Run, hide, fight — surviving an active shooter situation

A former Kelowna cop teaches how to survive an active shooter situation

You may think a mass shooting is an unlikely event in your corner of the world, but a former Kelowna RCMP officer, who operates a safety 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, explains Sam Ghadban of Great Circle Consulting. Active shooters target malls, schools and places of worship — nowhere 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 this program is 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 the first thing to remember is to go into every situation knowing where exut points and evacuation routes are.

Then, if the worst happens, remember “run, hide, fight.”

RELATED: 58 killed in mass shooting in Las Vegas

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.

RELATED: Worst shooting in US history, 49 victims in Orlando Florida

Then fight. If the attacker breaches that room, be ready to use an improvised weapon — fire extinguisher, chair, pen, scissors — and commit to a fight.

Follow this story a more in depth report on the interview with Ghadban.

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