WATCH: The Vancouver Police Department has put together a reality-based educational video to teach people what to do when faced with an active deadly threat. April Lawrence reports.
Run, hide or fight.
That’s the advice the Vancouver Police Department is giving in a new video outlining how people can be prepared for an active deadly threat.
“It’s an uncomfortable topic and the level of gun violence in Vancouver is relatively low compared to other places but with attacks increasing in frequency around the world it’s something we must prepare for as a community,” said Vancouver Chief Const. Adam Palmer.
The video depicts an active shooter situation and suggests response options for the general public.
“An active deadly threat situation is very rare, but you still need to be prepared,” says Sgt. Jason Robillard in the Vancouver Police Department’s video.
“The unthinkable is happening what do you do?”
In the video, Vancouver police make it clear you don’t have a lot of time. Police response is typically measured in minutes, but Robillard says in the video, a lot can happen before they get there. The general rules are:
- Escape if you can
- Hide if you can’t
- Fight if you must
Vancouver Police suggest your first choice should be to flee. Leave with or without your colleagues and definitely don’t worry about your belongings.
“Choose an exit, where you’re unlikely to encounter the assailant and that is safe to use,” suggests Robillard in the video.
Only upon safety should you call 911. At that point, remain calm and provide as much information as you can, including the building’s address.
If there’s no safe way out, the next best choice is to hide.
The video details that you should find a room you can hide in, lock and barricade the door, turn off the lights, mute everything on your phone, and hide behind a large object that might protect you.
The video advises that you ensure anyone entering the room is a police officer.
As a last resort, Vancouver Police Department says you should fight for your life.
“Fight, use improvised weapons – remember you have every right to defend yourself,” says Robillard in the video.
“If there’s an active deadly threat, time will pass before first responders arrive to help, even if it’s only minutes, and that’s when the public, or potential victims, will have to act, and that is what our new video is focused on,” said Palmer.
The Vancouver Police Department video advises that once police are on scene, their first priority is to locate the suspect and stop the threat. That means they may have to bypass anyone injured.
The video also notes that it’s important to keep your hands clear, not to yell at police, and to remain calm and concise if they ask you questions.
Although these scenarios are rare, the Vancouver Police Department suggest that companies should identify their risks and make a plan just in case. That plan should include a crisis response package (building maps, employee roster, keys, floor plans and contact numbers).
You can watch the video below: