Companies signing up for active shooter prep course

Andrea Blanford Image
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
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Charlotte police met with bar owners

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Scenes of police with guns drawn and swarming businesses while responding to an active shooter has become ever more familiar but no less traumatic. And it's why in Charlotte on Tuesday, police trained bar owners how to respond.

"What we don't want people to do is, if something happens, just to freeze and not do anything," said one CMPD officer.

In the wake of mass shootings from Paris to Orlando, officers say businesses have been asking for guidance.

Raleigh-based Foodservice Training Portal says it saw the same demand from its partners in the hospitality industry. Those such as Sysco, who use the online learning tools for food safety and beverage training, are now signing up for an active shooter prep course.

"Patrons and customers look to staff and management- where do I go? What do I do? Where is my exit? Lead me. Help me," said Leslie Bucher, Director of Business Development.

Bucher said the interactive course launched in May, teaches skills of "Run, Hide, Fight and Treat" as bystanders often become first responders.

"All of the FBI, FEMA, Dept. of Homeland Security safety guidelines and protocols that are required," said Bucher of what's included in the course. "But they're tailored specifically for this industry."

Click here to read about active shooter preparedness from the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Whether they're learning online or directly from local law enforcement, business owners are looking to help customers and staff survive when they become the target of a shooter.

"Coming to a two-hour class that can help save a thousand people's lives is very much worth waking up and coming to," said one participant of the CMPD's active shooter training class.

Bucher said she believes active shooter training will likely become mandated just like other forms of training employees receive.

"If you live not believing it's going to happen, then unfortunately, we'll be reacting," she said.

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