BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, there have already been six mass shootings in the U.S. in 2020.
With this in mind, Bloomsburg University police, faculty and staff learn how to prepare for a situation they hope to never be in. With voices lowered and tension in the atmosphere, 47 people spent the day at a ‘Run, Fight, Hide’ training. During the day, they learned and planned what to do if they ever faced an active shooter.
“In today’s unfortunate climate this is happening way too often and I think it’s important for every campus, for any commercial business, or anything open to the public to actually go through this and educate their staff,” Sergeant Robert Neiderhiser from the Bloomsburg Police Department said.
Neiderhiser says this is a necessary training to help protect students as well. The training was offered by Lousiana State University National Center for Biomedical Research and Training. The program is congressionally funded so that they can offer this sort of training for free.
In the morning, trainees were given a presentation about tactics and plans they could use if there was ever an active threat. In the afternoon, they were put in five different real-life scenarios where they put what they learned earlier in the day to use.
“Preparedness is key. Unfortunately it is a topic nobody really wants to discuss, but it’s in our face daily,” John Packard, an instructor for the program, said.
A way to be prepared for such an event is through conditioned responses. For example, Packard says we automatically know what to do in fire drills. Fire drills were put in place because there were once a lot of deaths caused by fires in commercial buildings. He says a common threat now is an active shooter.
“Our purpose is to provide that training, just like a fire drill, so that when that incident does occur they know to how react appropriately,” Packard said.