MEDINA — There are three legitimate options if an active shooter comes into your school or building, but doing nothing is not one of them.
The Medina County Sheriff’s Office put on its active shooter survival program overview on Wednesday at the Medina County Administration Building and showed a video, “Run. Hide. Fight,” which showed the three main ways to survive tragedy.
Sgt. Bev Fraser of the sheriff’s office was the moderator of the event and showed about 75 people how to survive an active shooting.
If one thinks it can’t happen to them, think again, she said.
“Running is fine,” Detective Larry Covey said. “Anything is better than doing nothing.”
Covey and Fraser are two of 10 certified ALICE instructors at the sheriff’s office. ALICE — which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate — is program taught by Medina Township-based ALICE Training Institute for use in schools, churches, night clubs, movie theaters and other locations.
It differs slightly from Wednesday’s event, which was simply an overview of an active shooter program.
“Today is more civilian-oriented,” Covey said. “It’s not just schools or churches that are attacked.”
Ryan Goff, Medina County’s loss control/risk manager, brought the sheriff’s office to the county building for some needed training.
“I’m disheartened we have to do this,” he said.
According to FBI data, there have been about 200 active shooter incidents in the U.S. since 2017.
Fraser said active shooters come in all ages, but are normally strangers, customers and/or clients, and co-workers.
One thing everyone should do at their workplace is to develop an escape route.
If a shooter does enter your building, you need to be prepared for the worst. The first thing you should do is flee. If you can’t get out of the building safely, hide. Fraser said to barricade behind a door or desk.
“The last resort is to fight and take the shooter down,” she said.
Don’t wait for someone else to call 911. Pick up the phone and call. Fraser said it will take a minimum of 10 minutes for law enforcement to arrive on the scene.
What you do in those 10 minutes might decide whether you live or die, she said.
When you do run out of the building, make sure you have your hands up and open. The last thing you want to do is escape from an active shooter and then get shot by law enforcement in the parking lot, she said.
If you decide to hide in the building, don’t cluster together.
“Spread out,” Fraser said. “That will reduce the number of hits.
“They are looking for a higher kill rate. They are looking for a high body count.”
Some in your group might freeze. Try to get them to flee the scene, but if they won’t, you might have to leave them behind, she said.
Also, don’t run back into the building or office to grab a purse or personal belongings. They will still be there after the crisis is over.
Fraser said don’t attempt to move injured people until the event is over.
If forced to fight, grab scissors, sharp objects and anything that can be used as a weapon to attack the shooter.
Goff said many county employees were in attendance at the active shooter event.
He said attendance was not mandatory but encouraged. He said he expects an even larger group when they host another active shooter event in September.
The time and date have yet to be set.
Sam McComas, health and safety director for Windfall Industries in Wadsworth, said the awareness training was very helpful.
He said he’d like to get the sheriff’s office to come to his business and give ALICE training to its employees.