Active Shooter Training for Fort Apache Community

In today’s world, knowing how to react in an active shooter situation is more important than ever before. This is why PWNA’s Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) program facilitated an Active Violence Emergency Response Training (AVERT) for citizens of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Cibecue, Arizona, as part of its Emergency Preparedness service. 11 participants received hands-on experience, from practicing wound care to a full-fledged active shooter training scenario. Sparking much discussion, one participant said, “I want all our workers to do these trainings; I want the whole community to know what to do and how to prepare.” Trainer Lauri Wong gave encouraging final remarks in saying, “It all starts right here in this room. Now, teach what you’ve learned to others.”

Active Shooter Training for Fort Apache Community

In today’s world, knowing how to react in an active shooter situation is more important than ever before. This is why Partnership With Native Americans’ (PWNA) Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) program offers Emergency Preparedness services that train Native citizens in the proper planning, preparation and response strategies.

SWRA recently facilitated an Active Violence Emergency Response Training (AVERT) for 11 citizens of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Cibecue, Arizona. Trainer Lauri Wong kicked off this session by emphasizing how these skills are imperative in everyday life, whether at school, at work or at home. “No matter where you go, you have to be vigilant.”

Councilmen, senior center cooks and other tribal office employees learned about various topics from types of bleeding to situational awareness. They also took a hands-on approach, practicing how to pack a wound and apply a tourniquet in timed exercises.

Participants learned about fight or flight instincts and recognizing active shooter tendencies before the session culminated into a real-world practice scenario. Lauri and her colleagues left the room and gave the cohort a few minutes to prepare for their entry. The group barricaded doors, moved tables and chairs for cover and hid out of sight until the trainers busted into the room and pretended to shoot a participant. Others rushed to the “victim’s” aid and practiced treating a wound in real time.

Wrapping up, trainers critiqued the cohort’s responses and offered a few reminders like attacking the shooter’s senses if possible. The training also sparked discussion about the safety of buildings in their community and more ideas to better plan for intruders in each area. While the closest hospital is one hour away in Whiteriver and the emergency response time in Cibecue can be longer than 15 minutes, these participants and trainings could be the difference between life and death on the reservation.

One participant and active community member, Tony, shared, “I want all our workers to do these trainings; I want the whole community to know what to do and how to prepare.” Senior Center delivery driver Becky added, “I wish they could do a training like this for our Elders.” Lauri gave encouraging final remarks in saying, “It’s all about survival of instinct… It all starts right here in this room. Now, teach what you’ve learned to others.”

Being properly prepared for emergency situations like an active shooter is crucial. Donate to SWRA to continue supporting proper training and education for Native communities.

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