LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An active shooter in our schools, neighborhoods and even churches is a situation that’s becoming alarmingly more of a possibility across the country.
It’s a scene we see far too often on our televisions and in news stories.
The latest mass shooting incident was earlier this month at a Tennessee Waffle House. Closer to home last summer, it happened inside The Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock.
With the incidents rising in frequency, it begs the question of how to be more prepared and to know what to do if you’re in such a life or death situation.
One way to find out is by testing yourself in an active shooter simulator now offered by a Sherwood business.
“The world is a very dangerous place,” says Brandon Butler, Director and Chief Trainer of Tactical Rescue Services (TRS). “And it’s becoming more dangerous as it goes on.”
A scenario at TRS may just be an act, but they are based on a frightening reality.
“Almost weekly you see news reports, Facebook, stuff on school shooting,” Brandon adds.
After the February mass shooting inside a Florida high school, there have been demands for change, from President Donald Trump to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
“The physical safety of our students is a nonnegotiable responsibilty,” said Gov. Hutchinson back in March.
In Sherwood, Brandon is doing his part.
“I’ve always kinda had a passion for training,” he says.
An emergency responder for 28 years, Brandon opened TRS with the goal of training anyone to prepare for a dangerous active shooter situation.
“Nowhere else can you find a medium that you can put someone in a situation where stress is induced and they have to react in a shoot don’t shoot situation,” Brandon explains.
What’s normally saved for law enforcement, this kind of simulation is being offered to the community.
“This can benefit anyone across the board,” he says.
Anyone, including KARK Anchor/Reporter Isabella Moller and some of her co-workers.
“We’ll do the charge the camera first,” Brandon explains, he begins a training session.
The whole idea with the new technology is to practice active shooter training in a familiar place.
“Look around, pop a couple shots off the charge at the camera and fire a couple rounds,” he urges a trainee.
TRS recorded areas of our newsroom and our office building, then loaded them into their simulator.
Brandon recognizes you get more out of your practice, when you train in familiar surroundings.
“It’s the natural progression of training,” he continues.
Your adrenaline pumps faster, because this situation, is eerily realistic. It’s customizable down to your seat in church, class in school, and living room at home.
Brandon wanted to make it so realistic, he made sure Isabella was carrying a purse similar to one she already has.
So here’s one situation. You’re walking away from your desk and you’re confronted by a shooter
and you’re forced into a shoot don’t shoot situation. What do you do when a gun is pulled?
“Okay, so in each of these, I’m using a gun,” Isabella says. “What if I’m not armed?
For people that choose not to carry a gun, Brandon recommends carrying a flashlight. He says shining a flashlight with a high strength in someone’s eyes, will disorient them, and allow you to get away.
“Once you get to this point here, I want you to stop and pause,” Brandon tells Isabella.
With the ability to watch your training session after, you’re able to discuss what went well, and what maybe didn’t.
While this was fake, you won’t walk the hallways the same again. The goal of the training is to make you feel more prepared, and ready to act, instead of react if this were to happen to you.
For more information, click here to visit the TRS website.
See the attached web extra for more on how the training works.