Insights Into Teens: Episode 27 “Active Shooter Awareness”

Today’s podcast took an unexpectedly tragic turn when we learned of two additional shooting events between the time the podcast was recorded on Saturday morning and it’s scheduled release date of Monday morning. Having been scheduled several weeks in advance we were unaware of just how relevant the subject matter would be when we sat down to record it.

In the podcast we define what active shooters are, how to respond if you are in or near a situation of an active shooter and safety tips for how to conduct yourself under such circumstances. We also talk about what preparations the schools are making at this time to help protect our children and how as a last resort you can try to defend yourself in a terrifying and impossible situation of an active shooter.

Insights Into Teens


Show Notes

- Introductions
- Special Note
    ○ Gilroy Garlic Festibal shooting in Gilroy Californa
    ○ Resulted in four deaths and 12 injuries
    ○ 3 survivors from this latest shooting also survived the deadly concert shooting in Las Vegas 2 years ago
- What is an Active Shooter
    ○ ALICE (Alert - Lockdown - Inform - Counter - Evacuate) Institute
    ○ An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
- Information about Active Shooters
    ○ Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly
    ○ Active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes
    ○ Active shooter situations are often over before law enforcement arrives on the scene
    ○ In most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims
    ○ Individuals have been known to act without firearms such knives, automobiles or other commonly available but possibly lethal tools and utensils
- Characteristics of an Active Shooter
    ○ Active shooters’ intentions is usually an expression of hatred or rage, rather than financial gain or motives associated with other types of crimes
    ○ Active shooters often have made detailed plans for the attack
    ○ Active shooters often, but not always, are suicidal
    ○ In some situations, active shooters choose a location for a tactical advantage
- Good practices for coping with an active shooter situation
    ○ Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers
    ○ Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit
    ○ If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door
    ○ If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door
    ○ As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her
    ○ Call 911 When it is safe to do so
- How to respond when an active shooter is in your vicinity
    1. EvacuateIf there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
            1. Have an escape route and plan in mind
            2. Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
            3. Leave your belongings behind
            4. Keep your hands visible
            5. Follow the instructions of any police officers
            6. Do not attempt to move wounded people
            7. Call 911 when you are safe
    2. 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 electronic devices
        § 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
    3. Take action against the active shooter
    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
        § Yelling
        § Committing to your actions
- What happens when law enforcement arrives
    Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will
    proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.
        § Officers usually arrive in teams of four (4)
        § Officers may wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment
        § Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns
        § Officers may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation
        § Officers may shout commands, and may push individuals to the ground for their safety
    ○ How to react when law enforcement arrives:
        § Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
        § Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets)
        § Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
        § Keep hands visible at all times
        § Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
        § Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
        § Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises
    ○ Information to provide to law enforcement or 911 operator:
        § Location of the active shooter
        § Number of shooters, if more than one
        § Physical description of shooter/s
        § Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
        § Number of potential victims at the location

- Things to be aware of when law enforcement arrives
        § The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons. 
        § Expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. 
        § These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. 
        § They may also 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, and all witnesses have been identified
        and questioned. 
        § Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.