GREEN On two days in early April, dozens of Green residents heard Summit Country Sheriff Capt. Doug Smith how to deal with an active shooting situation. The program was called CRASE, which stands for Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, and dealt with ways for people to deal with an active shooter at work or in a public area. The program lasted about 90 minutes with time at the end for questions from the audience.
Smith emphasized the term ADD in dealing with an active shooting situation. ADD stands for Avoid, Deny, and Defend when confronted with this horrendous type of situation. Using both videos and discussion, Smith walked people through what they could do to survive such a situation.
Under "Avoid," Smith told people to be aware of their surroundings. If a shooting situation arises, people should go to the nearest exit, using cover if at all possible to shield them from the shooter. Situational awareness of your surroundings is a key to survival, Smith said. Many people do not think something like this is happening and Smith cited a number of examples. The recent shooting in Las Vegas was cited, where people initially though the gunshots were fireworks, not realizing that fireworks would not be set off before the concert.
If you cannot escape, the next best thing to do is "Deny" the shooter access to you. Locking doors and turning off lights, along with hiding, are effective ways to do that. Along with locking the door, if possible, Smith says to barricade the door with heavy objects to hinder the shooter from entering. Smith talked about a recent trial the Sheriff's Office conducted at the old Garfield High where they used various weapons to try to blast open doors that had been locked. In every case, the door lock held. Another tactic is to retreat into a building. Studies have shown that the further into a building a shooter advances the more time people have time to lock and secure their position, with a corresponding drop in casualties compared to when the shooter first comes on site.
The final thing that is a last resort is to "Defend" yourself. Always be on the lookout for anything that can be used as a weapon. A fire extinguisher, Smith said, can seriously harm an individual if used as a weapon. Hitting the shooter in the groin, eyes and other key points can disable him. Smith emphasized "don't fight fair" and to be sure to call 911 as quickly as possible. Throwing things can also distract the shooter.
Smith also talked about what to do when the police arrive. They do not know the situation show make sure you follow their commands, show your hands and do not make any sudden moves. The last thing police want to have happen, Smith said, is to accidentally shoot an innocent victim because they thought the person was going to attack them.
The program is given free by the Sheriff's Office. Any group who would like additional information on the program can contact the Summit County Sheriff's Office at 330-643-2111.