LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- They keep Missouri’s highways drivable and safe. Now MoDOT workers have joined the growing list of employees learning to keep themselves safe, if there’s an active shooter on the loose in their buildings.
The potentially life-saving lesson workers received comes down to just three words. Employees watched a recorded active shooter scenario, in which a normal day at the office turns chaotic when a shooter opens fire.
In that scenario, every second that follows becomes critical.
That’s why in the calm of a conference room, MoDOT workers learned the importance of preparing by making the decision to “run” “hide” and “fight”.
“We want it to be as ingrained in everyone as to what to do in the event of an active shooter as stop, drop and roll, and 911,” said Eric Ramsey, MoDOT safety and healthy manager.
He says hesitation in the matter could end deadly.
“One thing that we refuse to do at MoDOT, and that’s to be a victim,” said Ramsey.
Employees learned the basics like keeping calm, locking themselves in rooms, and thinking of what to use as a weapon to take out the shooter.
“As a group, what could we use? What would we do in these different scenarios?” said Ramsey.
The goal is to disrupt the shooter’s plans.
“If that plan is disrupted, they’re going to either be neutralized, or they’re going to give up,” said Ramsey.
The same rules apply for crews if they encounter danger outside the building while working roads.
In February of 2014, MoDOT workers had to dial 911 after hearing what sounded like shots along Interstate 70 and Pittman. With workplace shootings becoming more prevalent, and trainings taking place, some wonder if it could give a potential disgruntled employee an advantage by knowing the plan in advance. Ramsey says, don’t count on it!
“They have an advantage in certain aspects, but what they do not have the advantage of, is that we will not be victims,” said Ramsey.
MoDOT will have live drills in the future. Employees are also encouraged to be on the lookout for visitors who look out of place, and to report strange behavior and threats amongst coworkers.