Preparing for a Shooter in the Work Place

Posted on: 10:26 pm, February 13, 2013, by

(Memphis) – ON April 10, 2012, Debbie Rowberry was gunned down in ServiceMaster’s parking lot.

“It was certainly a tragic day for us,” ServiceMaster employee, Gina Evans Kamler, said. “It’s very scary. Your instincts kick in and you want to run.”

Kamler says on that day, her company put its emergency crisis plan in place and the shooter never got inside.

To make that plan even better, Gina took part in a workshop Wednesday put on by the Mid-South Contingency Planners Association.

About 200 companies attended. Memphis Police gave the presentation. The offered training tips, and showed a video emphasizing a three word mantra: run, hide, fight.

The video, made by the City of Houston, tells people how to survive if a gunman walks into their office. It says people should always try to escape or evacuate. If you can’t, barricade yourself in a  room.

“Turn out lights, and if possible, remember to lock doors,” the video says.

The lessons resonated with United Way employee, Loretta Hurt.

“We have straight hallways in our building just learning to zigzag as your running that`s helpful,” she said.

Helpful tips she and others are taking back to their workplaces.

“We`re looking at our policy and this came along,” Le Bonheur employee, Keith Howlett, said. “This is a good avenue to know how the police are going to respond.”

While it’s one plan no one ever wants to use, it can be life saving.

While homicides at work are statistically rare, they do happen. About 360 people were killed or injured by gunfire at work in 2011, according to the Center for Disease Control.