TAZEWELL, Va. (WVVA) — An active shooter situation can happen anywhere. It seems that the only common denominator is that they occur in public places. The UVA incident happened in a parking lot on campus. Experts say people should try to flee first, but if that’s not an option, find shelter and be prepared to fight.
“You have to keep in mind that if it’s imminent that attacker will get to where you are. You’re going to have to fight because the stats prove that if you fight back your chances of survival are far greater than if you fight back. just hide under a desk and wait for the shooter,” Capt. Jonathan Hankins of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office said.
The rampaging shooter scenario has become all too common and to fit in with the times we are in, there is technology in schools, like Tazewell County, that turns teachers’ cell phones into a hotline to get information. ‘assistance.
“The Rave app is something we launched last year. All public school teachers in Tazewell County have access to it. It allows teachers to have a button on their phone. They click on that app and they can push a button for any emergency that’s going on. An active shooter, a medical emergency,” said Sgt. Landon Hieatt. Hieat is the Tazewell County School Safety Coordinator.
For the general public, 9-1-1 is the call to make, but knowing your surroundings in public could be the difference between becoming a victim or a survivor. Captain Hankins says things like identifying exits and knowing the difference between cover and concealment are key.
“First and foremost is preparation. Know your surroundings, make a plan that way if you ever find yourself in a situation where an active fire event occurs. You have a bit of stability to build on,” said said Hankins.
Hankins adds that no matter where you are, always consider an escape plan. He adds that you should never go out of your way to engage the shooter.
The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office offers an active shooter training course for businesses or places of worship. If you want to know more, you can contact Captain Hankins at 276-385-1112. The course is free.
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