'Run, Hide, Fight': Sheriff's Office instructs school staff on surviving shootings
By: Jonathan Simmons and Paige Wilson
What should you do if there’s an active shooting at your workplace or your school?
“It might be up to you to save your own life,” Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michael Lutz said. Lutz was making the presentation alongside Cmdr. Mark Carman, who leads the Sheriff’s Office’s Palm Coast precinct. (The PowerPoint presentation from the event can be viewed here.)
The Sheriff’s Office’s response time is faster than the national average 5-6 minutes: FCSO deputies can arrive in 4 minutes, according to the presentation.
People who can leave an active shooting scene should do so immediately, and should keep their hands visible as they do so, so that arriving deputies can tell they’re not a threat. They should not attempt to move wounded people, and should call 9-1-1 as soon as they can, according to the presentation.
But if you’re in that situation, don’t run through a long hallway to get to an exit: That might put you face to face with the gunman, according to the presentation. Instead, duck inside a room along the hallway and lock the door. Turn your phone to “silent” and turn off any radios or TVs, block the window and close the blinds, and get behind a large item. And if you’re hiding in a room with other people, don’t bunch together.
Fighting should be a last resort, undertaken only if your life is in immediate danger. If you have to do it, according to the presentation, “act as aggressively as possible,” throw items and use improvised weapons like a chair, pen, stapler or fire extinguisher.
Target the head, neck, groin and eyes.
There are things people can do to help prevent shootings, Carman said, including avoiding bullying — school shooters tended to have been bullied — and reporting suspicious behavior.
“If you see something, say something,” Lutz said. The training presented to district staff at the auditorium fulfills requirements for Florida’s new Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which requires active shooter training in schools at least once per semester, according to an FCSO news release.
“Unfortunately the times that we live in call for this presentation to be given to our teachers and school faculty. This training, along with our School Resource Deputies, is vital to protect our schools where these active killers target our children,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in the news release.