Run, Hide, Fight: Enid School Employees Learn How To Respond To Active Shooters

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol partnered with the Oklahoma School Security Institute to train Enid Public School employees the Run, Hide, Fight method.

Friday, September 1st 2023, 6:33 pm

By: Chris Yu


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It's the largest training of its kind in Oklahoma. And given the deadly shooting at the Choctaw High School football game a week ago, it's more timely than ever.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol partnered with the Oklahoma School Security Institute and LSU's National Center for Biomedical Research and Training / Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education (NCBRT/ACE) to train the entire Enid Public School District on the Run, Hide, Fight method.

In all, 63 instructors taught about 1,000 school employees at different 15 locations, said the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

"I feel like I'm getting some muscle memory so that hopefully, if something does happen - God forbid - I will remember I have choices," said teacher Linda Outhier. "Moving from denial to deliberation to decisive action is really important that you do it quickly. And I feel like that's good advice."

During Friday's training, school employees took part in mock scenarios in which an active shooter was on campus. After hearing simulated gunfire, the participants decided whether to barricade their classrooms or do something else to keep them and their students safe.

"If you're unsure of where that threat is or where that sound is, you need to lock down. You need to barricade. You need to prepare to fight," said Jason Priest, director of safety and security at Enid Public Schools. "But if you're in a school this size - Enid High School is 386,000 square feet - and you make the decision that you can get you and your kids out in a safe manner, then you need to make that decision."

Friday's training came exactly one week after the deadly shooting during a football game at Choctaw High School's Bill Jensen Field. 

"I actually had some coaches in my class, we were talking about that. Not only preparing our students and faculty inside the school but also when they're out at a game if something happens, how to respond to that," said Daniel Redmond, an instructor with LSU's NCBRT/ACE. "And the incident last week that you're referring was brought up a lot in my class."

Trooper Brack Miller with Oklahoma High Patrol said Enid Public Schools is the third district they've trained and the largest so far.

"You will fall back on your level of training in a crisis scenario. So having any training is better than none, and this is some of the best training that can be put on," said Miller.

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What Is An Active Shooter Situation?

An active shooter is a person actively engaged in attempting to kill people by use of firearms, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Often in these situations, there is no pattern or method to the selection of the shooter’s victims, according to DHS.

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, according to DHS. It often takes 10-15 minutes for law enforcement to arrive on scene, DHS says.

This leaves people a considerable amount of time to fend for themselves. Experts want you to remember Run, Hide, Fight. Once in a safe location, contact 911.

Be Aware

Experts agree that every individual should be aware of their surroundings in any place they may enter as a preemptive measure. This awareness includes noting the closest two exits and visualizing escape routes.

Run

The first option once an active shooter situation is occurring is to run. Evacuate the area near the attacker and leave your belongings. The goal is to leave the vicinity, this means get out of the building, arena, park, etc.

Hide

The second option is to hide. If you can’t leave the area, finding an effective hiding spot is important. DHS recommends a hiding place be out of the shooter’s view, provide protection if shots are fired, and not trap or restrict your options.

If you make it into a room, DHS says to lock the door or blockade the door with heavy furniture.

It is also important to silence any source of noise, like a phone or TV, that might draw the attacker to you, DHS says.

Fight

The third option, often a last resort, is to fight. When taking action against an attacker, DHS recommends acting as aggressively as possible, including throwing items, improvising weapons and yelling. The goal is to disrupt or incapacitate the attacker long enough for law enforcement to arrive.

Once Law Enforcement Arrives

It is the officer’s goal to stop the shooter as soon as possible, according to DHS, so it is important that you don’t interfere. Officers may shout at you and use tear gas or pepper spray, DHS says. The first responding officers will not stop to help the wounded, DHS says. Another team of officers or medical personnel will follow the initial officers.

The DHS recommends that you follow instructions, put down anything you have and put your hands up. DHS says you should not grab onto officers for safety, scream or yell, or ask officers for directions.

If you know information officers do not, tell law enforcement or a 911 operator. Important information would include the number of shooters, location of the shooter, a suspect description, what weapons they have, how many victims there are or their location.

Law enforcement will likely keep witnesses in a safe location until the situation is under control and collect statements.

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