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Feb 04 2015

WW: Surviving an Active Shooter

Category: Egress,School Security,VideosLori @ 12:11 am Comments (13)

This PSA was recently released by the LA County Sheriff’s Department.  It is a very graphic representation of how to survive an active shooter situation.  It is obviously not acceptable for use with kids, but it does show a classroom security lock used by a teacher, as well as a locked exit blocking the escape of a victim.  Be forewarned, the video shows actors being shot…it’s not like we haven’t seen that on TV and in movies dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of times, but I’m not sure how I feel about it in video meant to educate adults.  It seems extreme but I’m interested in your opinion.

There is an ABC News story about the video here.

The following video contains graphic content of a violent nature. Viewer discretion is advised. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has created this video to help people answer the question “What would you do?” in the event of a sudden attack by a gunman while at work, at school, or in public.

What do you think?  Is this beneficial in educating the public about active shooter situations?

13 Responses to “WW: Surviving an Active Shooter”

  1. Cda says:

    I guess it gives the general public some ideas of what to do.

    I can see locking the doors, but would try to get out if there was a quick way out.

    Hate the term “emergency exit” an exit is an exit.

    Good idea to tell them to look for other exits, then the one they came in.

    Love the fire extinguisher, just have to get to close to use it .

  2. Ed Marchakitus says:

    That is a very moving and emotionally charged video that gives a very real sense of urgency.

  3. TJ McLaughlin says:

    That’s a powerful piece. It reminds me of the old Driver’s Ed videos, “Highways of Death”, “Wheels of Tragedy”, etc.

    Seeing active shooter stories on the news (much too often) may not drive it home for people. Something like this gives a good look at what those situations might be like and illustrates some of the things to think about.

    Now, about that door that “couldn’t be locked”…

    • Lori says:

      You’re right! I remember watching some very graphic videos in high school about the dangers of driving, smoking, drinking, etc.

  4. Eric says:

    Absolutely a good video. Awareness is very important. Most of us probably think “it’ll never happen to me” and don’t spend any time thinking about what they would do if they found themselves in an active shooter situation. Lori, it is probably second nature to you, because of what you do, to scope-out the exits when you enter a new facility. Most people don’t do that. They enter, do what they went there to do and leave without ever encountering any resistance (shooter, fire, etc.). Chances are, most of us won’t ever experience anything like that, thankfully. But, knowing what to do, having options and being aware of your surroundings is very important. This video helps all of us realize it could happen in our own workplace. How many people reading this blog work at a door/hardware distributor with a warehouse very similar to the one depicted in the video (where the guy was fired from his job)? A small company with a shop office leading to the warehouse full of storage racks. It could be a disgruntled employee or an angry customer. It would most certainly be a surprise and there will likely be very little time to think. Have a plan. Take a few seconds to scan a room or building when you enter. Know where the exits are.
    I think the video should be a regularly televised infomercial but some of the graphics could be eliminated without losing the real message. Sound effects alone are sufficient.

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Eric. I agree, the graphics could be tamed a bit and the video could be more widely used. I wasn’t sure whether I should even post it.

      I do all of the things that you mentioned, but I may have crossed over into the paranoia zone. I was at the Cheesecake Factory over the holidays (WHY?), waiting for a table with about 100 other people and I thought, “What would I do if someone freaked out about having to wait an hour for their buffalo strips and started shooting?” When I’m in a crowd with the kids I always tell them, “If anything happens, we’re heading for that exit right there.” Several of my friends have mentioned that my habits are rubbing off on them. 🙂

  5. John Dalrymple says:

    This is a good awareness video for use with faculty and staff in schools, universities, daycare, healthcare, etc. It speaks well to the urgency and the very short times the threatened have to respond. The graphic nature of the video does limit the appropriate audiences to college age and above, should certainly include a discussion and action plan though. Showing it alone is not contextual and would be “alarmist” or too sensational.

  6. Ken Grayling says:

    The elephant in the room is gun control….

  7. Krystina says:

    This is an excellent video! And Lori, you’re not the only one that scopes out all exits. Every person I know of that’s been overseas on Active Duty doesn’t look for just one exit, they look for all of them. In a restaurant, most (especially those with PTSD) prefer to have their backs to a wall or a corner so they can see if any trouble is about to arise before it actually does. My husband not only looks for all exits, he looks for all cover and improvised weapons. This video reminds me of things that military personnel are trained to look for without even thinking about it. As for the elephant in the room about gun control: If we lived on an island like New Zealand, it would be a lot easier, but if we control the law abiding citizens, the criminals will be the only ones with weapons.

  8. Louise says:

    When the officer says “Sheriff’s dept, is there anyone inside?”,
    she got up and went to the door.
    He could have been anyone including the shooter.

  9. Jon says:

    From another perspective the elephant in the room is fenestration minus an adequate security specification.

    At the 5 minute mark the classroom door is locked (notice the glazing proximity).

    At 5:08 instructions are given to barricade the other door because it doesn’t lock. No one seems to understand the potential that the first doors glass/lock proximity could facilitate a breech in very few seconds.

    At 5:27 both classroom doors open outward so the stack of chairs on the door that “doesn’t lock” will only delay the breech a few more seconds. IE: break the glass, unlock the door and push the chairs out of the way.

    At 5:55 the intruder enters the classroom thru an unlocked door. Had the door been locked the glass could have facilitated the breech outlined above.

    At 6:18 the intruder is thwarted by two more locked doors however once again the vulnerability is present.

    Here’s an example of some real world events for consideration.

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