In Remembrance of Orlando: Actions to Take if Confronted by an Active Shooter

orlando strong

First off, I want to take a moment to pause and remember the victims of the Orlando shooting. No matter where you are sitting or what you are doing, take a silent moment to yourself in memory of the loss of 49 Americans, who were part of one of the most devastating losses in our country’s recent memory.

These Americans were out enjoying themselves at a popular gay club in Orlando when the deadliest mass shooting in the United States occurred. They were vibrant, social people ranging in age from 18 to 50 years old. They were described as “a sweetheart”, “beautiful and loving”, “a dream child”, “happy”, “the life of the party”, amidst many many others warm descriptions. This was a terrorist attack on all of us and most notably the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community.

We must NOT allow homophobia and bigotry to persist and we must support our LGBT friends and family.

Unfortunately we live in a world where things like this happen, so to do my part, I wanted to write a piece on what to do if confronted by an active shooter

As a surgeon at Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital, I am required to keep up to date on various training courses. One that was recently added to our armamentarium was Emergency Management in an Active Shooter/Weapon situation.

MASS SHOOTINGS happen far to frequently.

Be aware of your surroundings. Have a plan in your work environment to know where you can run and know where you can hide. Run to an exit if at all possible. If you can run away, that is what you want to do. Before or as you enter a building, note the exit locations and understand different ways to get out. This may be at a restaurant or even more importantly a club or movie where it may be dark. Regularly, ask attendants to show you easy options for exits when you go out. Try to exit as your first priority.

If you cannon run away, hide, barricade yourself, stay completely silent, lock the door to a room if you are hidden there.

Also consider if your life depended on it, would you take aggressive action against the shooter? What can you use to defend yourself? If your only option is to defend yourself, fight and grab anything you can, something heavy, something sharp, swing hard and get the gun away and run.

Once you are safe, call 911 and give you location FIRST.

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