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America’s Boating Club hosts free active shooter program

By Staff | Jan 25, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED The America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva hosted a free presentation, “Responding to an Active Shooter,” on Jan. 23. It was first offering in the club's series, called “Be Informed; Be Engaged.”

At the “Responding to an Active Shooter” presentation on Jan. 23, attendees learned the three-step response if there is an active shooter – first run, then hide, and finally flight as the last resort.

Bill Behrens, a retired violent crimes detective from metropolitan Chicago, provided those in attendance with information on the correct responses in an active shooter situation. The free program was organized by the America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva at The Community House.

On the same day of the presentation, an active shooter in Sebring was reported to have killed five people at a SunTrust Bank, illustrating that such violence can occur anywhere at anytime by anyone.

Several times during the program, Behrens reminded the audience that while the odds are very slim they could be confronted with an active shooter, the consequences of such an event would be “terribly catastrophic.” Sanibel Police Department Lt. Elizabeth Buikema also took part in the presentation.

They reinforced the same message: The worst reaction one can have is doing nothing.

PHOTO PROVIDED Presenter Bill Behrens discusses the three-step response to an active shooter.

They recommended that everyone develop an automatic sense of situational awareness, particularly in large areas. Know where the exits are, the quickest path to flee. In short, always have an exit plan.

Behrens explained that if it is necessary to stay in place, then hide. Turn off all lights and silence all sound, including cell phones. Close window shades and lock or barricade all the doors. Finally, protect yourself by fighting – if necessary. Use anything as a weapon. It can be as simple as a pen, chair or fire extinguisher.

Attendees then watched a “Run! Hide! Fight!” video aimed at reinforcing the main message: Everyone needs to develop the personal resolve to purposefully react and react right away during such a crisis.

The presentation was the first offering in the club’s series, called “Be Informed; Be Engaged.”

For more information about the club, visit online at sancapboating.club.

PHOTO PROVIDED Attendees also watched a “Run! Hide! Fight!” video during the program.