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Police chief offers active-shooter training

FORT KENT, Maine — Fort Kent Police Chief Tom Pelletier was on site at Northern Maine Medical Center recently to provide training for key individuals and members of the Emergency Preparedness Committee on proper response in the event of an active shooter incident.

According to data released in 2015 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the healthcare industry as a whole witnessed nineteen homicides in 2015, sixteen of which were committed intentionally by gun violence. With an increasing number of active shooters in the healthcare industry, it is critical for individuals to be knowledgeable in their role should they face this type of situation in the workplace.

The healthcare setting itself is somewhat unique and fraught with ethical considerations. Healthcare workers are trained to respond, rescue and save lives. In a shooter incident, they may be faced with running away from the situation to save as many lives as possible –strategy for survival.

With 25 years of experience as a state trooper and involvement in the training of fellow officers in active-shooter response, Pelletier offered valuable first-hand experience to participants.

His training included the three recommended strategies for surviving a shooter incident: run, hide or fight. You can run away from the shooter, seek a secure place where you can hide and/or deny the shooter access, or incapacitate the shooter in order to survive and protect others from harm.

To learn more about surviving a shooter incident in any environment, view the You Tube training video “Run, Hide, Fight” produced by the City of Houston Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

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