National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Active Shooter – How to Respond

Run, Hide, Fight – Active Shooter Protocols

Good practices for coping with an active shooter situation:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
  3. If you are in an office, stay in the office and secure the door.
  4. If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
  5. As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate the individual.
  6. Behaviors to look for in an active shooter (review Department of Homeland Security [DHS] link below in references).

**Call 911 only when it is safe to do so**

How to respond when law enforcement arrives:

  1. Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  2. Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets).
  3. Immediately raise hands and spread fingers.
  4. Keep hands visible at all times.
  5. Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding onto them for safety.
  6. Avoid pointing, screaming, and/or yelling.
  7. Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises.

Training your staff for an active shooter situation:

  1. Create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP).
    1. Implement training exercises based off the EAP.
  2. Preparedness and Prevention.
    1. DHS Active Shooter Situation – Options to Consider video –

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some considerations to help you be prepared to react appropriately in an active shooter situation on the fireline? At the Incident Command Post (ICP)?
  2. Do you know the location of the closest Law Enforcement?
  3. What about at ICP or Helibase?
    1. Does your Incident Management Team or module have an EAP that addresses the potential active shooter scenario?
    2. If an active shooter situation occurs at ICP, do you have the Security Manager’s number, so they can immediately send the closest Law Enforcement Officer, or do you call Communications on the radio?
Firefighter Health & Safety
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
May 2023

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