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Deputy Jeff Powers and Lieutenant Gary Gribbons, Geauga County Sheriff’s Office at ALICE training for Geauga Safety Council. (MP Photo/Colleen Lockhart)

By Colleen Lockhart

On Nov. 9, the Geauga Safety Council scheduled a special A.L.I.C.E. training that was provided by the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office at the Middlefield Fire Department on how to respond in the workplace if confronted with an active shooter and what to do when law enforcement arrives. The Sheriff’s Office’s Lieutenant Gary Gribbons and Deputy Jeff Powers stressed the need for common sense, not just common knowledge.

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, usually with firearms. Employees must be trained to respond and practice. Deputy Powers taught what to do when an active shooter is in the building. Law enforcement has learned, with the recent active shooter events in the U.S., that certain actions must be in place to quickly assess the options to Run, Hide, or Fight. A.L.I.C.E. procedures stressed are Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.

Employees must be alerted that a situation is in progress through communication devices (texts, public address, digital). Call 911 immediately and provide as much information as possible. Every second counts. Run by escaping the building to the outside. Hide out of the shooter’s view, block entry to hiding place and lock the doors, silence cell phones or pagers.

Fight as a last resort and only when life is in danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter. When law enforcement arrives, they are there to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. The Sheriff’s Office has staff available to train employees on-site about active shooters in the workplace. How individuals respond will save lives. Contact the Sheriff’s Office, 440-279-2009, to schedule training.

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