Eau Claire (WQOW)- In order to keep the 450,000 annual guests of the L.E. Phillips Library safe, employees have made active shooter preparedness part of their regular emergency training.
Last month library staff joined many other local businesses at a seminar about violence in the workplace. It was put on by Disaster Ready Chippewa Valley, an organization that helps form emergency plans, for worst case scenarios.
"While it's difficult to prepare for something that can be so unpredictable, it's helpful to have thought about it in advance so that you can think ahead and strategist," said L.E. Phillips Memorial Library Assistant Director Mark Troendle.
The library is already equipped with an alarm system and security cameras, but what staff have learned is the best plan is to keep it simple. Everyone in the building is advised to follow three steps: Run, hide, or as a last resort, fight.
"You run if you can. If you're aware of your surroundings, you know where your exits area. If you can't run, you hide. And if neither of those two options are available and your life is in imminent danger, then you fight. You fight back," said Troendle.
Library staff has also participated in several active shooter training sessions with guidance from city staff, and said they will continue to talk about what to do if the situation ever does happen.
The Eau Claire Police Department said every workplace should have an emergency plan.
"We tell every business be proactive in your approach. Have a plan, have contacts, know what you're going to do because the time to develop that plan is not after something happens. If you have done it before through real life simulations and real life training, you're going to have a bigger comfort level. And the more that you do that, the more that you train on that, the better off you're going to be," said Community Relations Officer Kyle Roder.
The Police Department encourages every businesses to become a member of Disaster Ready Chippewa Valley, an organization that helps form plans, and works to keep the community safe in emergency situations.