Run, Hide and Stop the Bleed – NKY Health Drills Respond to an Armed Aggressor

NKY Health took another step forward to ensure staff recognizes the actions to take if an armed aggressor, otherwise known as an active shooter, attempts to do harm at one of the health department sites. Armed aggressor training has been coordinated by NKY Health for several years. Trainings have included subject matter experts discussing run-hide-fight response actions and stop-the-bleed techniques. Recently, NKY Health staff participated in armed aggressor drills at each work site. Staff performed the principles of run-and-hide, in addition to practicing with the supplies in our stop-the-bleed kits.

A number of lessons were learned from the drills. Refresher training on stop the bleed techniques is very beneficial.  A video is being produced with our community partners that will instill the principles of putting pressure on a wound, packing a wound and applying a tourniquet. This video will become part of our annual staff training. Staff realized that a stop-the-bleed event can occur anywhere – on a soccer field, while camping or an armed aggressor at work. Knowing how to stop bleeding can be a life-saving skill.

During the training, staff recognized that it is worthwhile to think about and practice what they would do if they became part of an armed aggressor situation. Finding the closest corner to hide, exiting the building using a side door, going down the back stairs, or closing an exam room door and pushing an exam table against the door are all good strategies to help ensure staff and client safety.

It is unfortunate that training for an armed aggressor has become a necessary component of safety training at most workplaces, churches and schools.  However, knowing what to do could save your life and help you save the lives of others.

 By:  Stella Barber, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator