By Mark Warren - Strategos International, LLC
PREVAIL!™ teaches a very simple active shooter/workplace violence plan that is easy to remember. We call it the “3-Out Approach.” This is a system of principles that can be applied at virtually any location. It will provide trainees with the best responses in a given situation. The “3-Out Approach” is:
LOCK OUT – Can I lock this space down and/or barricade it to prevent or delay entry to me? If I cannot lock the space down, then I automatically default to option two of the –“get out.”
GET OUT – Can I get out or away from the area of the shooter? It may not mean leave the building, but get around a corner in a hallway away from the threat; then re-evaluate if you can get into a space that allows you to lock down. This means be aware of secondary exit points that may be around you. It doesn’t have to be a door but could be a window even if you have to break it out. If my “lock out” and “get out” options are failing, then I am left with the last resort option-“take out.”
TAKE OUT – You have no other option but to fight at this point and try to direct others around you to do the same. I know the question is “what do I fight with?” And the answer is simple: what ever you have available. This could be keys thrown or used to enhance the damage done with a punch, thrown cell phones, books, cups, staplers, hole punchers. Pens and pencils can be used as a stabbing device. What gives the intruders their strength is the fact that they have the gun, but they are also hoping for the easy victim(s) willing to allow them to execute them. We are not going to tell you that you won’t be killed or injured fighting back but what other options do you have? We have a saying: “You may get beat, but get beat doing something!”
EXAMPLE OF USING THE 3-OUT APPROACH
Here is a quick example of using the 3-Out approach proactively. You decide to go to a movie theater. As soon as you walk into the theater, you ask yourself the first of your three options:
Can I lock this space out? You know that is probably not a possibility because of the design of the building. Also, you are a guest and have no keys or other options. So at this point, you are left with two options: “get out” and “take out.” You choose to sit in the top row, center seat to watch the movie and as more people arrive, they fill the row beside you. By choice you have just eliminated your “get out” option.
Now you understand that for the next two hours, while watching the movie if anything happens, your response will be to fight. At this point, you do a quick mental checklist on items available to fight with and enjoy the movie.
By going through the process to a point of making it a habit, you are much farther ahead of the fight than you would have been.
Once you have gone through the 3-OUT options, you will have to prioritize all of your other actions. Let me give you an example, which one is more important: calling 911 or barricading your door? Even if you call 911, this will not prevent the intruder from gaining access to your location.
The easiest way to assist you in determining which one has priority is to break them down into two categories: EMERGENCY (a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action) and ADMINISTRATIVE (relating to the administration of a business, organization, or institution) tasks.
The immediate actions needed as they relate to an intruder are to prevent access, have a plan for failure (3-OUT options), barricading or reinforcing your lockdown, planning a get out option in case of lockdown failure, and preparing to fight.
Once the emergency tasks are completed and you feel confident you and others are safe, then we can look at administrative tasks: things like calling 911, making a list of missing and extra students, turning the lights off, treating wounded personnel.
Sollah Interactive, LLC
8345 University Blvd, Suite C
Clive, IA 50325
Remember! Taking appropriate action during an armed intruder / active shooter event will increase your chances of ensuring that you and those around you will prevail!
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