What should I do if I get shot?
A question posted recently on Quora asked, "What should I do if I get shot?" Two former police officers gave their opinions on the topic, below. Check them out and add your own thoughts in our comments section.
Rick Bruno, Former Police Commander:
Seriously. Don't die.
I have never been shot, but in the training I took I was taught some of the things people think who have been shot.
Some people think that just because they are shot, they are supposed to die. They give up the fight, and then they wait to die. Just because you are shot does not necessarily mean you will die. If you are in the military or a police officer, you stay in the fight. Someone may try to finish you off. Don't let them. If you are shot, and you know you are shot, that means you are still alive. If you are still alive you are still in the fight. Take cover, move if you must to a safer position, and prepare to return fire.
We trained at the firing range shooting strong hand and weak hand, in case our strong hand was disabled. We trained reloading and clearing jams with our weak hands. We fired in complete darkness, in the cold, in the heat, with and without ear protection (guns are loud).
The point is, you prepare for these types of scenarios before they happen.
If or when you are ever in that situation, you have been there before, and you will be better prepared to overcome it.
Justin Freeman, Former Patrol Officer:
It's important to ensure that you get an ambulance rolling in any instance of gunfire directed at someone, even if you don't think anyone was hit, and even if everyone on scene denies being hit.
The reason for this is one of physiology: In the event of a gunshot injury, a process called vasoconstriction takes place which initially restricts blood flow in the area of the injury. Additionally, given the amount of adrenaline coursing through one's system, there may not even be a realization that they've been shot. When you put this together, you can have a situation in which everyone denies having been hit, but when things calm down a couple of minutes later and everyone relaxes, blood starts spurting from an injury someone didn't even know they had.
Thus, in the event of a shooting, call your local emergency number and get medical rolling immediately while everyone is assessed. While police will obviously be sent, dispatchers may or may not send an ambulance if no injuries are mentioned — try to ensure they send one as a precaution after you provide suspect information. They can always be cancelled, and even if they arrive on scene, if nobody is transported there typically isn't any cost.