Yarmouth PD holds emergency situation training class for residents

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YARMOUTH, Mass. - Active shooter training is now a regular drill for emergency officials, but Yarmouth is also preparing residents for the unthinkable.
 
Yarmouth police say that in an emergency situation, the first three to five minutes, while officers are on their way, can be what keeps you alive.
 
"The public is nervous. They have seen so many horrible things," said Yarmouth police Deputy Chief Steven Xiarhos.
 
Officers held a free class where people learn what to do if they were ever caught in an active shooter situation, or any other hostile encounter.
 
"We should capture that nervous energy and turn it into something positive. Empower them," said Xiarhos.
 
In the two-hour class, police say instead of hiding and hoping, you should be thinking and reacting. The class also encourages people to think outside of the box. 
 
Police also say it is safer to fight your attacker if you have no other options.
 
"When the door opens, the suspect can only look left or right, can't look in both directions at the same time. When they come in, you crown them on the head with the largest thing in the room," said Yarmouth police Lieutenant Kevin Lennon.
 
Xiarhos says they are not trying to scare anyone; they just want to make them feel confident.
 
"The biggest thing I took out of it is how to secure my classroom and how to get out," said Sherri Ritchie, West Barnstable teacher. 
 
There were nearly 50 people in the class. Danielle De Young wanted to attend because she had way too close of a call in the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech.
 
"Heard the gunfire, saw the ambulances and actually didn't know what was going on until I got to my place of work," said De Young.
 
Yarmouth now plans to hold the class monthly.


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