Run Hide Fight/Resist Response Protocol
What is Run, Hide, Fight?
This is the belief behind the Essex Westford School District’s (EWSD) partnership with the Essex Police Department and our community First Responders, as we begin training on a more flexible approach to responding to a possible active threat at one of our schools.
Safety measures have become standard practice in schools. By implementing best practices like wearing ID badges, practicing situational awareness, and conducting threat assessments, schools have become more proactive in keeping our students and staff safe. We recognize that no single response fits every potential scenario so we emphasize options-based responses that help keep our students, staff, and community safer.
Over time, starting with staff at our high school and technical center campus, EWSD will be rolling out the US Department of Homeland Security’s recommended protocol - Run, Hide, Fight/Resist. This work will not replace any of the current safety protocols or regular drills - each of those will remain and be actively reinforced across the District and throughout the school year. What is new, is the building of greater situational awareness around responding to an active threat.
What is an “active threat?” An “active threat” is defined as any incident which by its deliberate nature creates an immediate threat to life or presents an imminent danger. In addition to offenders armed with firearms (active shooters), it is possible for other types of weapons or instruments to be used to cause harm.
For these types of situations, the goal is to have additional options to procedures we currently have in place - Run, Hide, Fight/Resist - and to empower everyone to survive an active threat.
This is challenging work. The difficult conversations ahead will help us in our preparations to keep our schools and community even safer. Over the summer the District will be working with our partners to develop a comprehensive training and communication plan for the District’s safety measures, including our new Run, Hide, Fight/Resist initiative.
As we strengthen our safety measures to emphasize greater situational awareness in EWSD - especially in response to the worst events we can possibly imagine - we know our students and staff will be safer and we will have collectively developed valuable life skills for our entire school community to take with them wherever they go.