(WACO) – Run, hide or fight: these are the three actions that faculty and staff in the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology program learned about on a recent Friday morning from members of the Texas State Technical College Police Department.
“What we are trying to do is to get you to grasp the fundamental concept of how to handle an active shooter situation,” TSTC Police Chief Brian Davis said.
Run, hide or fight is the theme of a safety video that has been shown to all TSTC campus employees. The video was produced by Ready Houston, the emergency preparedness arm of the city of Houston. TSTC campus police statewide also take periodic safety training.
Campus police announced in January that they would visit every building on campus and train employees on what to do if an active shooter incident occurred. Training, to help prepare staff and faculty in case there is a incident on campus, started in late January and is scheduled to end in June.
Davis and Sgt. Joe Ashby said people should not set indoor fire alarms off as warnings because this could cause panic. Doors can be blocked with heavy objects such as desks. And, people leaving a building should not stop police unless they have specific descriptions of the shooter.
“People who commit these types of crimes are trying to be famous and kill as many people as possible,” Ashby said.
Ashby said the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Building where he and Davis met with faculty and staff was built well with its small windows and controlled entrances. These features could make it more difficult for an active shooter to enter the building. The structure was built in the early 1950s.
“It was a good presentation,” said Joe Paris, a program lab assistant and 2013 TSTC graduate with an associate degree in air conditioning and refrigeration technology. “I like the security of the building.”
Faculty and staff liked what they heard from campus police.
“I learned a little bit more about fighting back,” said Barbara Tynes, department secretary. “We have plenty of items to make into weapons. Hot coffee, whatever you can get your hands on.”
Similar safety trainings involving active shooters, natural disasters and other emergencies are conducted at all 10 TSTC campuses statewide every year.