Free online active shooter training for Riverside County employees and the public
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POSTED: 12:30 PM PST Dec 10, 2015 UPDATED: 09:17 PM PST Dec 10, 2015
RIVERSIDE, Calif. –
Riverside County is preparing its employees for the worst. It held an active shooter training session Thursday, something it’s done for years. However, because of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, it was held online for the first time allowing hundreds of employees to participate at once.
“There could be a situation where life or death may depend on this,” said Samuel Love during the training session. He’s Riverside County’s Safety Division Manager and the guest speaker of Thursday’s webinar.
The training session, normally taught in person, was broadcast live over the internet to county employees from a conference room in Riverside. The hour long training session that comprised of slides, a heart-pounding video, was not for the ‘if’, but rather the ‘when.’
“A lot of people do feel fearful, and feel hopeless and are frightened, and the goal of any training is to empower people through information,” said Dr. Jamie Rotnofsky, Riverside County’s Director of Employee Assistance Services.
“It’s unlikely it will occur, but it’s possible and we want to train and make sure people know what to do,” said Rotnofsky.
The training focused on how to survive the 5 to 6 minutes it takes for police to arrive in an active shooter situation.
“You want to react. You want to understand something is happening. You want to escape. You want to get out of the building at all costs and you want to survive,” said Chris Grollnek in the training video presented during the webinar.
First move and get to an exit. You should already know where they are and your quickest route to get there. If it’s blocked, your next best option according to the training session is to then hide, but don’t get comfortable.
“You want to keep the thought in your mind I want to get out of here,” said Love.
The last resort should be to fight, or attack the shooter.
“The key is you have to take action,” according to the video.
The idea is to start planning now. Look around the room, look where your exits are, don’t forget about windows. If you couldn’t leave, what is around you to block the door? A filing cabinet or a bookcase? If you had to fight what could you use? A keyboard, a chair or a phone?
Think about what you would do now. During the real thing, thinking wastes too much time.
“Look at their work spaces, look at the location, the barriers that they have or don’t have, the exits,” said Love.
Also become familiar and comfortable with the phrase, “if you see something say something.”
“There is no harm if you’re wrong in terms of identifying a potential threat,” said Love.
However, we all know what happens if you don’t speak up and you’re right.
Riverside county is making all of this information available to the public.
The Department of Homeland Security is also a good resource for more active shooter preparedness information, webinars, posters, etc.