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Prioritize safety with active shooter training


By: Reiley Bartel, online editor

You are walking towards Bishop Gerber Science Center from Sacred Heart Hall when you hear screams and gunshots coming towards you. Where would you run? Where would you hide? How would you fight?

This was one of many scenarios outlined by Mo Floyd, Newman’s head of campus security, during active shooter training for faculty and staff. Floyd gave three presentations throughout January, and faculty and staff were required to attend.

“You have to lay the groundwork for understanding why having a plan is important. Get into the mind of the shooter, know the aim of the shooter, know what tools are available to use,” Floyd said.

Most mass shootings are planned weeks, if not months in advance, with the exception of domestic violence, Floyd said. Shooters will develop a plan which they will follow through and usually their own death. They usually look for a large number of dead and do not listen to reasons. They will also broadcast their plans on social media, such as Facebook Live, he said.

Floyd said past mass shootings have made it clear that having lockdown as the first and only option isn’t working. Relying on the police to respond in time or minimize deaths is impractical. Floyd said the estimated police response time for the Newman campus is seven minutes or more. It is unsafe to assume that danger will not come because people are not prepared when it will. Finally, Floyd said that talking to the shooter only endangers your life, and it is useless to try to dissuade him.

“That’s why we teach running, hiding, fighting, and in that order. Running puts distance between you and danger, which is the best option. If you can’t run, you hide from danger to eliminate yourself as a target. If you can’t do either, fight, resist in every possible way” Floyd said.

The closest exit may not be the best option, so it’s important to know your options and be able to evaluate them early. It is also important to go as a group, unless the situation requires otherwise. Once outside the building, call 911, don’t assume someone else did it, and get as far away from the building as possible. The staff will make sure everyone is taken into consideration.

If you can’t escape, hide. A shooter can’t shoot what he can’t see, Floyd said. They know they have limited time, so they won’t waste it playing hide and seek. A shooter might not even be as familiar with the building as you are, so you should be able to find a safe place where they can’t find you. If hiding is your best option, be prepared for a long wait before it’s safe to come out. When law enforcement arrives, announce yourself and then come out of hiding slowly, Floyd said.

Finally, if you can’t hide, fight. This is only one option if the other two are not. Combat isn’t part of the shooter’s script, so it should throw them off the beat. Fights can include throwing items, splashing items, and barricading doors. The goal in this scenario is to frustrate the shooter in every possible way. The point of combat is to disrupt the shooter’s script and buy time for others to escape, Floyd said.

Campus security will also do everything they can to stop the threat.

“We don’t have time to wait for Wichita PD, so my job is to eliminate the killer, by any means necessary. I knew that going into the job and I was fine with it. The day I disagree is the day I need to find a new job,” Floyd said.

If you have any questions about any of the situations, you can contact Mo Floyd, the head of campus security.

PHOTOS: Courtesy photo, Unsplash

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