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50 SFS conducts realistic active-shooter training
A team of 50th Security Forces Squadron Airmen clears a room in the shoot house during an active-shooter response live training scenario Aug. 20, 2012, as part of its annual training program. The 50th Space Wing Antiterrorism office, 50th Security Forces Squadron and the 50th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Flight recently issued guidance on how to survive an active-shooter incident. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes)
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Schriever issues active-shooter guidance

Posted 1/24/2013   Updated 1/25/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs


1/24/2013 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo -- Every emergency scenario requires having a plan, including an active-shooter scenario. The 50th Space Wing Antiterrorism office, 50th Security Forces Squadron and the 50th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Flight recently issued guidance on how to survive an active-shooter incident.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and/or 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 typically unpredictable and can evolve quickly.

"The active shooter phenomenon represents a significant change in criminal methodology, and has in turn required a significant change in tactics for both responders and potential victims," said Lt. Col. Jasin Cooley, 50 SFS commander. "In decades past, bystanders were only a tool for acquiring another target, now they are the target. With this in mind, escape and compartmentalization need to be the primary motivation of bystanders. Everyone should have a plan for escape, and assist others if forced to escape."

How individuals respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter, bearing in mind there could be more than one shooter involved in the same situation.

"As active-shooter scenarios become more and more prevalent, people need to realize that it can happen to them at any time," said Lou Fischer, 50th Space Wing antiterrorism officer. "Now is the time to think about it, not when the crisis is happening. "

Increased attention should be placed on personnel who have been involuntarily discharged or fired from their job, awaiting disciplinary action, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and making unsolicited comments about violence, firearms or death. People should also observe individuals who have been served with a restraining order, are known to be mentally or emotionally unstable, made comments about being disenchanted with the military and displayed anti-war or anti-military sentiments.

"Personnel need to maintain a reasonable level of awareness at all times and to have a plan in place if presented with this situation," Fischer said. "It's all about going home to your family at the end of the day."

The following are tips on how to survive an active-shooter scenario:

If caught outside in the open:
- Seek cover and concealment. Use whatever is available, such as walls, trees or buildings, to obscure yourself from the shooter. Hide behind something capable of stopping a bullet such as masonry or brick wall.
- Run if safe. Do not run in a straight line.
- Play dead if unable to run or hide, then wait for help.
- Summon help when safe.
- Fight as a last option; use any object to disable the shooter.
- Upon arrival of security forces, leave hands in plain view. Do not make sudden movements. Wait for all clear signal from recognized authority.

If shooter is outside the building:
- Lock doors and windows; close curtains and shades.
- Lay down on floor or crouch below the window line out of the line of fire.
- If safe, move to a central secure area.
- Stay in place until all clear signal issued by recognized authority.
- Follow all directions of police and security personnel.

If shooter is inside the building:
- If safe to exit, flee the area; if not safe, stay in place (do not roam hallways).
- Do not pull the fire alarm.
- Lock and barricade door; stay low; remain silent; use furniture for cover; if possible hide behind something capable of stopping a bullet.
- Stay in place until all clear signal issued by recognized authority.
- Follow all directions of police and security personnel.

If shooter enters room or office:
- Immediately drop to the floor; seek cover and concealment; play dead.
- As a last resort, fight the shooter. Rush with available people, throw things or use improvised weapons to take shooter to the ground.
- Stay in place until all clear signal issued by recognized authority.
- Follow all directions of police and security personnel.

After the scenario
- Follow the direction of emergency responders.
- Do not speak to the media. Information will be released to the community and media as quickly as possible by official sources. Refer inquiries to the 50 SW Public Affairs office at 567-5040. Straight Talk Line, 567-8255, is also available for accurate information about the status of any disturbance or crisis situation and the actions taken or being taken
- The entire area will be treated as a crime scene.
- Once evacuated, people will not be permitted to retrieve items or access the crime scene.
- After evacuation, people will be taken to a holding area for medical care, interviewing, counseling, etc.

For all situations, dial 911 from a landline or 567-3911 from a personal phone and give information, such as location, incident details such as number of shooters, physical description, type of weapons and number of potential victims.



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