Upstate organization teaches to recognize, respond, survive active shooter situations

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A local expert is weighing in on how to respond in an active situation following 2 mass shooting within 24 hours.

“It seems like every day we turn on the news and there’s one of these events taking place somewhere across the country,” Chad Ayers, of ProActive Response Group, told 7News.

Ayers says the number of mass shootings in heartbreaking, which is why 4 years ago he launched the ProActive Response Group.

“We conduct training on how to survive an active shooter event,” he said.

On Saturday, as details emerged from the shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, Ayers says one thing stuck out to him. It’s a pattern he’s noticed from several mass shootings.

“A lot of times after these events we hear people talking about ‘oh I thought it was firecrackers going off or a car backfiring.’ When was the last time you heard firecrackers in a facility?” Ayers said.

Ayers says people are 18 times more likely to encounter an active shooter than a fire. So he teaches simple effective response techniques.

First, recognize the situation. Next, and only if possible, get away from the situation quickly and safely.

“If you can’t get out if the gunman is in between us and the only exit, we need to try to find a location to barricade [and] lock ourselves in,” Ayers said.

But most importantly, people need to be prepared to fight. Ayers says there is strength in numbers when it comes to teaming up to take down a shooter.

“We don’t believe in playing dead. I don’t believe in the word hiding. The whole idea about hiding under your desk and being quiet sets you up to be a victim and you can’t defend yourself doing that,” Ayers said.

Ayers recommends workplaces consider installing bleeding control kits throughout the building. The kits contain tourniquets that can stop massive blood loss.

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