Gina Hamby

JRNM 151 Student

Lorain County Community College students, faculty, and staff are urged to always be on guard for active shooters.

“Preparation is critical for people to be able to respond in an efficient way that buys time and saves lives,” said Ken Collins, manager of LCCC’s campus security.

The event of an active shooter is unpredictable, and the best defense against the threat is to be alert at all times, Collins said.

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, according to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).            

LCCC security staff is taking several different measures to be prepared for such an event. Through drills, both with security and other divisional departments, plans are being developed to tackle a possible threat from different areas on-campus.

Though security will do their best to handle a possible active shooter scenario, it is crucial for campus community members to follow the procedure of ‘run, hide, fight’, the same strategy outlined by the DHS.

‘Run’ should be the first option executed in the event of an active shooter. Always have a clear route to safety in mind, and prevent others from entering the area where the shooter may be, if possible, according to the DHS. In this instance, it is key to remember to run off-campus and zig-zag to be a harder target to hit by gunfire, and to warn others of the threat, Collins said.

He also added that it’s important to remember to avoid running towards your vehicle, as this could cause traffic to backup, possibly causing people to be stuck rather than free of the threat.

The second alternative is ‘hide’, preferably in a room with no windows, Collins said. Barricading the door, even if that means laying on the ground to push one’s feet up against the door. The safest rooms are copy rooms, mail rooms, and study rooms, Collins said, adding that the most important concern is to remain out of sight.

The last resort is to ‘fight, an option only to be utilized if your life’s in danger, according to the DHS. Improvising weapons – like office supplies or textbooks – could incapacitate the gunman and may even stall them until security arrives. Remember, the shooter won’t fight fair, so do what is necessary to protect oneself, Collins said.

In the event of an active shooter, like in any other emergency situations, it is incredibly important to stay calm and contact the proper authorities when it is safe to do so.