UF unaffected by active shooter hoax sweeping Ohio

By Pulse Staff

It appears Findlay High School was one of the many high schools in Ohio that fell victim to hoax active shooter reports Friday Sept. 23.

The University of Findlay office of campus safety sent out a notice to the UF campus community shortly after 2 p.m.

“University of Findlay Police Department received notification from the City of Findlay Police Department of a potential active shooter at Findlay High School, which is less than one mile from main campus. It was determined by FPD that this threat of violence was a false alarm.  As always, your safety is a priority and we wanted to make sure you were aware of the situation. Thank you!”

Findlay Police Department and Hancock County Sheriff’s offices responded to Findlay High School after reports of an active shooter.

Chief of Police and Director of Security Bill Spraw tells the Pulse his office heard the call about an active shooter at FHS go out on the sheriff’s radio close to 1:30 p.m.

Findlay was just one of many high schools across Ohio today that dealt with a hoax call.

Dispatch.com reports “around 11 a.m. Friday, officers were called initially to Licking Valley High School, then Licking Valley Middle School for a possible active shooting.”

WLWT in Cincinnati says a call came in around 10 a.m. to Sharonville Police for an active shooter at Princeton High School while WHIO reports that Dayton police also responded to a report of active shooter at Belmont High School between 10 and 10:30 a.m. and Springfield police received a call of an active shooter at Catholic Central High School at 10:30.

Toledo Police posted on Twitter about a similar call at Scott High School this afternoon but all calls turned out to be hoaxes.

Spraw says when the call comes about something like an active shooter, there’s no way to tell what’s real.

“You handle them as they are. You don’t have a choice,” Spraw said. “They (Findlay police) had notified ambulances. They had notified Life Flight to be prepared. They notified the ER to be prepared just in case. It’s real until you find out for sure.”

Captain of Campus Police and Safety/Security Steve Baum and Spraw both went to FHS just to see if the crews needed any assistance and waited until they knew for sure it was under control.

Should a real active shooter event take place at FHS, UF campus is a reunification point for parents to pick up their children according to Spraw.

“We have an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the schools that the kids can come up here,” Spraw said. The Findlay Recreation Center (FRC) on campus would be where the high school students could go to wait for their parents. UF is about a mile from Findlay High School.

UF campus has its own crisis response plan in place, just in case.

“Our officers train for an active shooter event with the two other agencies, the (Hancock County) Sheriff’s office and the (Findlay) Police Department,” Spraw said.

While many public school systems participate in A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training, UF follows the Run, Hide, Fight protocol which Spraw says is a lot simpler to remember.

  1. Run- If you can safely evacuate the area, do so.
  2. Hide- If you cannot run, then your next best option is to find a safe location to hide.
  3. Fight- As a last resort, if you can’t run and have nowhere to hide, your last option is to fight.

He says OSU has a video on YouTube that explains Run, Hide, Fight, so people understand what it means and how it can help in an active shooter situation.

He encourages everyone to know what you have to do.

“You don’t have to be a hero,” Spraw said. “It’s okay to hide under the desk. There’s nothing wrong with that.”