Tennessee Homeland Security gives guidance on how to survive active-shooter scenarios

Published 4:29 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

According to Terry Stout with Tennessee Homeland Security, there is an average of three active-shooter incidents every month in the United States.
And that is why Stout and Tennessee Homeland Security are holding classes to educate citizens on how to increase their chances of surviving an active-shooter event.
Last week, at the Elizabethton/Carter County Library, Stout held one of his classes on the topic and roughly 26 people were in attendance. Stout said that a future class will be held on an upcoming Saturday due to the high interest in the topic.
“It is by far the most popular course that we teach,” said Stout. “We did it for churches, schools, and a lot of civic organizations.
“We are averaging three active shooters per month in the United States,” added Stout. “That is unheard of. I think all of these shootings are getting a lot of national attention. As a result of that, people are watching the news, and people are thinking, ‘Maybe that can happen to me sometime.'”
According to Stout, the class centers around the lesson of “run, hide, fight.” Stout said that if someone finds themselves in an active-shooter event, the first thing they should is to do is to try to run and get away from the area. He said, however, that running, in some cases such as classrooms, isn’t an option. So the next course of action should be to hide.
“If we are in a public place, a mall or a movie theater, and we hear what we think are fireworks, we tell people to get out and run if they can,” said Stout. “Let’s say you are an elementary teacher, running may not be an option with the kids. You may have to shelter or hide in place.”
The final option is to fight. And Stout stresses that fighting should be the last resort.
“That is an absolute last resort,” said Stout. “Hopefully, the first two steps will save you. But if push comes to shove, literally, fighting may be what you have to do to survive.”
If someone finds themselves in the fighting situation, Stout said they should use whatever they have available as a weapon.
“You have to think that if a fight does start, it is going to be me or him,” said Stout. “You have to do whatever you have to do to protect your family.
“We stress that you should use whatever you got, wherever you happen to be,” added Stout. “For example, it may be a fork. It may be a bottle. It may be a set of car keys in somebody’s eye socket.”
Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 that left 13 people dead, active-shooter incidents have seen a rise in the United State. According to information on the fbi.gov website, there have been 250 active shooter incidents between 2000-2017 with just one active shooter reported in 2000 and 30 active-shooter events in 2017. Casualties during active-shooter events saw a steep incline in 2017 with 729 people dying as the result of an active shooter. That is compared to 214 in 2016, according to FBI data.

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