In preparing for a potential active shooter situation, Midlands sheriff says a safety plan is key

In preparing for a potential active shooter situation, Midlands sheriff says a safety plan is key

NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - In the wake of the violence unleashed in Las Vegas, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says it's not something we want to think about, but having a safety plan could save your life - especially at venues that attract large crowds.

Sheriff Foster said there are several soft targets all over the Midlands. Such as an indoor venue where a concert or event might take place and a stadium where a football game could take place.

"'When you sit down, take just a minute and look at your surroundings and say if something were to happen and I have to get out of here," Foster said. "'How am I going to get out of here?'"

It's a question many hope they should never have to find an answer to. Sheriff Foster says a safety plan could save your life and it's something he thinks about often.

"Even just sitting right here, I feel a little bit trapped," Foster said. "That's why I always try to find an aisle or an exit."

In a scenario where you are indoors – Sheriff Foster says there is a couple of things you can do ahead of time.

"Look at the closest exit, but you also need to be aware that the closest exit might be blocked," Foster said.

Which is why he says find more than one exit that you can escape from and often times, it might be a place you wouldn't normally think you could go. Sheriff Foster says in the Newberry Opera House it might be the stage. Nearby at a football field, it could be the field itself.

Sheriff Foster stressed that it's human nature to think you have to exit the same way you came in.

"In an emergency situation you get into the flight, and when you are not calm and have not thought this out prior, too. You may just go on human nature. Hence it goes back to I know I came in that entrance and that is the only place I can get out. Because you lost that sense. You got that tunnel vision which is the first thing that happens in a stressful situation," Foster explained.

Outdoor facilities are a little different and present another challenge.

"An indoor facility you are more confined but an outdoor facility there are so many more places where people can be the assailant. They can conceal themselves, hide or perform an attack," Foster said. "There's not going to be a lot of area for cover or concealment. Reduce the size of yourself by laying down or getting behind something. Not a lot of things here in the open area just like in Vegas. The best method here is to run."

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