Run. Hide. Fight. Active Shooter Response Event Recap

More than 360 people attended a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Rochester TRENDS active shooter education event co-hosted by Rochester Chamber and Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York.  The program featured speakers from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Rochester Police Department, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  U.S. Attorney William Hochul offered welcome and closing remarks.

The common message from all of the law enforcement agencies on the panel was if you were ever to find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan. That plan could be as simple as the strategy of “Run.  Hide.  Fight.”  

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Commander, Sgt. Brian Moore, said, “If you can, run.  If you have the time, distance, and shielding, run away.  Get away from the situation.  If it’s not safe to do so, then try to find a place to hide.  An active shooter typically is trying to do as much damage in a short period of time before the police get there and interrupt them.  If you find a good hiding place, that is also an option if you can’t run away.  And then obviously, if your back is against the wall, if you’re pushed in a corner, fight, especially if there’s a group of people.  Ten people against one, sometimes it doesn’t matter what that person is armed with.  They just become overwhelmed.  If you get put in that corner, that’s what we would expect people to do.”

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jim Jancewicz said the vast majority, 70 percent, of active shooter incidents happen in places of commerce; places where we work, shop, and play.

Rochester Chamber CEO Bob Duffy said, “This is a very important topic for Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.  If you look at these tragic situations around our country where active shooters walk in, be it a movie theater, place of employment, other public areas, and begin taking lives, it creates chaos.  It creates a whole host of tragedies.  What we want to do is get our local experts together to talk about some things that you should be doing in the event a situation like this should occur.  We hope it never occurs, but one of the best paths forward for us is to provide information and follow up with training for individual organizations so everyone has in their mind a plan if, God forbid, something like this should happen.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York urge businesses to be proactive in creating an active shooter response plan.  To explore options for your organization, contact your local law enforcement agency.  Resources are also available at www.dhses.ny.gov/sptc, www.CityofRochester.gov, or by contacting Monroe County Emergency Preparedness administrator Fred Rion at frion@MonroeCounty.gov.