if possible and silence your cell phone ringer and vibration mode.
  • Barricade doors and windows if able to with furniture and other objects.
  • Stay low to the ground but don’t sit down; be prepared to move.
  • Gather items to use for self-defense.
  • Identify other methods of evacuating should the opportunity to escape occur (other doors, stairwells or windows).
  • Render first aid to the injured if it is safe to do so.
  • If unable to evacuate, remain in place until the “All Clear” is released through IU-Notify or by law enforcement in the area.
  • If safe to do so, call IUPD and report your location. If the shooter is in the area and able to be heard, call and keep the line open for dispatchers to listen. 

Fight: As a last resort, act with aggression and use improvised weapons to distract and/or disarm the shooter.

  • Throw objects at the shooter’s head; aim for the eyes.
  • Work together as a team if others are present.
  • Upon use of a distraction device, immediately attempt to escape or take down the shooter.
  • Commit to action as if your life is at risk.
  • Remove the weapon from the shooter’s reach and safely hide it; do not handle it because law enforcement may perceive you to be a threat.
  • If taking down the shooter, immobilize all limbs (arms, legs, head) until law enforcement arrives.

"Everyone knows what to do if there's a fire: stop, drop and roll," Campbell said. "Unfortunately, there's no national mantra for what to do in an active-shooter situation. Run Hide Fight is a good start. It's good to get their minds working."

If you're interested in training for active-shooter or active-aggressor situations, contact IU Emergency Management and Continuity at iuemc@iu.edu or campus police:

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