Pittsburg State University

Guidelines for Response to Hostile Situations: Hostile Intruders

Emergency Action Plan

Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in not only the number of violent acts committed against members of school campuses across the country, but also in the severity of these acts.  While Pittsburg State University has been fortunate not to have experienced such an occurrence, it is prudent and responsible to set forth guidelines to address the response and management of a hostile intruder incident.  Although the probability of such an incident occurring on campus is minimal, preparedness is important for survival in a hostile intruder encounter.

In the event that a person(s) threatens the personal safety of members of the University community, the Pittsburg State University Police Department suggests the following guidelines for hostile intruder situations. 

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious bodily injury or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to person(s) within a building, we recommend the following protocol related to concepts of ALICE.  The ALICE concept empowers individuals to be proactive and prepared to encounter hostile person(s).  While no set of procedures will ensure 100% survival, the university believes initiating the ALICE concept will greatly increase the chance of survival.

(This guide refers primarily to academic buildings, however these procedures are equally relevant to administrative buildings, other common buildings and various other locations on campus)

What should I do if I see someone with a gun or hear gunfire?  Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.  Any of the following measures can be utilized, in the event, it is the discretion of the people involved to decide which is the best option.

ALERT – Can be anything

  • Gunfire
  • Witness
  • Phone Alert
  • Alert Beacon

 LOCKDOWN – This is a semi-secure starting point from which you will make survival decisions.  If you decide not to evacuate, secure the room.

  • Lock and barricade doors with anything and/or tie down the door using any type of strap.
  • Turn off lights, close blinds, silence cell phones, computers, etc.
  • Look for alternate escape routes (windows, other doors).
  • Move out of the doorway in case gunfire comes through.
  • Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover, spread out don’t huddle in groups.
  • Try not to trap or restrict your option for movement.
  • Once secured do not open the door for anyone. Police will enter the room when the situation is over.
  • Call 911 when safe to do so.

 INFORM – Using any means necessary to pass on real information.

  • Given in plain language
  • Who, what, where, when and how information.
  • Location of killer, number of killers if more than one.
  • Physical description of killer/s.
  • Number and type of weapons held by the killer/s.
  • Number of victims.
  • Can be used by people in the area or who may come into it to make common sense decisions.
  • Can be given in “Text Alerts”

 COUNTER – This is the use of simple, proactive techniques should you be confronted by the Active Killer.  As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active killer by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons.
  • Anything can be a weapon.
  • Create as much noise as possible.
  • Attack as a group (swarm).
  • Grab the killer’s limbs and head and take them to the ground and hold them there.
  • Fight dirty-bite, kick, scratch, gouge eyes, etc.
  • Run around the room and create chaos.
  • Commit to your actions.
  • If you have control of the killer call 911 and tell the police where you are and listen to their commands when officers arrive on scene.

 EVACUATE – Remove yourself from the danger zone as quickly as possible.

  • Decide if you can safely evacuate.
  • Run in a zigzag pattern as fast as you can.
  • Do not stop running until you are far away from the area.
  • Bring something to throw with you in case you would encounter the Active Killer.
  • Consider if the fall from a window will kill you.
  • Break out windows and attempt to quickly clear glass from the frame.
  • Consider using belts, clothing or other items as an improvised rope to shorten the distance you would fall.
  • Hang by your hands from the window ledge to shorten your drop.
  • Attempt to drop into shrubs, mulch or grass to lessen the chance of injury.

Last Revised: February 2016