Golden West College Active Shooter Presentation Sharpens Skills and Awareness

GWC Active Shooter Training

Huntington Beach, CA – This Spring, improved training was provided to over 100 members of the Golden West College staff, faculty and student body regarding armed aggression on campus. Also discussed were new campus technologies, strategies and efforts to help prevent or minimize risk and injuries during these incidents. District Chief of Police, Jon Arnold joined Huntington Beach SWAT Officers providing a summary of the incidents on campuses across the nation. Recent changes in tactics are now recommended.

Primary for the public, is to be aware of your surroundings. An active shooter scenario is dynamic with fluid surroundings and situations. Incidents usually occur in highly vulnerable places where few, if any individuals will have the potential to intervene or fight back. Lacking resisting firepower does not mean helplessness; only that alternative tactics must be used. Knowing what to do will greatly increase the odds towards making split-second, “life and death” decisions with terms on your side.

Golden West College recent campus improvements include:

  • Code Blue Towers – emergency phones connected to Public Safety.
  • CCTV cameras located throughout the campus grounds
  • Electronic Access Controls systems that allow for the locking of classroom doors.
  • Campus Officers carry direct communication with the local police street units.

The traditional three-part decision tree of “Run, Hide, Fight” still holds true. New tactics related to awareness change the thinking of all three of these strategies.

Run —Wherever you are, know where the exits are. Be aware of your surroundings; a pause in gunfire may mean the shooter is reloading. Run from the gunfire quickly, but as safely as possible. Abandon all belongings. Those who won’t or cannot join you must be left behind right away. Panic and hesitance could cost you. Keep moving. Get out.

Hide –Lock, then barricade doors. Block all windows, put wedges under doors. Barricade yourself behind heavy furniture or office equipment. Stay away from doors, walls and windows. Remain very low. Recent shootings found attackers shooting through doors, walls and windows killing people huddled against doors and walls not sturdy enough to withstand gunfire. Stay down and quiet until law enforcement arrives.

Fight– If the attacker is pressing into your area and there is no escape, Fight! Throw anything you can at the attacker.  Rush, tackle, grab the weapon, arm or hand.  Hit their head with anything available. Do not fight fair – Kick, scratch, spit, gouge, bite – commit yourself to action. Stop the attack

The bottom line is that everyone must remain aware of developing threats, situations, and options for safety and survival. We can all play a part by remembering the options of Run, Hide or Fight!