Response Guidelines for an Active Shooter Situation

The term Active Shooter refers to an individual or group of individuals who are actively engaged in the wanton killing or attempted killing of people within a congested area. The term can be applied to individuals who are using any device to cause death, whether it is a firearm or other object.

Rapid Response refers to the course of action taken by responding officers who will take necessary action to stop all active shooters. The action is only undertaken for dynamic situations involving immediate killing. At Fairfield University, rapid response will be undertaken by both Fairfield University Public Safety Officers and/or Town of Fairfield Police Officers.

It is important to remain calm. Notify 911 immediately and be prepared to report what is happening to include the number of shooters, description, types of weapons used, number of injured and your location.

Actions to take by either faculty, staff or students:

  • If escape IS possible:
    • Leave the area immediately while notifying others in the area of the situation
    • Call 911 as soon as possible, preferably as you vacate the area using a cell phone
    • Leave all packs and bags behind
    • Go to a secure area and await further instructions
  • If escape IS NOT possible:
    • Go into a room (office, classroom, storage area) that can be locked preventing anyone from entering
    • Lock yourself inside and remain quiet while staying out of the view of any windows and doorways
    • Call 911
    • Remain hidden and await further instructions

Please understand that responding officers will move quickly to the area where the active shooter is located. Expect officers to ask questions about the shooter (location, description, direction of travel) and to demand you keep your hands visible. Responding officers must not only identify the assailant, but must determine you are not involved in the situation. Be prepared to follow the commands of responding officers.

If you are in hiding, await announcements that the area is "All Clear" from proper public safety or police officers. Be sure to verify the individual making such an announcement is in fact an officer.

Taking some type of action is better than no action at all.

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