RUN HIDE FIGHT: How to protect yourself

Laramie County Community College encourages the use of the U.S. Department of Security RUN, HIDE, FIGHT plan to stay safe during a violent attack.

Laramie County Community College’s campus safety director James Crosby and assistant campus safety director Juan Maldonado talked about the ways students and staff can keep themselves safe during a violent attack on campus.

“We asked representatives from both EMA (Emergency Management Agency) and the sheriff’s office to work with us to create an emergency response plan for Laramie County Community College,” Crosby said. “We have one for both this campus in Cheyenne and we have one for our campus in Laramie.”

In a violent attack, the first step is identifying the situation and contacting 911. Campus Security should be notified next if possible. If a 911 call is placed on a landline anywhere at LCCC, Campus Security is notified of the call and where the call is placed. With this information, Campus Security can send first responders to the specific area where the call was held.

As soon as Campus Security is aware that there is an attack on or near campus, they will send out a message alert on the RAVE system and lock down the campus. The RAVE system alerts students with information as to where the attack is happening and what should be done to keep students and faculty safe.

Crosby said that in the event of an attack, students and faculty should use the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT plan. Each part describes what steps should be taken by an individual based on the situation.

RUN means to attempt to evacuate the premises if there is an accessible escape path. The plan starts by having an escape route in mind. Leave all belongings behind and evacuate regardless if others agree to follow, but help others who do choose to evacuate.

When safely evacuated, the plan says to call 911 and prevent any other individuals from entering the area where the attack may be happening. It is also important to not move any wounded people.

To keep from being mistaken as a threat by the police, keep hands fully visible, follow all instructions from law enforcement, and  let them approach you first. A person should expect to be detained and escorted to an assembly area, then stay put until identified and released by the police when it is safe.

Crosby said an example of when to use RUN is if there is an active shooter in the Recreation and Athletics Center, the east side of campus can safely evacuate while people in the RAC will need to hide.

HIDE means to find a place where an attacker can’t find you. Once a person is in a place that can be controlled, lock and/or barricade the door with anything that is accessible. For doors that don’t lock use heavy furniture or jam chairs, podiums, tables, cabinets or anything else that is available to block the door.

HIDE also says to check and see if there are any windows that can be used to make an emergency exit. Then to turn out all the lights and silence anything that makes noise such as cell phones, televisions and radios. People should also remain quiet and hide under any tables or chairs.

FIGHT means to attempt to disrupt or incapacitate an attacker. It is a last resort option and is only to be used when in imminent danger. This plan should be used when all attempts to barricade against a shooter have failed.

FIGHT says that if possible, to flee when an attacker enters a room. If running is not possible an individual will have to asses the situation and choose to stay hidden within the room by staying still as possible under chairs or tables in the room. Or, an individual can choose to fight the attacker with anything that can be used as a weapon until escaping becomes possible or the attacker is no longer able to continue the attack.

Fighting is acting aggressively toward the attacker by throwing items, improvising weapons and yelling. It is important to commit to your actions.

Then once it is possible to leave the area, follow the RUN plan.

Crosby said that it is important to maintain a situational awareness.

“The one who process the information of the situation the quickest wins the fight,” Maldonado said, referencing the OODA Loop principle made famous by military strategist U.S. Air Force Col. John Boyd. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. “So, what you want to do is have situation awareness, orient yourself to the situation, understand what is happening and be able to respond quickly to it. Both are processing information. If you can beat the perpetrator’s processing, you can win the fight.”

All this information can be found on the Campus Security page on the site including a downloadable quick reference guide that includes the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT plan and the Report a Concern page that lets you anonymously report a concern to the Care Team.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: