Seniors at the Ava Dorfman Senior Community Center listen closely to a presentation about having situational awareness. The program put on by the State Police talks about what you should do if ever involved in an active shooter situation. Susan Streeter is the Executive Director here and talked about what sparked the idea of having seniors involved.
"When there is so much media attention to the incidents that happen across our nation that… and people start to report that this… we never thought this would happen here, we never thought this would happen here, and that’s repeated over and over. It makes people wonder, geese in our small little city could happen?"
Rome Resident Louise Martin was eager to ask a few questions and learn about what to do because she thinks when it comes to personal safety, you need to be prepared.
"Given the demographic you wouldn’t expect someone to come in angry and shooting, or come in angry and want to hurt seniors, but everything is changing. It’s a different world."
State Police School and Community Outreach Coordinator Brian Derochie made it clear the program isn’t meant to scare anyone, but rather inform the public of what their options are and how to best execute their actions.
"To develop a personal plan as to how they would respond to an incident prior to any incident. So situational awareness. Knowing the exit points. Understanding that these can occur at any time and they go off very quickly, so knowing what to do, how to get out of a situation is so very important."
Derochie provided a few tips that would help you survive an active shooter situation: Act quickly. Run away if you can and then call 911. If you can’t run, hide and silence your cell phone. Being behind locked doors greatly increase your chances of survival, and if you are confronted, fight for your life.
You’re likely not going to see these seniors tackling an active shooter, but they are armed with the knowledge of knowing what to do should a situation occur.