Active shooter survival, tips from a local expert


KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Local businesses like the Kingsport chamber are taking a class called Surviving Active Shooter Situations. It's offered by Holston International Training and Consulting (HITAC), teaching what to do if you ever find yourself in an active shooter situation. R.E.B.A., that's the acronym that founder and president John Rose says is the most important thing to remember in an active shooter situation; react, escape, barricade, and attack.

"The first thing is don't be in denial, accept the fact that they're gunshots, and then when you react, you are saving time, and saving time saves lives," says founder and president of HITAC.

If you're able to escape, look for the nearest way out and get as far away as possible.

"If you can escape, that's what you want to do, don't hide, don't barricade, if you can get away, escape," Rose says.

If there's no way out, Rose says to barricade yourself from the shooter.

"Put something between you and where the gunfire is coming from for protection, and then an absolutely last resort, when nothing else has worked and the person is closing in on you, you have to be willing to attack to save your live," he says.

In public places, like a mall, rose says the best thing to do is to run through a store and out a back door. At a restaurant, he says escape through the kitchen.

"Almost every singe restaurant has a back door out the kitchen. When you go into a restaurant, you sit down, find the kitchen with your eyes," Rose says.

Rose teaches his classes to business and organizations like the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce. Chamber CEO and president Miles Burdine says the course was well received by the staff.

"I think they all felt more comfortable after the class, and more confident in how they would handle it if a situation like that did arise," Burdine says.

He says the course was beneficial to the staff's safety.

"Businesses are great at planning and preparing for everything that may happen in their location, and this is one thing to add to their list, that you should be prepared for these sort of situations," Burdine says.

Rose's class is a seminar style informational course. He also provides a version of the class that creates a personalized plan of action for your business's building.

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