Be prepared for possible worst-case scenario

Published 9:26 pm Thursday, December 21, 2017

State employees in Mississippi will soon receive training on how to react to workplace shootings, statewide media reported Thursday.

Gov. Phil Bryant’s executive order requires active shooter training for all state employees and it’s available on the Mississippi State Personnel Board’s website. It’s available for anyone to view.

The information can also be useful for employees outside of a state agency. The training video is designed to prepare individuals for a worst-case scenario — an active shooter at a place of employment.

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The training video warns that an active shooter can be anyone — there is no standard profile for who may be an active shooter. It does point to several factors that may be triggers for shooters. Anger, revenge ideology, mental illness or an avenger mindset (an individual believes they are righting a great wrong) are listed as factors.

The training video recommends the following when responding to an active shooter situation:

• Do not play dead or freeze.

• Do not remain in denial about what is happening around you.

• Shift your fear into anger so you can respond.

• Escaping is the first and best option. Familiarize yourself with exits and potential escape routes.

• Do not stop to call 911. Wait until you reach a safe place to call for help.

• Grab coworkers and others on your way out. Don’t wait for them if they resist you.

• If you can’t escape the building, deny access to your location. Lock office doors and barricade the door with furniture. Turn off the lights and hide behind large objects if you can.

• Find an object to use to defend yourself.

• If you have to defend yourself, don’t freeze. You must act. Find improvised weapons like scissors.

• Don’t be afraid to fight. Work with coworkers to bring down the shooter.

The training video contains valuable information that will be useful for any workplace, not just government offices. We encourage all businesses and organizations to review the training information and be prepared.