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Employers Turn to Active Shooter Training

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If gunfire erupted where you work, what would you do? Randy Mac reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. (Published Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016)

    If gunfire erupted where you work, what would you do?

    It's a worst-case scenario more employers are urging workers to think about in the wake of recent mass shootings. Now, an unusual training technique is being used to increase the odds of surviving the unthinkable.

    For the people inside a meeting room at LA's convention center, everything they thought about their personal safety is about to change, as the simulated sound of gunfire rings out.

    "I thought of my daughter immediately," said Demetrious Prado.

    "When it happens, it's a lot different from you imagine it," said Cathy Mellon.

    "There was nowhere to go, nothing to do," said Jacob Gooze.

    Fortunately, the gun only sounded real, because it was part of a simulated active shooting, part of AEGIS Security's new safety training for businesses, which starts with having a plan.

    "We're now starting to see a trend in training and cross-training employees beyond security, beyond law enforcement and beyond executive management," said AEGIS owner Jeff Zisner.

    Zisner said the first part of any active shooter plan is recognizing what you hear is gunfire and the shooter's intent.

    "If there's somebody with a gun and they've already started shooting people, then they don't want something, they're looking for indiscriminate killing," Zisner said.

    If that's the case it's important you know the building you're in and where its exits are located. Survival option one is to run.

    "Absolutely, get out and create as much distance, as many obstacles between you and where the gunfire is coming from," Zisner said.

    The training participants say they realized this could be a difficult option.

    "I couldn't run away even if I wanted to," said Gooze. "There was people in front of me, there was people behind me."

    His and the reaction of many in this training was to hide. Hiding is option two.

    "My first reaction was to make myself less of a target, just dive down and hope for the best," Mellon said.

    Option three, if facing death, is to fight with any and everything you can.

    "Throw, attack, fire extinguishers, hot pot of coffee, anything that you can come up with that will make their job of killing much more difficult," Zisner said.

    Demetrious Prado was the first to fight.

    "Survival and taking out the person is what went through my mind," he said.

    The "shooter" in this case says Prado was also the first person he shot entering the room.

    But his instinct to fight was there and it may be all you have in a real active shooting: to run, hide or fight.

    "Do everything you can to survive at this particular moment if you don't you're going to become a victim."

    AEGIS security is making no claims that their training will prevent an active shooting.

    The training is about arming you with the best information to possibly survive and is consistent with police and FBI training for active shooters.

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