This morning from 9am-1pm, I attended a Pitt Police training for how to survive in the situation of an Active Killer. It used to be titled, Active Shooter, but they changed the title to Active Killer. A person with knives, guns, bombs, and IEDS is considered an active killer. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Prior to the training, we had to sign waivers, so we wouldn’t sue the university if we were injured. I was reading through the material, and it had some crazy stuff in it, like all the things we couldn’t do or wear, etc.
Walking into training this morning, a group of us were going; me, Nicolette, Phyllis, and Lindsay. The training was held in Sennott Square. We started out in a conference room. Sgt, Debrosky led the PowerPoint presentation. He discussed what exactly is an active shooter, and the history of shootings in America, that involved an active shooter, or shooters. Columbine was discussed, same with Virginia Tech, as well as Pulse Night Club, etc.
At the end of the presentation, we were able to learn some self defense tactics. They cleared the space on the floor, and they showed us how to stand in a fighting stance, how to jab, get down low using our hips, and use our elbows. Lastly, they taught us to grab the punching bag and knee kick three times. The entire time we had to stay verbal. It will help with tactical breathing. So every time we jabbed we had to say one, two. Then when we got down low, one, two. Lastly, back up to grab the bag at the top, and shout one, two and knee the bag. They told us to do it slow and robotically, it will be important, if we ever are in a situation to stay focused and calm.
After we learned to fight, they told us how to disarm the gun man, as he enters the room from the side, so say he enters the room, you will be standing by the door way, hidden from view, until you see the mussel of the gun. Then you grab the gun with your hands, making sure your left hand is on the gun, and your right hand is up and out over the shooters arm, grabbing your left wrist, engage your shoulder into the gun man’s arm, and use your hips to push against him, this will make him drop his arm that is shooting the gun, and shoot the ground. While one person is doing this, the other is to attack the gun man using jabs, or elbow shots. Whatever it takes to get the man to let go of the gun. If you were to get a hold of the gun, you have to make the choice to shoot him, or keep beating him so he stays down. If you decide to shoot, you shoot him, and then toss the gun, and keep your hands up, so the police know you are not the active shooter.
After we learned how to disarm the gun man, we broke into groups and the officer explained the last part of the session. The last part of the session would be to use what we have learned, and be in a stimulated environment where there is actual gun shots. It is a cap gun, but the smell would be real and so would the sound. He said that we didn’t have to participate in this session, if we didn’t want to then we would have to wait by the elevators. I was so pumped and nervous. Since the training was taking place in the Dean’s office, we decided to go to the conference room. We didn’t want to take away from their experience, so everyone from Posvar went into the conference room. We are all sitting around the table, waiting for this to start. No one is giving us any ideas as to when the gun fire will actually start, so we are trying to talk about anything we can, and whatever we can. Officer Scott goes into the bathroom to change, and then he starts walking down the hall. Nicollete and I were the first to see him. She gets up and shuts the door. I said, “wait we aren’t supposed to know it is him.” I open the door. When I opened the door, he walked into where the offices were and said, “Where is the boss?” Then he starts shooting. I shut the door again, and we barricaded the door. and shut the lights off. We stood behind one, another. The entire time we could hear the gun fire going off, and it was definitely an unnerving experience. Hearing that noise, and trying to think about how the people of columbine must have felt, and or Virginia Tech. It is very saddening and scary.
After what seemed like 10 minutes, the officer said, “Session Cold”, which meant we could leave the room. We flipped on the lights, put the chairs back and opened the door. We went back into the office, and it had this smell of gun powder. We all discussed how we felt hearing the gun fire, and we all talked about what he was wearing, and we all had different stories about what he was wearing. It was interesting how one person’s view point is different, than the other and then that concluded the training. I was so glad we went. Officer Scott came back to Posvar with us, and he went to our offices, and gave us tips on what to do, if something were to happen, and how to keep our office safe.
When he checked out my office, he noticed that I had an entry to Dan’s office. He said, to barricade my door, and then go into Dan’s office, and lock the door, barricade that one and I should be good. He also said, it would probably take awhile for us to find you, but you would definitely survive. I was glad to hear that.
After the officer left, I thanked him for the training session and then I went to Panera to get soup and cookie. I was so hungry. I am so glad I went to that training and I learned a little bit of self defense. I hope I never have to use it. When I was on my way to Panera, I called my mom and told her about the training. She wants me to show her what I learned. I definitely want to pass it on. I am now interested in self defense!
When I got back to my office, I ate my lunch and then went to go see Drew. I gave him the rest of my cookie, and showed him my moves. He laughed so hard. He isn’t used to me fighting and taking jabs and knowing self defense. I told him about the training and then I left. I needed to get back. I didn’t tell the girls where I was going, so I couldn’t be gone long.
When I got back to the office, I didn’t get anything done today. Maybe tomorrow? I am glad tomorrow is Friday, that training really took up all my day. It was so worth it. After work today, I have to go drop my car off at Dan’s Auto body. His new shop is located in South park, Drew is following me there and taking me home after. Hopefully the inspection won’t cost too much. I am ready for the weekend. Thank God tomorrow is Friday.
I dedicate this post to all who lives were taken by active shooters. My thoughts are with you. I cannot imagine what you went through and how scared you were. Yes, we only participated in simulation, but you have all been through the real thing, and it must have been horrifying. I can’t imagine it. I tried to put myself in your shoes today and spare a thought for you, as I heard the bullets. I will fight for you. If I have to ever use these skills, I promise to fight for you.