Dozens Turn Out For Grove City’s First Public Active Shooter Training


UPDATED: Wednesday July 3, 2013 12:09 AM

Grove City police had a huge response from the community for its first-ever active shooter training offered to the public.

People from different backgrounds - including bus drivers, businessmen, husbands, wives and school teachers - gathered to learn the gravity of every moment if a gunman is present.

Nicole Wissman, a teacher, said she tried to picture her classroom during the training.

“I keep trying to envision what it would be like if it were real,” Wissman said. “And I have all those kids.”

Sgt. Rick Hardy with the Grove City Division of Police set up several scenes during the training.

“They have to take whatever action is necessary, at that moment, to defend themselves,” Hardy said.

He urged people to think about the what-ifs, if they were there.

“If I’m in an office and I’m waiting for an elevator, what would I do if somebody came up behind me and tried to accost me?” Hardy explained.

The course teaches planned and committed retaliation when running is not an option.

Experts say that if a violent intruder comes into your space and escape is not an immediate option; get creative on how to defend yourself.

Anything around you can turn into a weapon – and can buy you time, experts say.

“Could you get hurt if you’re doing this?” Hardy said. “Yes, you might get shot. But you have to be aware of what you’re able and capable of doing.”

The training shooter was surprised, and so were some of the training participants.

“Once the lockdown goes on, now we’re supposed to actually attack,” said Jim Gallione. “Very few people would think of that.”

Gallione, a transportation supervisor for COTA, said that he planned to take the information he learned at the training back to work, where he knows that along with the experiences that he has had, the new information will be useful.

“I took the call in where we had a COTA-involved shooting,” Gallione said.

Due to the size of the class, about 30 people are on the waiting list for the next time the city offers the training.

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