Herb Brown, Plant Branch Security Team Leader for Georgia Power, coached Glennville Chamber of Commerce members on how to react in an active shooter situation. He spoke at last week's September 20, 2022, Chamber meeting held at the Glennville Garden Club Center.
He explained that citizens and business owners cannot become complacent and have the mindset of "It will not happen here in Tattnall County." The Florida city that suffered an active shooter situation on February 14, 2021, was promoted as one of the safest cities in America.
If you are in an active shooter situation in your business, there are three things that Brown recommends:
1. Run-try to get away from the shooter as quickly as possible.
2. Hide-If you can't run, do more than just take cover, conceal yourself behind something that could stop a bullet. Lock yourself in a closet or bathroom and wedge something against the door.
3. Fight-It is your life you are fighting for, so be prepared to do whatever it takes to protect yourself and your co-workers.
"In most of these situations, the only time that someone will actually hunt down an employee is a shooter who is a disgruntled employee," Brown said.
He added that a hallway is a fatal funnel, since your movements are restricted, so avoid trying to escape through a hallway.
"Also, if you are hiding and have your cell phone with you, try to reach 911 dispatch. After you contact them, leave your phone on so that you can possibly update 911 on the location of the shooter in the building and give them as much information as possible. This helps alert law enforcement who will be on their way," Brown said. “The average law enforcement time to respond is nine to twelve minutes. But an active shooter usually is shooting only five to eight minutes. During this time, on the average, 21 are injured, four or five are dead, and two or three others will die in the hospital.
"Although some people carry a gun on their person today and feel they need it in such a case, remember, in a stressful situation, you often lose control of your gross motor skills. You generally cannot function, as your heart rate goes up under stress.
"Don't worry about being arrested for shooting back, however, if you are armed, since a private citizen is allowed to use deadly force if the citizen is in fear for their life or that of a third party," Brown said. "Profiling an active shooter has not been achieved, since there are so many different situations. I encourage you to be aware of your surroundings, such as in a restaurant, a movie theater, or hotel. Know where your exits are. If you are in a restaurant in an active shooter situation, run for the kitchen and not the front door. Check out your exits in a hotel once you have registered, and maybe even insist on a room near an exit.
"Don't get complacent. The active shooter situations in our country show that these incidents can happen anywhere, and small town USA is certainly one of them," he said.
In closing, several door prizes were won, with these items donated by Sean McCormick of South Georgia Recoil of Glennville.
The luncheon was sponsored by Georgia Power, which was a delicious meal from The Farmhouse.