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How to Survive an Active Shooter Situation

Posted by dwallace on September 20, 2016 in Active Shooter |

Before I was a corporate trainer, I was a law enforcement trainer. I worked in both the city and county jails around the St. Louis area for 12 years. So it was a natural choice when my current job asked me to train the Active Shooter Class.

By this point active-shooter scenarios are by no means obscure. It feels like we see them on the news every other week. According to the Dept. of Homeland Security, there were 160 active-shooter situations in the United States from 2000-2013. In the last 3 years we have added to that significantly. But believe it or not, you actually have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being involved in an active-shooter situation.

Would you believe that approximately 250 people are struck by lightning in the US a year? Roughly 48 of those are through direct strikes and around 200 are injured from the lightning hitting something first then hitting the person. Your chances of being struck are about 1 in 3000.  (Now you understand why you shouldn’t play the Power Ball with your chances of winning being about 500,000 times more likely that you’ll be struck by lightning over your lifetime.) I know, it’s still fun to dream about winning.

These weird lightning facts seem to help calm people’s minds about being involved in an active-shooter situations. However out of the 30+ classes that I taught over a 3 week period, I was surprised at how many people said they were in an active-shooter situation. (Although most were robberies, not really active-shooter situations.)

For the one’s in the group who had never experienced gun violence, those people said that they never really thought about what they would do in real-life active-shooter situation.

So in case you fall into that group who’s never thought about it, I’m going to give you the 3 ways to survive an active shooter situation:

  1. Run—and I would add, duck to the ground and look where the shooter is, then run the other way.
  2. If you can’t run, try to HIDE. Preferably somewhere that has a locked door. Try not to trap yourself in. But if you are trapped in and that door opens, be prepared to do the last one, which is…
  3. FIGHT! If you’ve never punched someone in the face before, this would be a good day to give it a try. If you’re not the fighting type, look around for objects that could be used for improvised weapons: water bottles, phones, pens-which can be used like an ice-pick and fire extinguishers.

These are the 3 basic things you need to know to get through the situation. Your main thought should be, “I’m getting the hell out of here alive. I’m getting to a door now!”

Below is a link to the video that I showed in all my classes. It’s only about 5 minutes long. It was produced by Homeland Security and the City of Houston. I will warn you that there is some simulated violence, but once the shots are over, the rest of the video is about how to react in an active-shooter situation.

Please take the time to watch the video and then I want you to think about your own job. Do you know where all the exits are? In most cases, 83% of people will go out the door they came in. Do you know where the side and back doors are?

Start paying attention to where the other doors are when you enter somewhere like a movie theater or a restaurant. Remember, there is always an exit through the kitchen. Don’t believe me? Let me ask you, unless you were at McDonald’s, when was the last time you saw the bus-boy bringing trash through the dining room?  (There’s always a backdoor or loading dock area. Usually two guys will be sitting there smoking a cigarette. Run past them.)

Again, I want you to start thinking about exits when you go out somewhere. Just because you parked on one side of the mall, doesn’t mean you have to go that way to get out. I want you to tell yourself that you will get out if you had to.

And remember your 3 options: Run, Hide, Fight!

Here’s the video. (Click the link if you are receiving this through email.)



Gamification – Making Life More Fun

Posted by dwallace on August 4, 2016 in Business, Employee Engagement, Gamification, Marketing |

Gamification is a hot new buzzword in the business world, but the idea of it has been around since the beginning of time. Gamification is the idea of applying elements that makes games fun into just about any kind of activity or process. The most common gamification process in the business world right now is […]


Making a Career Out of Beer

Posted by dwallace on August 1, 2016 in Beer, Business, Drinking |

Did you know you could make a career out of drinking beer? Can you imagine the look on a parent’s face when they asked their child, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” And they said, “Eh, I think I’m going to drink beer all day and talk about it to people.” […]


Some Of Us Don’t Have One True Passion (Scanners, Multipotentialites and Dilettantes)

Posted by dwallace on July 1, 2016 in Scanners |

I’m in a dilemma. Again. I recently purchased a book called Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher and now I know what’s wrong with me. I’m a Scanner. A Scanner is someone who is interested in a lot of things. They research these things intensely and when they learn what they want to know about […]

How You Can Barter For Something You Want

Posted by dwallace on June 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

I saw an old friend recently and he said, “Hey, how come you didn’t write about your new ukuleles you got on your blog?” “I think I did,” I said. “No. I just searched it. You don’t have anything on there,” he said. Oops… Most of my friends and readers know that I grew up […]

Employee Engagement

Posted by dwallace on June 2, 2016 in Employee Engagement |

I figured out a year or so ago that it doesn’t really matter where you go work-wise, you will probably end up not liking it somewhere along the way. You might like the profession, but the job itself will suck time to time. A new Gallup Poll came out in the last month or two […]

Word Camp St. Louis 2016

Posted by dwallace on May 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

This was my first time at Word Camp. For those who’s never heard of this, it’s tech seminar on using WordPress. What’s WordPress? WordPress is a content management system and this site was built using WordPress. I made this blog posting in a blog lecture. The speaker said we should blog during class.

Why Is Gas So Cheap Right Now?

Posted by dwallace on February 10, 2016 in Gas Prices, Oil and Gas |

Do the prices at the gas pumps have you asking, “Is this 1995 or what?” If so, you’re not the only one. For years I thought that election years almost always kept gas prices low. Then as soon as the election was over, prices would shoot back up, which never sat well with me. I was discussing the […]


New Year’s Resolution Check-In

Posted by dwallace on January 18, 2016 in Martin Luther King, New Year, New Years Resolutions |

We are in the third week of the New Year, how are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up? If you’re like most Americans, they’ve either come and gone or you’re still waiting to get started. I decided not to do New Year’s Resolutions this year. I did however make five goals that I wanted to […]

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New Year’s Resolutions and End Of the Year Inventory – 2015

Posted by dwallace on December 30, 2015 in New Year, New Years Resolutions |

Every year around this time I start taking inventory of my life and looking back at what’s happened over the last year. This year was a bumpy ride for me and my family. I haven’t written about it up until now, but after 10 years of marriage, my wife and I separated at the end […]

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