American Alarm hosts seminar on combatting active shooters

 - 
Thursday, November 21, 2013

ARLINGTON, Mass.—More than 40 school and business leaders took part in American Alarm’s “Keeping our Communities Safe” seminar last month, the company announced.

Led by public safety officers from Winchester, Mass., the free seminar shared the latest best practices for active shooter situations, according to the release.

“For years, we put people in lockdown and told them to sit on the floor and stay quiet,” said Fire Captain Rick Tustin, in a prepared statement. “That’s all changed because of what the data shows. Staying passive is wrong.”

People should get out if they safely can and, if they can’t, they should fight, he said.

The seminar examined the mass shooting at Virginia Tech and showed that in the rooms where people acted, by running or building barricades, most survived. Where people were passive, nearly all were killed or wounded.

Tustin and police Sgt. Dan Perenick, emergency planning experts, shared data from a Texas State University showing that most shootings were over in less than 8 minutes. Those shootings took place in businesses, schools and public places, according to the statement.

Participants walked through several scenarios, learning when to leave, when to stay, how to barricade doors and how to resist shooters.

The seminar also examined broader emergency preparedness.

“The fact is, you are much more likely to have a fire, severe weather or be effected by an external even than to have an active shooter in the building,” said Tustin, in a prepared statement.