UW police teach students to run, hide, fight during active shooting training

Training scheduled for Oct. 5
UW police teach students to run, hide, fight during active shooting training

Odds are, you’ll never face an active shooter situation. But events like last month’s shooting in a Middleton office building serve as startling reminders of the importance of being prepared.

University of Wisconsin police are holding an active shooter training drill Friday at the Welcome Center on campus. Officers say there are three key steps everyone should remember should they ever find themselves in an active shooter situation: run, hide, and fight.

RUN: Police say if there is an accessible escape path, you should immediately run, and try to get out as quickly as you can. The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better. If you can’t get out, hide.

HIDE: If you can’t get out, hide. Find a secure place where the shooter is less likely to find you, turn off the lights, remain quiet, and be sure to silence your phone.

FIGHT: Finally, as a last resort, fight. But only when and if your life is in imminent danger. Be aggressive, yell, throw things, and use improvised weapons. Try to stave off the attacker until police arrive.

When police do arrive, they are trained to react in a variety of different ways. Officers responding to an active shooter are trained to run into harm’s way: heading immediately into the area where shots were last heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers may be in teams, they may be dressed in normal patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external ballistic vests and Kevlar helmets or other tactical gear.

Once they’ve disarmed the shooter, officers will then help any injured people, identify victims, and interview/counsel survivors.

The next training is scheduled for Oct. 5 from 12:30- 2:30 p.m. at the Welcome Center on the UW campus.