We want to believe that houses of worship are safe spaces, yet we have been shown again that there are those that would desecrate religious places through violent actions. Our hearts go out to our Jewish sisters and brothers in the wake of the massacre that claimed 11 lives during worship at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27. We remember the shootings at churches in Sutherland Springs, Texas and in Charleston, South Carolina, and still we hear, “That wouldn't happen here.” (But if it does, you can be prepared!)
The MACUCC Disaster Resource and Response Team will sponsor Active Shooter trainings in early 2019 in Quincy and Beverly. Receive life-saving tips for surviving and mitigating the unthinkable.
Rev. Rob Donaldson hosted an Active Shooter (Active Threat) training in September at Feeding Hills Congregational Church, UCC, in Agawam. Here's his recap:
The Active Threat Training workshop addressed how best to survive an attack at church. Blue-U Defense is a company organized by ex-police officer Terry Choate and the two-hour program included both re-enactments and actual video from several of recent attacks on unarmed civilians in public gathering places.
It was an intense program packed with useful and surprising information. For example, the average time for First Responders to arrive at a mass-shooting site is fourteen minutes. Then, it takes another fifteen minutes for them to assess the situation and begin to implement a response.
Blue-U taught how church members can best head off such situations in the first place. They also discussed interviews with active shooters who survived to be captured. The tunnel vision they experience as they begin their assault gives even the average church greeter ample opportunity to rapidly disarm an attacker armed with a semi-automatic weapon, the weapon of choice in the majority of such incidents.
They also discussed training for greeters, escaping the building rather than attempting to hide, and a number of other tips for increasing the likelihood of being able to live to worship another day. As one participant summed it up, “That was the best $20 I’ve spent at church in a long time.”
Active Threat (Active Shooter) trainings will be offered at Quincy Point Congregational Church in Quincy on Saturday, January 12, from 9-11 AM and at Second Congregational Church in Beverly on Saturday, March 16 from 10 AM- 12 Noon. Seating is limited. Registration is $20.
EVENT PAGE January 12, 2019 training in Quincy.
EVENT PAGE March 16, 2019 training in Beverly.
Learn more about preparedness at MACUCC.org/DisasterResource.
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