Eleven people were injured at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Monday morning, Nov. 28 when 18-year-old student Abdul Razak Ali Artan crashed his vehicle into pedestrians then slashed people with a butcher knife before being shot by a university police officer, according to USA Today.
Amelia Pierson, a senior agricultural engineering student at OSU, was getting ready for class at her campus house about four blocks north of the parking garage police searched during the time of the incident. Pierson said she heard police outside and did not think anything of it at first.
“My friends and I are all engineers and checked in with each other since we have classes in that area a lot,” Pierson said. “A lot of us decided to stay where we were and keep working on homework.”
Pierson was previously a teaching assistant for the engineering college and had received training in the case of an active shooter. The campus utilizes the action plan, “Run, hide, fight,” as a part of its response to an active shooter. This brought a frightening reality to her training, but she felt prepared.
“I would say I feel a lot safer knowing that in less than a minute the right person was addressed by police, and within the next few minutes there was every type of emergency assistance you could think of on campus,” Pierson said. “I am extremely proud and confident in my university’s ability to carry out their emergency plans.”
According to Craig Russell, director of Public Safety, the Harding Office of Public Safety uses similar strategies and preparations for dealing with an attacker on campus. Public Safety in conjunction with Human Resources also uses “Run, hide, fight” to train faculty, staff and residence assistants to know what to do in case of an active shooter or attacker on campus.
Since the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, a group of public safety officers have been trained specifically to respond to an active shooter. Russell said officers are equipped to respond to any type of attacker.
“In many ways, from our perspective, it does not matter if a guy is attacking somebody with a knife or a gun,” Russell said. “Anytime there is a weapon, you are going to have a similar response.”
Russell said the Office of Public Safety also provides training for individual departments on campus, as well as Aramark employees and Harding Academy.
“It’s impossible to anticipate every possible scenario,” Russell said. “We want to make sure that the instructions we give people options regardless of what the circumstances may be, and we feel like that run, hide and fight are the basic options. Use the one that makes the most sense for the scenario.”
Pierson said the OSU advises students to get as far away as possible from the scene. She said if it is not possible to run or hide, and if it is not possible to hide, then fight for your life.
“People who commit such horrible acts like this aren’t nearly as prepared or level headed as the special teams who come out to remedy these situations,” Pierson said. “To stay safe, you really just need to be aware of your surroundings.”
The video “Run, hide, fight” can be found on at readyhoustontx.gov.