We’re checking with local universities and colleges about safety procedures when an active shooter or threat is reported on campus.
An incident at Ohio State University this morning resulted in nine people transported Columbus hospitals after a suspect drove into a crowd of people, jumped out of his car and began stabbing students with a butcher knife. He was shot and killed by a police officer.
Alerting an entire campus about an incident like this is a challenge. Here is what schools have done to prepare for the unthinkable:
Ohio State University
Thousands of students, faculty and staff received Buckeye Alert notices beginning at 9:55 a.m. The second notice a minute later alerted the OSU community to an active shooter at Watts Hall with the message, “Run, Hide, Fight.”
“Run, Hide, Fight” is an active shooting protocol developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Under the protocol, people in the face of a threat should find an escape route if possible, leave their belongings behind, silence their phones and hide in an area out of the shooter’s view. Attempts to disarm or engage the attacker should be done only when you feel your life is in danger.
Ohio State has made “Run, Hide, Fight” known to students as part of the school’s preparation for a major threat.
Sinclair Community College, the University of Dayton and Wright State University all provide similar guidelines to those who study or work on campus, according to their websites.
Sinclair has an incident command, all-hazards plan that would include response to an active shooter, said Charles J. Gift, Sinclair’s director of public safety and police chief.
Students, faculty, staff and visitors would immediately be notified in several different ways in addition to emails and text messages. A network of 1,500 emergency alarm loudspeakers, which also cover garage areas and parking lots on the Dayton campus, are also used to alert those on campus, he said
Gift said a video on Sinclair’s site helps outline a four-step plan if confronted by an active shooter: get out, call out, hide out, and take out,” he said.
“If you can, get out of the building where you’re at and get away,” he said. “Once you do, call police. Don’t think someone else is going to do it and they may not and we need to know,” Gift said. “The sooner we know about it the sooner we can get there to stop it.”
If you can’t get out of the building you’re going to need to hide out inside the building and ready yourself or with others to take action, he said.
“If you’re hiding and the active shooter actually comes to where you are you need to be prepared with other faculty, students and staff to actually fight the suspect and take them out,” Gift said.
University of Dayton
According to UD’s site, police there have also received specialized training to respond to violent attacks.
“Incidents of violence in workplaces, high schools, colleges, and universities have elevated safety concerns to a level never before experienced in the United States,” according to a message preceding the suggested measures for surviving a gunman, run, hide and fight.
University of Dayton Police have received specialized training to respond to active shooters or other incidents involving violent attacks. The City of Dayton Police and other police agencies would also be called to respond should such an incident occur on UD’s campus.
Wright State University
Wright State University has called a press conference this afternoon to go over its plans. We’re there and will update this story as soon as we get the information.
The university’s website says the main goal of police is to stop a shooter. Coming to the immediate aid of victims is secondary to stopping the shooter before he or she can do further damage.