It's a quiet morning, and faculty and staff have begun filing into work for the day.

As co-workers greet each other or enjoy the first sip from a cup of coffee, loud pops are heard somewhere down the hall.

"Was that a firecracker?" a person asks a colleague. Soon, the awful truth becomes apparent as the office erupts in chaos: an armed person has made their way into the workplace and is firing a weapon.

As the situation unfolds, people begin running in different directions. Maybe one of them — a dear friend — grabs your arm. But are they leading you in the right direction?

Where should you go? How should you react?

Most importantly, should you run, hide or fight?


Follow our guidelines on what to do during an active killer situation.


The University of Pittsburgh Police Department wants to help you by training faculty and staff in how to respond to that type of scenario.

"Ideally, we hold the training in the building where the participants work everyday, and where they're comfortable," said Pitt Police Sgt. Paul Burgh, who runs the program. "Knowing your surroundings and having situational awareness is critical in these types of situations. But the training will apply well beyond the workplace and into everyday life and location. We feel it's better to be trained and never need to use it, then to need it and not be trained."The department's four-hour Active Killer Incident Class will provide you with necessary instruction in defensive tactics, including:

• Evacuating the site if a safe route is available.

• Hiding in an area and out of view if you are unable to run.

• Blocking entryways.

• Turning off lights and computers and silencing cellphones.

• Fighting for your life when no other option is available.

Since January 2013, the Pitt Police Department has had 184 classes with 3,526 participants.

Anyone interested in scheduling a class should email Sgt. Burgh at

For more information, the U.S, Department of Homeland Security has its own Run, Hide, Fight video.


Our printable document provides more information about how to sign up for one of our training sessions.