New active shooter alerting message gives distinct caution

By Stephen Nutt
Installation Antiterrorism officer

The installation recently employed a new alert message designed to notify Hill Air Force Base residents and employees in the event of an active shooter situation. An active shooter is an individual, or individuals, who are actively attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area. Virginia Tech and Fort Hood incidents are examples of an active shooter occurrence.

The new active shooter alerting message, broadcast over the installation mass notification system (Giant Voice) will broadcast the phrase "Lockdown, lockdown, lockdown, we have an active shooter" followed by the last known location of the active shooter or shooters.

Following the broadcast of the alert message all facilities will secure exterior doors to prevent the active shooter from entering. If you are traveling on the installation move to a safe area and seek shelter. If you are directly outside the affected facility seek the nearest cover and stay until instructed to move to a safer location. If in the affected facility or adjacent facility, vacate hallways and other common areas, stay away from windows, and seek shelter in an office or room.

Take the following actions if the shooter enters your building:

  • If possible notify all occupants by PA/mass notification system that there is an active shooter within the facility and to evacuate or seek shelter in a locked office.
  • Call 911 and notify the dispatcher of the building number as well as the number, locations, physical description, types of weapons used by the active shooter and the number of victims if known. If you cannot speak, leave the line off the hook and allow the dispatcher to listen
  • Evacuate to safety. If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the facility. Leave belongings behind and attempt to help others escape if possible. Prevent other individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be. Once law enforcement arrives, keep your hands visible at all times and follow instructions.
  • If evacuation is not possible, hide in an area out of the active shooter's view and that provides protection if shots are fired in your direction. If the door does not lock, blockade. Silence cell phones and pagers, hide behind large furniture or equipment and remain quiet.
  • Attempt to disrupt and incapacitate the active shooter, only as last resort. If necessary, act as aggressively by yelling and using whatever weapons can be fashioned from immediate surroundings.
  • Law enforcement will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard. Officers may shout commands, push individuals to the ground, and use flash-bangs or pepper spray to control the situation. Remain calm, immediately raise hands and spread fingers, and avoid pointing, screaming or yelling. Avoid quick movements and follow law enforcement instructions.

For further information and tips on active shooter incidents, please contact the Installation Antiterrorism Office at (801) 775- 5313 or 777-5314.

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