By Cannoneer staffOctober 31, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. (Oct. 31, 2013) -- With recent shootings at a Tennessee National Guard Recruiting Office and the Washington Navy Yard, the threat of an active shooter at any military installation or facility is possible.
Joe Glanzer Fort Sill Police chief, and Roger McCardle, Fort Sill Police Special Reaction Team leader, offered the following advice.
Prevention is one of the factors to active shooting.
"Be aware of who is around you, what is around you," Glanzer said. "Know who is coming into your building, and how are they acting. If a co-worker is acting differently, violent, problematic let someone know."
Have an escape plan to a predesignated safe area where the building manager can take a head count, McCardle said. Practice your emergency escape.
In the event of an active shooter, Fort Sill Police officers train people to do three things: evacuate, hide or fight.
First, evacuate which is a natural reaction. When gunshots go off nearby people will panic and run, Glanzer said.
In an evacuation, the Department of Homeland Security recommends:
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Leave your belongings behind.
- Help others run, if possible.
- Prevent others from entering where a shooter may be.
If you can't run, then hide. Call 911 if you can safely do so. On post, dialing 911 will connect you to the Lawton dispatcher, who will immediately connect with the Fort Sill Police, Glanzer said. Barricade yourself in an office or room, turn out the lights, silence cell phones, turn off radios, lock the door and if possible, block it with heavy furniture. Remain quiet make it seem like the room is unoccupied.
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for a shooter to be familiar with the facility and the people in it, Glanzer said. "That's what makes it so difficult because they know a building as well as we do."
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the active shooter, the chief said. This includes throwing items and improvising weapons, yelling and committing to your actions, according to www.dhs.gov.
Every Fort Sill Police officer is trained to respond to an active shooter situation; there is no waiting for a SWAT team, Glanzer said. The first patrolmen on scene will not be there to render aid to victims, but to find the shooter. When the incident is over and the area is clear, then emergency medical personnel will be let in to render aid.
The Directorate of Emergency Services has officers who go to units and organizations to teach about responding to an active shooter, and assisting with action plans. To schedule training, call police operations at 580-558-6284.
Note: Supplemental information for this article came from www.dhs.gov.