You may think a mass shooting is an unlikely event in your corner of the world, but a former Kelowna Mountie with a security consultancy business, says that’s not the case — we all need to become more aware of how to protect ourselves.
Mass shootings are happening in big, small, rural and urban areas, said Sam Ghadban of Great Circle Consulting. And within those areas, active shooters target malls, schools and places of worship — no place is safe.
The recent shooting in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people were killed and 50 injured, happened in a town of 500. It’s exactly the type of place, Ghadban said, where nobody thought it would happen.
That’s why he said his program and others of its kind are important.
“People should be taking this and teaching it to their kids,” he said. It’s not to scare anybody, but …. a healthy dose of situational awareness is important.”
Ghadban said that means being alive to where exit points and evacuation routes are whenever entering a location. Then, if the worst happens, apply three easy words — “run, hide, fight.”
These three words may seem simple, but if they’re regularly considered it’s more likely the worst will be averted if and when the time of an active shooter situation arises.
“The first thing people typically do is that they want to hide and you don’t want to do that,” he said. “You don’t want to go through a cognitive process.”
If there is no clear route to escape the situation then hide.
Move into rooms where you’re able to barricade yourself and others from the attacker. Ghadban pointed to the 2014 shootings at Parliament Hill as an example of how to react when running wasn’t an option.
MPs barricaded themselves in a room while the shooter entered the hallway. And, he said, they were ready with for the situation to escalate.
With the furniture and accessories from around the room, MPs and those who were baricaded in the rooms armed themselves.
That’s exactly what needs to be done, said Ghadban. If the attacker breaches a hiding room, be ready to use an improvised weapon — fire extinguisher, chair, pen, scissors — and “commit to a fight.”
For more information from Ghadban and how to click here.
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