MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — The Mountain Brook Police Department is hosting a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events class at city hall Tuesday.
They want to empower people to hone their instincts, so they know how to respond to life threatening situations like an active shooter incident.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the United States has faced over 230 mass shootings this year.
Officer Megan Thomas said having a plan in place is very important, so you’re always prepared when the unexpected becomes reality. Something important to be aware of is the physiological response your body has to stress.
Officer Thomas said people should be aware of how to combat what is happening in their body in the event of something like a shooting. This is so you can make quick decisions in high stress situations.
“As your heart rate increases and as stress increases your fine motor skills and your decision-making abilities decrease,” said Thomas, Mountain Brook PD’s Community Relations Officer. “So, if you already have a plan in place, you’re not having to think through something, deliberate and then decide. You can make that process a bit faster.”
Thomas also said they’ll go into depth on core principles like ‘run, hide, and fight’ to discuss how those can be applied in any location or scenario.
“If you can’t run and you have to hide, shutting a door, locking it, turning the lights off those are good starter steps, and if an attacker does penetrate your room where you’re hiding, and you have to attack, disrupting their OODA loop and then doing what you have to do,” said Officer Thomas.
Officer Thomas said OODA loop stands for observe, orient, decide, and act. Turning the table on an attacker’s OODA loop is another important survival tactic to keep in mind.
The training is for anyone- civilians, teachers, churches, and local businesses. This is so people are prepared regardless of location or scenario should an attacker open fire.
Barbara Traweek with the Levite Jewish Community Center said she encourages training like this.
Traweek said it’s something we don’t want to think about especially with such young children at their Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center, but practicing survival techniques is imperative for safety.
“The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of survival, if you don’t practice and if you aren’t prepared, if you’re not aware this could happen anywhere to anyone then you’re going to be the first person in the line of fire,” said Traweek who serves as Director of Early Childhood Education.
Local resident Hudson Underwood said trainings like this are great for helping people to stay aware of everything that goes on around us.
“I think it’s good for the community as a whole because you come to a place like this and you have all these shops and everything, and you never know when something could possibly happen.”
Tonight’s active shooter training is full, but Mountain Brook Police say they do plan to host more in the future. They will post updates about classes offered on their social media pages. You can also download their app with the QR code below.