Most people think that the new run, hide, fight mythology replaces the traditional lock in place incident response. However, this method response tactic is an addition to the traditional lockdown. The idea is to not only give innocent people additional training but also opportunities to respond to a threat adequately. The response options provide increased awareness and have shown to reduce the amount of injury substantially.
So How Does Run, Hide, Fight Fit into the Mix?
Take your existing incident response plan and add the methodology of run, hide, fight to it. Train employees to make the best decision possible under their particular circumstances. This information could be extremely invaluable during a crisis.
The run, hide, fight practices for dealing with an active shooter are to be aware of your surroundings, locate the nearest exits, and hide in an area out of the shooter’s sight. Barricade the entry to your hiding place and lock the doors if possible. If you do cross paths with the assailant, only when your life is in imminent danger, act with physical aggression. Attempt to immobilize the shooter if you cannot flee, such as throwing items or using fire extinguishers when the shooter is in close range.
The problem with the run, hide, fight model is that it does not encourage the warrior mindset. Nor does it adequately prepare potential victims to save themselves or others involved in the crisis. We as humans are wired to do one of three things when fear sets in; Freeze, Flee or Fight. Even if the potential victim decides to flee or fight, they usually freeze initially before moving towards flee or fight mode. Panic induces a type of paralysis that leaves potential victims likely to freeze in an active shooter situation. Which case in point leaves them in a dangerous position.
Is Move, Escape, Attack the Same Methodology?
The Move, Escape, or Attack method may be a better strategy. Verbiage does matter when embedded in an incident response plan because words influence mindset. The last thing a potential victim should do is freeze. Moreover, this freeze response often happens when the victim is in a state of confusion or shock due to the sudden violence that occurs during an active shooter incident. So that leaves the question of why do we freeze in situations of danger? Well, the answer is simple. Freezing is a built-in impulse controlled by ancient circuits in the brain as a part of our predatory defense system.
The “Move” command jump-starts the mind into problem-solving mode and breaks the freeze response while propelling potential victims into action. After the feet start moving, the brain can then evaluate the appropriate response to the situation. The “Escape” command implies that the victim removes them from the area of danger using any action to increase the distance from the shooter. The “Escape” command consists of finding a temporary hiding place or fleeing the scene altogether. Psychologically, the “Attack” command is more of an offensive type word whereas the “Fight” command is more defensive when processed. The emotional strength of the “attack” command will prompt a potential victim to use aggressive violence when in self-defense mode.
Psychologically, the “Attack” command is more of an offensive type word whereas the “Fight” command is more defensive when processed. The emotional strength of the “attack” command will prompt a potential victim to use aggressive violence when in self-defense mode. None of these methods replace the traditional lock in place tactic. However, they are a great addition just in case the lock in place tactic fails.
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