Among the questions raised by the recent massacre that claimed nine lives at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon as well as similar attacks on other schools and businesses is: What can you do to protect yourself if you are caught in such a scene?
While a debate rages nationwide about whether people should be allowed to carry weapons on campuses and into businesses, personal security is on many minds.
Local experts on protection and security have some suggestions to share.
Ross Falisi is the chief operating officer of Vertus, an international provider of high-risk security services including training, strategic consulting and logistical support. After the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Congress mandated all of the military’s first responders be better trained. Vertus won the bid to write and implement “active shooter” training. Falisi, a former member of the New York Police Department, co-authored the training.
He says citizens can either ignore these situations with the attitude it won’t happen to them, or they can prepare.
“Having a plan is always better,” he said.
Locally, Vertus has provided training for Oak Hall School’s faculty, according to Mike Martinez, the school’s security director. Martinez said the school brought in Vertus to help contribute to the school’s safety.
“They were very helpful,” he said.
As a parting tip, Falisi reminds people to stay aware of their surroundings, even in everyday, non-threatening situations.
“Look for what’s different,” he said. “And ask yourself why.”
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