Would you know how to survive a mass shooting if someone came into your office or school or other public place and started shooting? These scenarios have happened far too often recently and perhaps its time citizens learn how be prepared in situations like these. The Dallas Morning News published an interview with a police officer who was giving a lesson on how to survive a mass shooting. Police officers say this is an unfortunate reality in the world today. In wake of the recent San Bernadino shooting and the planned parenthood site shooting in Colorado Springs, the Dallas police decided to offer the classes.
Officer G. Dave Wilson was teaching the course at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library to about 50 library employees when he told DMN that he wished they “didn’t have to do this.”
“But the fact of the matter is we don’t live in the same world I was born in.”
— Naheed Rajwani (@naheedrajwani) December 12, 2015
Wilson showed the library employees a video by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and handed out pamphlets entitled “Run, Hide, Fight” and gave them pointers on how to be a survivor of a mass shooting. Some of the tips Wilson gave were to scope out exits when entering a public space, because quick thinking is required when someone starts shooting. Wilson said that most shootings are over within five to 15 minutes and when a shooter starts shooting, you should get low and run for an exit in a zig-zag pattern.
The Dallas Police are not the only ones trying to teach people how to survive a mass shooting. Philadelphia LancasterOnline reported that all Lancaster county employees are required to take training to learn how to survive a mass shooting. Other similar training classes are being held all over the country and have been in place for some time.
The video shown above, which may be similar to or the same as the one Wilson presented, was released by the Alabama Homeland Department of Security and it gives tips like the ones Wilson was teaching the library employees in Dallas – “Run, Hide, Fight.”
Here are the safety instructions passed out at today's mass shooting survival class by DPD at the downtown library pic.twitter.com/jXAtg9Uu2K
— Naomi Martin (@NaomiMartin) December 11, 2015
The video offers the same advice Officer Wilson gave his class members. The narrator of the video says the key to survival is to have a plan that doesn’t have to be complicated and there are three things to do that could make a difference. The first and foremost thing to do is to run, if possible and to help and encourage others to leave with you. The number one priority is to get yourself out of harm’s way. Leave the area and prevent others from entering, and call 911 immediately once you are safe.
If you can’t run or escape, then find a safe room or closet to hide in, lock or secure the door, silence your phone and turn out the light, and remain quiet and calm. If you are not able to hide in a locked room then try to conceal yourself behind a large object. The object should conceal you from the shooter and be able to protect you if shots are fired towards you.
The video goes on to say that if you are in danger and can’t run or hide, as a last option, fight back and be as aggressive as possible to the shooter. You should find whatever weapon you can and try to incapacitate the shooter, and be committed to stopping them.
The video tells you to try to be aware of your environment and always have an exit plan. It also says you should know that in shooting situations victims are chosen randomly and the event is unpredictable and may evolve quickly.
As to first responders to these scenes, the narrator says they are not there to evacuate or attend to injured victims. First responders are well-trained and are there to stop the shooter. The narrator explains how you should remain calm once help arrives and follow their instructions. Know that help is on the way for the injured. The video ends with a confirmation of the three things you need to do to survive – Run, Hide, Fight.
After the training session by Wilson in Dallas, library associates gave their opinions about the class. They said that they found the class helpful but scary too.
“It’s clear we have issues as a country,” said Ana Niño, 22.
“There’s no place you can be safe anymore.”
“I feel more empowered now,” said Renita Brown, 65.
“Every business and establishment should have this training.”
Do you think its a good idea to offer training classes on how to survive a mass shooting? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.
[Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]