Dodge County experts share shooting survival tips: Community presentation in Waupun is Tuesday
WAUPUN — “Active shooter” is part of the modern vocabulary, and is likely to remain so, according to Waupun Police School Liaison Officer Jason Hraban.
But shootings and other threats are not limited to schools, and Hraban and Dodge County Emergency Management Director Amy Nehls are sharing their expertise with a wider audience with a “Situational Awareness for Workplace Violence and Active Threats” presentation on Tuesday from 7-8:30 p.m. A question-and-answer period will follow at Waupun Junior/Senior High School in room C106.
The presentation is geared to area factories, businesses, churches, day care centers and other places where a physical threat can endanger the lives and safety of anyone present.
“We feel like it’s pretty important to get this information out into the area because of what’s happening in America today,” Hraban said. “It seems that instead of people getting angry and talking things out, that more and more they respond with violence. Shootings and violence are now commonplace, and people now have to prepare for such things in order to protect themselves and those around them.”
There are key behaviors that can prevent a tragedy, and Hraban and Nehls will be sharing those behaviors with their audience on Tuesday night.
“People need to be situationally aware of their surroundings,” Hraban said. “”They need to be cognizant of what’s going on, not only where they work but outside as well. A lot of times when you look back on any active shooter situation in America, there were signs that people missed — whether they talked about it beforehand on social media, or maybe they wrote an email or a letter to someone who didn’t take it seriously. Those linkages are fairly common but are often overlooked.”
Both speakers will not only outline some warning signs, but will also share tips for what to do in an actual situation.
“These things are happening closer and closer to our community,” Hraban said. “I think every community has people in it who are capable of doing a Columbine or a nightclub type of shooting.”
Hraban is not trying to frighten people, but he does want people to know what to do if they are ever faced with that type of situation. His family teases him about how he makes sure that he can see the entrances and exits in any environment, and how he prepares for a threat in every situation. He does so when they go to a movie, go shopping or attend an outside event.
“We drill these things in schools, and in the hospital,” Hraban said. “I think businesses are behind because they haven’t thought it was important up to this point. As everyone knows, however, these situations can happen anywhere. Even in churches and day cares. No place is completely safe anymore.
“People shouldn’t have to be scared to go to work, and wonder whether you’re going to come home or not, but there are things you can do to prevent a tragedy from taking place.”
Had early warning signs been noticed and reported prior to some mass shootings, lives might have been saved.
“There are often subtle cues that indicate that something’s not quite right,” Hraban said. “I don’t want somebody coming to this presentation and leaving not knowing what to look for. Because there are things they might not know, or things they might not be able to figure out or find out. We’ll be there to help.”
Hraban is eager to share his tips, and believes that being prepared is key to surviving such situations. One of the techniques the presenters will share is “Run, Hide, Fight”
He encourages attendees to bring questions, and is eager to share the expertise he and other members of law enforcement have been working diligently to attain.
“We’ve been doing this an awful long time and we’re pretty good at it,” Hraban said. “We’ve all been trained to the max on this stuff. Now we need other people to get on board.
“Society has changed. I know people say it’s something that doesn’t happen in small towns and cities, but that’s not realistic anymore. The best we can do is be prepared. Shootings of this type are not going away. We will never be without this being a part of our daily lives.”