I know we like to think it could never happen to us, to our company to our family etc., but with the recent tragedy at a night club in Florida I think it’s wise to ready ourselves for situations before we end up looking like deer in the headlights.

 

The “big girl” company I work for already starting doing this at the first of this year.  I remember seeing the email inviting employees to take the “Active Shooter Preparedness” class.  At the time I felt I was too busy with other things at work to take a class on a situation that you just couldn’t prepare for.  First of all I was wrong.  There are ways to prepare and information that could help save your life and possibly the lives of the people around you.  Second of all there is always time to take a class designed to keep you safe.

 

So when the third round of classes started and the email went out a month ago I went ahead and signed up.  Then a few weeks ago when I saw the Florida story on the news I was more than ready to take the class.

 

Today I took that class.

 

I’m sure, like myself, there were people sitting in the class thinking “this information is just common sense mostly”, but you have to keep in mind that in the Chaos of a situation you’ve never been in and with fear as a factor, it’s pretty hard to slow your role and do all the things you think are common sense.

For example, the police officer that was in attendance said that when you are making your way out of the building, especially if you don’t know where the gunman or gunmen are, the safest place to run is in the direction the law enforcement officers on the scene are coming from (granted that you are getting out after law enforcement has arrived).  If your making your way out before law enforcement has had a chance to arrive and you don’t know where the gunman or gunmen are the best thing to keep in mind is simply to get out and to keep an eye out for anything placed outside a door, like a package, a briefcase, a box etc.

 

If you see something outside a door, anything other than a tumble weed, find another door.

Did you know that as far as these types of situations go, this area is one of the safest areas to be in?  The reason is that in other places law enforcement is told not to enter a location with an active shooter until S.W.A.T gets there.  Not here.

 

All the law enforcement groups (at least in Midland I know for sure) are trained on these types of situations and the policy is not to wait but to enter upon arrival.  They will waste no time in engaging the threat in an attempt to lessen the possible casualties.

 

Another example of something that sounds simple but makes a huge amount of sense and could save lives, when law enforcement arrive at your location and enter a room or area where you and (in most cases) a group of your co-workers are you should immediately get on the ground.

 

An armed bad guy that’s committed to running around a building shooting people isn’t going to give up immediately when he sees a police officer/S.W.A.T. team member show up, so he’s not going to hit the ground like you but when you and the people with you are so quickly out of the line of fire an officer can far more safely engage with and take down the threat.

 

Makes sense right?  I thought so.

 

If the place where you work hasn’t gone through a plan for this kind of situation don’t let it slide, talk to a supervisor.  The Midland Police Department is more than happy to set up training for any business or organization wishing to keep their staff safe.