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Safety Solutions

Evil Showed Up at the Basketball Game...Four Things to Consider

Posted by John Baker on Dec 7, 2016 10:57:00 AM

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A few months ago I wrote a blog on football stadiums after a recent shooting at a local high school game in York, PA.  As we move from the stadium to the gym for winter sports I thought it was only fitting to consider some of the unique considerations of a crowded Friday night gym filled with screaming fans.  So what do we do if violence breaks out in that crowded gym?

  • Forget the stay calm speech.  The crowd is going to respond and you don't have any way of stopping them.  No amount of ushers, faculty or police personnel are going to stop a stampede.  Just plan on it happening.
  • Pre-game announcements are key.  Take a minute to inform everyone that in the event of an evacuation they should move toward the exits nearest them.  Take time to identify the exits because often the exit sign they see across the gym is not as close as the one next to their bleachers and out of their view. This may reduce cross over traffic and many people running for one or two of the most obvious exits.
  • Movement saves lives.  If a violent intruder is in the crowd their ability to accurately acquire targets is significantly diminished when people are moving.  Consider one or two word announcements such as "EVACUATE" or "MOVE OUT OF THE GYM NOW" type commands.  Sitting in the bleachers is no place to be if evil shows up with the intent to kill.  
  • Gather injured and others outside for care and accountability.  You will not be able to account for everyone.  This is not a home room; It's a public event.  You need to be OK with that.
I hope you find this information helpful.  If you want to discuss large group events more feel free to reach out to us.  This is John Baker for safetysolutions4schools.com.   








Topics: School Safety

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