SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Experts with the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) center through Texas State University train for active shooter situations throughout the year. The organization has trained more than 115,000 law enforcement officers throughout the country including those in Las Vegas.
The center teaches a two-step process for officers, first to stop the killing and second to stop the dying.
“If we allow officers to be stopped by the first injured person they see, who knows how many more casualties that attacker might create before they are stopped,” said ALERRT Center Executive Director Dr. Pete Blair.
But the center has also created three simple steps for everyone else. “We are out there doing training and we hope someday to work ourselves out of a job,” said Blair.
First, the ALERRT Center says people need to do everything possible to avoid the attacker.
“It’s going to be an ugly situation; it’s not going to be perfect and the important thing is that you start acting and not that you freeze and end up becoming a casualty,” said Blair. “You are going to come in through a main entrance to a location, that is almost never the place you want to go if there is a problem because everybody else is going there.”
Second, Blair says to do what you can to deny the attacker access to your location.
“It’s a little harder to explain at a concert venue but in an interior space, say you’re in your office, you’re worried you step out in the hallway you might get shot, the next best thing to do is to keep that person from getting to you. So, closing, locking doors — that sort of thing to prevent that,” said Blair.
Finally, prepare to defend yourself if you come face to face with the attacker.
“If you end up in close proximity to that person, don’t just allow them to murder you. Try to fight back, try to protect yourself, you have a legal right to do that and you shouldn’t let that person just kill you,” said Blair.
Blair adds all three of these rules apply in just about every situation. The key, however, is to make sure you’re prepared.
“You don’t have to live your life in fear; you just have to be more aware. The biggest piece of advice that I can give people is whenever you walk into somewhere you always want to look for that secondary exit on how to get out of there. In case there is a fire, or other problem that happens in that location, you want to know how to get yourself out of there just in case something does happen,” said Blair.
The ALERRT Center says it has trained members of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and is in contact with many of its members every year.
“I know they do an enormous amount of mass casualty exercise work there. There’s a lot of coordination with police, fire, EMS and the hospitals about how to handle a situation like this where they do have a lot of people injured,” said Blair.