Training not to be become a victim

MANISTEE — A week seldom goes by without the news of another shooting taking place somewhere in the country.

Manistee County Emergency Management coordinator Lt. Brian Gutowski of the Manistee County Sheriff's Office delivers Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) on Saturday at the United Methodist Church. Gutowski has been offering the training to the public to prepare them if they come in contact with an active shooter.

Manistee County Emergency Management coordinator Lt. Brian Gutowski of the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office delivers Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) on Saturday at the United Methodist Church. Gutowski has been offering the training to the public to prepare them if they come in contact with an active shooter.

Schools, churches, stores and musical concerts have been some of the many targets that make people of all ages vulnerable to those attacks. Since all of these are public venues, there is a need for everyone to be prepared in the event of an incident.

One local program that is addressing that issue is the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training program that is being offered by Lt. Brian Gutowski, emergency management coordinator with the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office. The CRASE training is based on the principals of Avoid, Deny and Defend. It teaches people to have a plan and know what to do in any active shooter event.

Gutowski has presented about 15 classes of this training around the county and on Saturday morning was offering another free session at the Manistee United Methodist Church.

“This training was created by a company called Alert from Texas State University and for a long time we have taught our police officers and kids in school what to do if there is an active shooter in their area,” said Gutowski. “The one area of people that is kind of neglected is our citizens, and that is the whole point of this course.”

Saturday’s presentation included a video and discussion about ways to avoid getting shot in an active shooter situation.

Gutowski said now that shootings are occurring in the different public settings, the need is greater than ever for training of this nature.

“The church shootings and a lot of them in the public having a course in empowering people to have that knowledge and to think about it before it happens is important,” said Gutowski.

The sad, but true thing about it is this is the world of today, according to Gutowski.

“That is why the time to plan for something like this is not when it happens and that is why classes like this are so important because it gets that conversation flowing,” said Gutowski. “One thing we talk about is your body is not going to go where your mind has not been before, so that is why there is the need for a plan.”

Gutowski said he has plans in the works for some additional classes at the sheriff’s office for the public.

“So far it has got a great turnout and response from the community,” he said. “This is part of my job in educating the public and making sure important messages like this are getting out.”

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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