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LEMA hosts active shooter training
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Liberty County EMA Deputy Director Larry Logan opened the active shooting training at Ameris Bank. - photo by Asha Gilbert

Run, hide and fight were the top three topics discussed at the active shooter training at Ameris Bank. Multiple local businesses and representatives from surrounding areas attended the active shooter training hosted by the Liberty County EMA. 

“We have done prevention with local businesses,” Emergency Management Specialist Robert Dodd said. “How many of you have active shooting training or plans?”

Only two out the 11businesses had plans related to an active shooter. A church representative described their plan following the run, hide, and fight procedure. Flemington Mayor Paul Hawkins discussed his concerns about churches and city hall being “soft targets”.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, soft targets are locations that are easily accessible to large numbers of people and that have limited security or protective measures in place making them vulnerable to attack. 

LEMA presented a PowerPoint to go over what is an active shooter and suggested procedures in handling an active shooter.

“Their motives vary, but the devastating consequences from these events are the same,” the video on the PowerPoint said.  

In the power point the run, hide and fight procedure was suggested. The power point also included information on recent shootings including the SunTrust bank shooting, Mercy Hospital shooting, and Tree of Life synagogue shooting. 

The power point explained that if you decide to run in the event of an active shooter, to have an escape route and plan in mind, leave your belongings behind and try to encourage others in the vicinity to run, too. If you decide to hide, you should hide in an area out of the shooter’s view, block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors and make sure to silence your cell phone. 

 “People are going to choose their course, and don’t let indecisive people stop your decisions,” Logan said.

Dodd explained that in the event that your business is dealing with an active shooter, to call 911 when possible and give as much information as possible. He also explained to have a code word to give 911 when there are people in hiding, so law enforcement can get those people out of hiding safely. He also explained when first responders come in their job is not to tend to the injured at first, but to stop the active shooter. 

In the event that the only option for someone is to fight back against the active shooter, Dodd said you have to commit.

“When you commit to fight, continue to fight,” Dodd said. 

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