- Tulsa police help train people on how to handle active shooter situations
- FBI says 160 active shooter situations reported between 2000 and 2013
- FOX23's Ron Terrell is taking a closer look at staying safe
Someone bursts into your office with a weapon. You only have seconds to make a decision on what to do next. Do you know what to do?
FOX23's Ron Terrell found out what you can do and use in your own workplace to stay safe.
After the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and other mass shootings, many businesses and individuals are learning how to protect themselves.
"The active shooter phenomenon is turning into an epidemic, which is sad," said Capt. Mike Eckert. He's the Special Ops commander for the Tulsa Police Department.
He said the first step in that situation is being prepared.
"Every individual in every company, every corporation, every school, every public facility, that people frequent during the course of a day, should have some kind of an active shooter response plan in place," he said.
The Tulsa Health Department recently went through active shooter response training.
Brenda Dale, THD's emergency manager, said it's important to be prepared, and added there's strength in numbers.
"Build this plan together and the people that work within your space at work. Discuss it, talk about it. Decide who's going to do what. How are you going to do it?" Dale said.
So what goes into a plan?
"Run hide and fight," said Eckert.
Those are the three ways to keep yourself safe.
The first option run.
"What run refers to is to get as far away from the violence as we possibly can. By getting people out of the small confined areas and getting them away from the suspect or suspects themselves, that's the way we alleviate or eliminate casualties," he said.
Sometimes you may have a clear path to run, but in some instances you don't. FOX23 learned from Eckert, by keeping a simple hammer in your desk, you have a tool at the ready you can use to break through glass, or even a wall, if needed.
"Punching a hole in it with a hammer and gradually making that hole bigger by expanding the parameters of that hole, you're gonna make a hole big enough for you to get through. Especially if you're motivated by fear," he said.
The next option is to hide Eckert explained barricading an office door falls into that category.
"If that filing cabinet is too heavy or the desk is too much for this person to move, we need to have other options. And a very simple option, is just a doorstop. And you can get a variety of doorstops at any hardware store," he said.
He said while it may not deter an attacker 100 percent, it creates another obstacle.
The last option: fight.
"Here's a pair of scissors. There's a weapon that I could use. Even if that didn't work, that looks like a letter opener. There's something that I could use. Even picking up this whole container, with pens and pencils in it. If I throw a heavy object in their direction, at the very minimum, it's going to act as a diversion. But I do want to stress and I want to constantly do this: This is the last option. This is the last resort," he said.
What can you accomplish using these three options? Eckert said it buys you time. A few minutes before authorities arrive.
"The cavalry, if you will, is coming, nut what we like to explain to people, or try to sell, is that you're responsible for your survival that first 1 to 3 minutes," he said.
CLICK to watch a short video produced by the Department of Homeland Security with more details about what Eckert was talking about.
Cox Media Group