Arlington County police officers recently provided active shooter training for ARMN and Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia to help volunteers plan and react to an emergency.
by Bill Browning and Kasha Helget
It is an unfortunate sign of the times that we have to be alert to possible active shooters and other threatening situations in our world. With this sobering reality, ARMN recently hosted active shooter awareness training for its Master Naturalists and the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia to help volunteers plan and react to an emergency. Four Arlington County police officers—Captain David Giroux, Sargent Chris Feltman, Corporal Beth Lennon, and Officer Mike Keen—presented information as part of their outreach to various businesses and organizations throughout Arlington County.
They emphasized the “RUN–HIDE-FIGHT” response method developed by the Department of Homeland Security, and the importance of planning ahead of time what to do if faced with an active shooter situation.
This method includes being prepared to: (1) run if you can and have an escape route in mind wherever you go—at work, schools, public venues, and even when volunteering at schools or in woods; (2) hide as a second alternative outside of the shooter’s view, block entry to your hiding space if possible, and stay quiet; and (3) fight as a last resort, but with everything you can muster.
The officers answered numerous questions about what to do if a shooter appears in your midst, ready to do serious harm. As group leaders, people in the group would look to us for what to do. So, it’s important to think about escape routes (or paths) ahead of time and act definitively.
For more information about active shooter awareness and to arrange training for your own organization, see: https://emergency.arlingtonva.us/active-shooter-awareness-preparedness-always-vigilant/, but note that the contact, Lt. Robert (Bob) Medairos, has retired and is replaced by Sargent Chris Feltman.