Valley businesses learn ways to respond to high-risk, active shooter situations

LAS VEGAS - An active assailant causing a mass casualty crisis is something that can happen anytime, anywhere.

June is national safety month, so local businesses are learning ways to effectively respond to those types of situations.
The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon Thursday to give businesses a chance to hear tips on how to create a culture of security and what to do in a high-risk situation. 

"Unfortunately, in our country, we've seen active shooters play a role in providing tragedy in communities," said Thomas McClain, the director of operations for Help of Southern Nevada. 

Cristen Drummond: "If there was an active shooter you wouldn't know what to do?"
Richard Espinoza, resident life coordinator for the Art Institute of Las Vegas: "No, no we have had like certain training that's through HR."

On Thursday, some people in the community took time to listen to better ways to make their businesses and organizations safe.

"We have any time on campus anywhere; from 200 to 250 on campus," McClain said.  "We want to take care of our staff. We want to take care of our clients."

The speaker at Thursday's event was Robert Chamberlan. He's an officer with the Mutli-Assault Counter-Terrorism Action Capabilities Team with Metro Police. 

"It's a community issue," said Officer Chamberlan.  "It's not something that can only happen in schools or businesses. It's places of pleasure, malls, hotels, casinos; it can happen anywhere."

That's why he stresses security assessment of facilities and knowing how to respond in an active shooter crisis effectively.     

"We keep it simple," Officer Chamberlan said.  "We follow the run, hide, flight model. So, if you can run and get out and do that. If you can hide, absolutely try to hide and as a last resort- flight if it's necessary." 

"Having at least some sort of guidelines or procedures in the event of a crisis is beneficial," Espinoza said.

They're guidelines that may be the difference between life and death.

"Take the material back to our staff; back to our clients and make sure that we're ready in case of anything that happens," McClain said.   

Officer Chamberlan also advises people to always be aware of your surroundings. For example: Be knowledgeable about exits when out at venues. 

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