When most people think of getting their employees together for some type of “bonding” activity and “culture” building exercise, they don’t usually think of firearm and safety training. But in the case of Pequot Lakes, this took on a different meaning.
The residents, business people, school, city, and county officials and others from Brainerd lakes area were going to experience something unique…“Active Shooter Response Training.” This wasn’t going to be like any normal firearm safety training course, they were teaching something very different…ALICE. ALICE stands for Alert – Lockdown – Inform – Counter – Evacuate. And it is designed to not run and hide but to confront an active shooter…but with a plan.
The training was conducted in the Pequot Lakes School District and the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. Offers from all over the surrounding counties were part of the training. You can read more details about the class along with a brief video describing the training at “Active Shooting Training helps employees.” It’s worth a few minutes of your time to at least watch the video.
Why the training? With the increase in “active shooter events” and terrorism, they wanted to provide employees and residents in the area with some different kind of training. The training was focused on being more aggressive in a hostile situation. Their view is that when someone actively enters an area, like a school or office building and starts shooting, trying to get down and cover up may not be the best response.
They want people to know another option…taking down an active shooter or being more active in how they prepare for such an event. For example, they teach the ALICE technique which adds a more “proactive” component to the situation. Such techniques as the proper way to barricade a door to keep someone out rather than just let the locks be their only defense. Learning how to do this rather than hiding is a much stronger way to stay safe and discourage a shooter.
There are a variety of techniques discussed in the article which focus on distraction and other proactive measures to confuse and challenge a shooter. “Human action wins every time. When you train people they can do this. Kids can do this too,” Hendry said. “Shooters want to go someplace where it’s easy. You need to keep active and this keeps you alert, to where you don’t feel fearful.” Changing the game can save lives and discourage future shooters more than being passive.
This is certainly a newer concept in the area of personal safety and one that I would highly encourage everyone to consider. As an attorney, it isn’t always about the law…at least no initially. It is about staying alive and then worrying about the law when it comes to something like an act of terrorism or an active shooter. When they are unquestionably putting your life in danger, being trained to be more prepared in these situations is never a bad thing.
Not everyone is prepared to go to these lengths. But if there are more people aware of what they can do, everyone’s odds of both survival and protection increase. It’s a different perspective and view offered by law enforcement to help citizens, employees, and individuals become better prepared. And as I always say…Be Prepared. Be Smart. Be Safe.