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Our New Reality: Active Shooter Training

by Rebecca Barr | Aug 9, 2019 11:15:10 AM

Active
shooter training. It sounds scary but it’s our new reality.

Organizations
around the country now seek this type of emergency preparedness training in
order to help employees learn what to do, should they ever be in the situation.

Jon States,
owner and instructor of States Tactical Solutions, visited the Better Business Bureau
office in Boise to train our staff on what to do if such an unfortunate event
were to occur. He made it clear, this wasn’t to scare us, but to prepare us. And
prepare us, he did. We all walked out of the training with our guards up and
our brains thinking.

Three
takeaways that I’ve already put into action since the training are:

Be alert. When you’re in a public place,
particularly a crowded area, keep your head up and look around. We are all
guilty of diving deep into our phones to avoid eye contact with strangers, but
this is an absolute no-no. Know what’s happening in your surroundings.

Keep
calm.
This is a
tough one, especially in moments of chaos. But as States explained, when you
start to panic your heart rate goes up and the higher it goes the less likely
you are to think and act effectively. The best way to do this? Breathe in for a
four-count, hold it for two, breathe out for a four-count, hold it for two.
Repeat.

Undercover
tools.
Wasp spray
makes a good weapon, when needed. It has a spray range of 20-30 feet and is
effective when sprayed in the face. Jon also showed us a writing pen that had a
glass-breaking point on the other end of it. Both tools are low cost,
inconspicuous and nice to have on-hand.

As for the
nitty, gritty of the training, what to do if an active shooter were to arrive
on scene? We were taught the ADD method:

  • Avoid: Find
    your closest exit and move away from the shooter as quickly as possible. This
    may mean breaking a window. This may mean taking a chair and throwing it
    through the window. This may mean that if you’re on the second floor, making
    the jump may be the route to take. You don’t want to stay put like a sitting
    target.
  • Deny: If you
    can’t make an escape, your next option is to deny the shooter access to your
    area. This means finding a room, locking the door and creating as many barriers
    as possible. Turn off the light and be silent. Do not open the door for anyone.
  • Defend: If you
    make it to step three and come face to face with the shooter, it’s survival
    mode. Look at your surroundings, what can be a weapon? A fire extinguisher is a
    two-point weapon: first spray it at the face of the shooter, then throw the
    empty, metal canister at the shooter. Restrain the perpetrator until help
    arrives.

Another important tip: Call 9-1-1 every step of the way, when
it’s safe to do so.

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