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Active shooter - Armed intruder


Identify the threat

An active shooter is one or more individuals who is actively and indiscriminately engaged in killing or attempting to kill people. In most cases active shooters use a firearm and display no pattern or method for selection of their victims and their intentions are to kill as many people as possible.

This is different from a hostage taking. In a hostage-taking situation, the armed individual uses hostages as leverage in exchange for something. The vast majority of hostage taking incidents are resolved through negotiation and end without injury to hostages. If you are in a hostage taking situation you should be calm, patient and compliant and wait for authorities to negotiate a peaceful end to the situation.

Unlike a fire alarm, when everyone is instructed to evacuate, an active shooter incident presents three possible actions that you must consider, depending on your proximity to an exit and/or to the armed assailant.

At Concordia, as soon as a serious threat to the life and safety of people on campus is confirmed, a campus emergency alert message will be initiated using the emergency notification system. For example:

EMERGENCY ALERT:  Dangerous Situation at SGW Campus – If on campus, SEEK A SECURE LOCATION immediately, if not on SGW campus, stay away and await further instructions.

Because the objective is to alert everyone on campus, as quickly as possible, the alert message is sent campus wide and will not contain any specific information. The purpose of the campus alert message is to interrupt people caught up in their daily activities, alerting them that they are potentially in danger and triggering their survival instincts. After receiving the campus alert, you must determine if you are in immediate danger and take the necessary action to protect yourself.

Always keep in mind that the emergency may be occurring in your building, a neighbouring building or across campus. 

If you assess that nothing is happening near you and that you are safe, remain where you are until you have more information as to the specific nature and location of the emergency.


If the threat is close

If you determine that the threat is close, you must determine which of three possible actions is best for you:
Run, Hide or Fight:

Run: If you can get out of the building safely, avoiding a confrontation with an armed assailant, then run and get out of the building and away as fast and as far as you can. Take as many people with you as is safe, and once outside seek shelter, do not stand in an open area such as a parking lot.

Hide: If you can’t run, go to the nearest safe location that can be locked, preferably without windows and off the main hallway, where the armed assailant cannot see you. Lock and/or barricade the door with whatever heavy objects you can find, stay away from the door frame, spread out inside the room, stay low, and be quiet. If you can call 911 from this position without making noise, do it. The purpose of hiding is to keep safe and out of sight until the police can arrive.

Fight: The last option, if you can’t run or hide or if the armed assailant breaches your safe room is to fight. Understand that your assailant’s intentions are lethal to you and if you come face to face with him, you have no choice but to defend yourself and fight to save your life and the life of your friends and colleagues.

Normal people are capable of extraordinary actions when faced with a life of death situation. As a group and working together, you have numbers in your favor and can over power the aggressor. Almost any room will have something in it you can use for protection or as a weapon; fire extinguishers, chairs, desk objects, books...

The video below describes the Run, Hide, Fight process during an active shooter event.

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