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Active Shooter: Are You Prepared?

The following article excerpts are posted on the U.S. Air Force website:

Since 2009, Schriever Air Force Base officials have taken a proactive approach in preparing for an active shooter incident.

To increase awareness and help prevent casualties in the case of an active shooter, Schriever members engage in annual computer-based training, in-house training and base exercises on the topic.

"An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area," according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security fact sheet. "In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims."Lou Fischer, the 50th Space Wing anti-terrorism officer, has been helping base members realize the importance of active shooter training. In the event of an active shooter, Fischer suggests taking the following safety measures depending on where the shooter is located. When an active shooter is outside in the open, seek cover and concealment. If possible hide behind something capable of stopping a bullet, such as a brick wall or the engine block of a car. If it's safe, run, but do not run in a straight line. Use a zigzag pattern. If running or hiding is not an option, play dead, and as a last option, fight and use any object to disable the shooter. If the shooter is outside the building, lock the doors and windows, close the curtains or blinds, lie down on the floor or crouch below the window line. If possible, call 911 and let the dispatcher know the location, the number of shooters, the shooter's location and types of weapons involved. If possible, move to a pre-established secure area with hardened walls, minimal windows and a lockable, thick door. If the shooter is inside the building, try and exit or flee the area. If it's not safe to leave, remain in place. Again, dial 911 and give a description of the scenario. Do not pull the fire alarm. Instead, remain silent, lock and barricade the door, stay low and seek cover. If the shooter comes into the room or office, drop to the floor, seek cover and concealment and play dead if the shooter is actively shooting. When first responders arrive, remain calm and follow their directions. Do not make any quick actions toward them and provide any information that is known. "Help out first responders by staying calm," said Staff Sgt. Michael Kulka, a 50th Security Forces Squadron trainer. "Wait for help to arrive, avoid confrontation with an armed adversary and most importantly listen to what the first responders say and follow directions." Rescue teams consisting of emergency medical personnel and additional officers will arrive on scene after the first responders. They also may call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises. "Once you have reached a safe location or an assembly point, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control," suggests the U.S. DHS fact sheet. "Do not leave the safe location or assembly point until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so." To help prevent an active shooter in the work area, encourage a respectful atmosphere in the workplace, be aware of any indications of violence and take corrective action.