Rare training shows you how to respond to active shooter - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Rare training shows you how to respond to active shooter

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Menomonie (WQOW)- People traveled to Menomonie Thursday night to take part in some rare training: what to do if an armed gunman enters their building. 

Chances are you will never be in a situation where an active shooter enters your school or workplace, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare for it.

From Sandy Hook to Aurora to Virginia Tech to the Sikh temple right here in Wisconsin, these shooters have taken innocent lives without a second thought.

"You can't look at the news hardly any day without seeing some shape or form of it," explains Sgt. Jason Barneson with the Menomonie Police Department. 

"After the spa shooting in Brookfield, I thought it would be good to have some information for the community about what to do if a shooter enters a business or agency," remembers Menomonie resident Naomi Cummings.

"If you haven't went over it in your mind and thought about what you are going to do in a situation like this, chances are you are not going to be successful in it," Barneson says.

So about 60 people met with police to ask how they should respond if a shooter enters their building.

"Three easy steps; first one is run, second is hide and third is fight," Barneson points out.

Police stressed that every person's situation will be different depending on where the shooter is in the building.  If you have a clear escape, running away should always be your first priority.  If your exits are blocked, find a good hiding place, turn off the lights and your cell phone ringer so you don't draw attention to yourself and stay quiet.  If the shooter sees you and you can't get away, try to fight that person as best you can.

"This plants the seed for you to just think about it and create those what ifs in your mind and apply it to your values and morals and thoughts," says Menomonie resident Scott Demers.

"It is just like a fire drill so that you can do things on automatic," explains Cummings.  "It's just like being on an airplane and they go over the safety procedures.  People that pay attention are the ones that survive."

The training comes directly from the Department of Homeland Security and is believed to be the first of its kind here in northwestern Wisconsin.  Attendees say the meeting was helpful and believe other communities should conduct similar ones so that more people have a plan on what to do in this dangerous situation.

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