How to Respond to an Active Shooter: ‘Run, Hide, Fight’

Drexel police.

During the chaos and tension of a campus active shooter, would you know how to react? Drexel Police want to educate the University community on tactics to react to and survive emergencies — especially an active shooter incident, in which people should “run, hide, fight.”

When the attack on Ohio State University began on Nov. 28, the university’s emergency management department immediately urged its community to “Run, Hide, Fight” through a tweet and text sent out to students and faculty. For many, it was the first time that such a phrase was heard.

The short, succinct phrase instructs what to do in the case of an active shooter situation: run if possible, hide if not and fight if it’s a last resort.

The phrase is easy to remember and teach, much like how “Stop, Drop and Roll” is used when someone is caught on fire. Current Drexel students and faculty are more familiar with the latter phrase, which they learned as children, than the “Run, Hide, Fight” mantra that debuted from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security just a few years ago.

Since early 2015, Drexel’s Department of Public Safety has been recommending Drexel students, faculty and staff to “Run, Hide, Fight” in the case of an emergency situation like an active shooter on campus. The “Personal Preparedness Plan” on the department’s website offers clear advice on what to do during a fire, active shooter, evacuation, lockdown and bomb threat on campus. On that page is a link to a five-minute training enactment video of “Run, Hide, Fight” on YouTube (viewer discretion is advised).

“The ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ video is a lesson on survival during an emergency,” said Eileen Behr, Drexel’s vice president of public safety. “Every member of our community should take time to review the information and understand how their personal actions and attitudes could save their life and those of others. Active shooter situations are often over in less than 10 minutes.  This video will provide you with tips on actions to take in the minutes before police arrive.”

The video and additional safety information has been presented to members of the Drexel community in person through the “Public Safety & U” workplace safety program, which was developed by the department to educate and highlight the potentially lifesaving importance of workplace safety. The program uses interactive audio-visuals, live demonstrations and an open discussion forum to educate participants on the various roles and resources available through the Department of Public Safety, the Drexel University Public Safety Communication Center (DUPSCC) and the Drexel University Police Department. Talks are also given highlighting Drexel’s safety systems, such as the DrexelAlert text and email notifications sent to the Drexel community in emergency situations and the Drexel Guardian app that can be downloaded so that DUPSCC can access your location and medical information when the app is used during an emergency.

Since its inception, “Public Safety & U” has been presented to over 2,500 Drexel Dragons. Now, the Department of Public Safety is working to reach even more faculty, staff and students by putting that in-person presentation online for all to see.

As of Nov. 30, the active shooter portion of the live presentation is available through Career Pathway as a training course titled “Active Shooter — Are You Prepared?” The online version of “Public Safety & U” is part of a collaboration between the Department of Public Safety and Human Resources’ Learning & Development team.   

This training can now be easily found and completed at the convenience of faculty and staff, who can also request in-person and customizable “Public Safety & U” workshop sessions by contacting the Department of Public Safety at 215.895.1550.