Run, Hide, Fight- UNF Crisis Management Training Session

Alan Vargas

The UNF Center for Professional Development held a Crisis Management Training Session in conjunction with the University Police Department on Tuesday, July 2. The session was held for new UNF faculty to learn what to do during an active intruder or active shooter situation.

“The goal of an active shooter is to hurt or kill as many people as possible,” UNF Police Chief Frank Mackesy said. “So seconds count. We have a very fast response time here at UNF. The national average is seven and a half to eight and a half minutes. Ours is five minutes or less.”

Mackesy instructed the new faculty members on a crisis response strategy called “Run, Hide, Fight,” which is endorsed by the Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security. Mackesy also shared an interview with UNF employee Frank Brown, who was held hostage during a bank robbery several years ago. In the interview, Brown credits his active shooter training at UNF as the reason for his successful escape of the situation.

According to Mackesy, it’s important to watch for stimuli, such as yelling or screaming, people laying on the ground and/or gunshots. If you find yourself in an active intruder or active shooter situation, figure out if it’s safe to run. It’s important to be aware and make sure you don’t run into danger, rather than away.

If running isn’t an option, hide. Mackesy affirmed that, in order to get away from other people and find a room, one should barricade the door and turn off the lights.

“You don’t want to attract the shooter because your cell phone goes off, so turn off your ringer,” Mackesy said. “And you don’t want to light up a dark room with your phone either, so be smart about using it.”

Finally, if you can’t run and you can’t hide, you’ll need to fight as a last resort. Use improvised weapons and fight as a group.

“Use whatever means necessary to incapacitate the shooter,” Mackesy said.

If you want to read more detailed advice on what to do in a situation of crisis, you can read a prior Spinnaker interview with Mackesy here.

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