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Texas State University, Walmart team up to create active-shooter training video

Video gives citizens basic options to increase survival chances in mass shooting event

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of active-shooter events resulting in numerous deaths around the country.

The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training -- or ALERRT -- Center at Texas State University has been studying the events and training officers how to respond to them.

Now the ALERRT Center is teaching citizens what they can do to survive an active-shooter situation.

While you'll likely never find yourself in this situation, Texas State's Dr. Pete Blair wants you to know what to do to survive.

"We discovered that a lot of the events ended before the police officers actually arrived on scene," Blair said. "When that happened, it didn't seem to happen by accident, it was because people on the scene took effective actions to help themselves."

Since 2002, the ALERRT Center has trained more than 60,000 law enforcement officers on how to respond to active shooters and was named the national standard by the FBI.

While that training has been extremely beneficial to officers, there's still a gap when it comes to training citizens.

"We've been doing the civilian response to active-shooter events training for a while now, primarily training police officers who then go out and train their civilian communities, and the response from that has been overwhelmingly positive," Blair said.

In an effort to fill that gap, Blair recently teamed up with Walmart to create a training video for its 1.5 million associates that can also be shared with the general public online.

The video shows a situation at a business that has multiple locations within the business where there's an attack occurring. The scenario offers up three basic options citizens can use to increase their chances of survival.

The first option is to avoid the shooter and find a way out.

"That is, if you see the attacker and you can get away from the attacker, you want to do that as quickly as possible," Blair said.

If you can't avoid the shooter, you should try to deny the attacker from gaining access to your location.

"So what you want to do is keep that person from getting to you," Blair said. "It's not just a passive thing where you're ducking down and hiding behind something, we want you to keep that person from getting to you so closing and locking doors, turning off lights, barricading doors -- that sort of thing."

When all else fails, Blair said, you should defend yourself however you can.

"It's a last resort thing and it's not something we're going to encourage you to do up front, but if you end up in close proximity to the gunman and you don't have another option that's going to work, then defending yourself can work," Blair said. "It's worked in quite a few instances that we looked at."

The information may seem like common sense, but Blair said by just having a plan and practicing it, much like you would practice a fire drill, can greatly increase your chances of survival.

"We just want people to spend a few minutes thinking about something that could happen in hopes that they'll respond better if it does happen," Blair said.

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