In light of recent mass shootings, emergency workers prepare for worst-case scenarios

Active shooter video

A video from the Department of Homeland Security helps train regular people on how to react to random mass shootings. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 24, 2012)

News 12 First at Five / Friday, Aug. 24, 2012

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. -- It's a scene all too familiar in the news: a gunman on a rampage firing at whoever comes into his or her path.

"You could be in a movie theater, as we've seen, grocery store, schools, workplaces, anywhere where you leave your home and go to another place during the day where you could have a wacko come in and want to do you harm," said Columbia County EMA Director Pam Tucker.

First a shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Then, a few weeks later, a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. And, Friday morning, an office dispute led to a shooting outside of the Empire State building.

"Most of us will go through life without ever facing a situation like this, but, as with all of our emergency planning, you take the disaster and you teach people. If that happens, here's what you do," Tucker said.

The Department of Homeland Security funded training video "Run. Hide. Fight." It's a training tool for how to survive an active shooter event.

"When you first watch it, you kind of get a little chill because of the realism. And I think this is probably one of the most well-done videos of this type that I've ever seen," Tucker said.

Columbia County plans to use the video as a training tool for employees.

"We want to give you at least a little bit of a defense, a little bit of information, just like we do with how to protect yourself from tornadoes and other natural disasters," Tucker said.

Earlier this month, Richmond County deputies also trained for an active shooter situation.

Cpl. William McCarty with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office says, "We really hope and pray we'll never have an incident like this, but these things are unfortunately happening all over the country."

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