Preparing for mass tragedies

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 others were injured when a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a music festival in Las Vegas.

As the shots rang out, the crowd had only seconds to decide what to do. Videos of the shooting show some people running and other huddling together on the ground.

Although the situation in Las Vegas was unique, local law enforcement said it’s always important to have a plan.

“The things we need to think about now is getting ourselves in the right mindset to react,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden. “Because under these events and stressful times, if you haven’t already began to prepare for these incidents, more than likely you’re going to panic or freeze because you have to think about what should I do next.

In most active shooting situations, law enforcement teach the “Run, Hide, Fight” method. These are federal guidelines by the Department of Homeland Security:Run

  • Running is your best option. Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority.
  • Leave your belongings behind and get away
  • Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Call 911 when you are safe, and describe shooter, location, and weapons.

Hide

  • If you can’t run, then hide. Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet.
  • Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate.
  • Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.
  • Don’t hide in groups — spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.
  • Try to communicate with police silently through text message or social media — so they know geo-tagged location, or by putting a sign in a window.
  • Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.
  • Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.

Fight

  • Fighting is the last resort. Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against him/her.
  • Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc. to distract and disarm the shooter.
  • Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
  • Throw items and improvise weapons.

These are some of the tips KHP teaches during their active shooter mitigation course — usually geared toward businesses and schools. However, the course is open to the public.

In wake of what happened in Las Vegas, Trooper Crittenden said it’s important for the public to get in the right mindset to react in emergency situations.

“We need people to be leaders and to take charge and help, because a lot of times it is the civilian world out there that’s taking care of business, sometimes before even law enforcement can arrive,” he said.

If you’re interested in attending the Kansas Active Shooter Mitigation course, contact the KHP Training Academy at (785) 822-1700.

Medical ID app for emergencies

After the Las Vegas shooting, many people were reported missing and had no identification. However, there is a tool that first responders, law enforcement and hospital staff can access in case of an emergency situation.

WATCH: KSN’s Amanda Aguilar explains how to use the Medical ID app


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