MIDDLETOWN, Ohio—Have you asked yourself or thought about if you were in Dayton in the Oregon District last week if you would have noticed anything out of place? How would you have reacted? Would you have done anything once you started hearing gunfire?
- Following last week’s mass shooting in Dayton, cities and law enforcement across Ohio have been re-evaluating procedures to prevent or handle those situations
- Officials in Middletown invited residents to information sessions to learn about how to react to mass shooting-type incidents
- ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) is taught in schools, businesses and churches
Well, that's what city officials and law enforcement personnel in Middletown were hoping to accomplish with some open, public information sessions— to just give folks an idea of what they should be aware of and what they should and should not do, if they encountered a situation like what happened in Dayton.
Knowing what to do in a potential life-or-death situation can be challenging when the stress is high and chaos is surrounding you.
Popular techniques like Run-Hide-Fight and ALICE have been around for years.
In Middletown, nearly one-hundred people showed up to a Monday afternoon session to learn about what to do if you're caught in the middle of a mass shooting.
Major David Birk is the deputy police chief, and leads ALICE Training throughout the area.
“We just wanted people to have situational awareness of the active shooter situations,” said Birk. “We teach ALICE through our schools and also through our businesses and churches. So we wanted everybody to just have the basic knowledge of ALICE and what to do if an active shooter does happen somewhere.”
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.
Major Birk says those five keys don't all have to be done, nor do they need to happen in order.
It's about doing “something” if you find yourself trying to stay alive.
“Everybody in Middletown is trained the same, so if something does happen everybody does have the same training and everybody should react the same way,” said Birk.
Birk's crash course is primarily about some basics everyone can do—run away from a shooter, or if you can't, barricade yourself somewhere.
According to Birk, most active shooters want low resistance and high kills counts— and encountering a blocked doorway can increase your chances of survival.
Having a plan and practicing that plan in your business, school or church can save lives.
“The schools practice this three times a year now,” said Birk. “So, I mean, the schools never practiced active shooter so I think right now around everywhere everybody is starting to look at active shooter as a threat and their being prepared and they're coming up with plans for it.”
Allen Sper Junior lives in nearby Madison Township and wanted to attend a session to hear what area police are doing.
“I'm a firearms instructor and I'm active, I'm active in trying to protect my church and to train people and give them the knowledge I've earned or learned and what I've come across,” said Sper. “And I also want to keep abreast with what everybody else is doing. What the police department is doing and how they're going to respond. What they need to do to cooperate with the police department when they come to respond in one of these situations. If I'm going to try and protect myself and the people around me and my church, my home, and my community, I don't want to be a hindrance to the police department.”
Sper says the information session about ALICE was a refresher.
“I learned their way of doing things, more so,” said Sper. “I'm already familiar with a lot of this stuff. I've got friends who are police officers and this is an opportunity. Middletown is putting on an ALICE Training seminar and I'm going to go.”
The training also touched on fighting back, and using anything to distract or limit a shooters ability to keep shooting.
Major Birk also talked about previous mass shooting situations and what people could have done and also showed examples of what people did do to prevent major injury and high death tolls.
You can get more information about ALICE by visiting their website.