On Thursday, a gunman entered a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and opened fire, ultimately killing nine people. The tragedy showcased the need for a plan for when such events take place. A week before the shooting, Ohio State’s Office of Administration and Planning released a video to educate the campus and community on how to survive an active shooter.
The video, which can be found on OSU’s Administration and Planning YouTube page, explains three priorities that aim to help students survive an encounter with an active shooter. These three priorities are to run, hide and fight.
“As our people start to develop a plan, think about the plan, practice the plan, they gradually become more likely to survive,” said officer Adam Tabor, the training coordinator and accreditation manager for the university police division. “It’s really all about the plan.”
OSU’s Department of Public Safety and the Office of Student Life partnered with university police in order to spread the practice of “Run. Hide. Fight.” According to Tabor, active-shooter incidents have become a more common occurrence in recent years and are often seen in places with a lot of people, a lot of stress and at major schools.
“When you combine all of those factors and you look at The Ohio State University, unfortunately we are a prime target,” he said.
Tabor and other members of university police have been teaching the three-prong priority for several years to different student and faculty groups.
These training sessions spawned the idea to produce a video that would be easily accessible for all students, staff, faculty and visitors.
Dan Hedman, the director of communications for the Office of Administration and Planning, said the safety of campus is a top priority.
“We hope the ‘Surviving an Active Shooter’ video brings this potential danger to light and helps educate our campus community on what to do during an emergency,” Hedman said.
The video also allows other universities to see what OSU is teaching. Tabor said he has received several emails from other universities asking to use the video to teach their campuses, and the universities also want to collaborate to make their police programs stronger.
“Collaboration and outreach is one of the university’s core values and goals, so the video is helping us in that way,” Tabor said. “We can help other universities to be as prepared as we are.”
The phrase “Run. Hide. Fight.” originated in 2012 when the city of Houston released a similar video on surviving an active-shooter event. However, the concept and its importance has been around for much longer than that, Tabor said.
“We’ve done our part. We’ve practiced and trained and rehearsed and educated. And we’re just asking you to do your part,” Tabor said. “Plan for how you’re going to survive. You can survive.”