INB Staff Takes Part in Active Shooter Training

In an effort to keep our workplace safe, INB employees recently had the opportunity to take part in active shooter training.

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INB offered the training because while we like to think we’re never going to be faced with this kind of violence, we know the reality is this can happen at INB just like it can happen anywhere in our communities. Big or small, bank or restaurant, every place where people gather is a potential place for violence.

INB’s training focused on three key steps: Running, hiding and fighting.  Presented by Active Shooter Education and Tactics LLC, the half-day session included someone from each bank facility.

Active Shooting Becomes Part of the Vernacular

Prior to the invitation to take part in the active shooter training, some employees had already considered how to defend themselves and their co-workers if faced with the situation. Andi Whalen, our Champaign and Bloomington branch manager, says the nature of the banking industry and the fact that we handle people’s money makes us vulnerable.  Vice President Client Services Steve Miller adds: “People are just unpredictable, and Covid has added to some people’s paranoia.  Thinking it can’t happen and NOT being prepared for an active shooter is really a scary proposition.”

The first step during an active shooting is to get out of the area as quickly as possible. In other words, run. Once you’re in a safe place, call 911.

If you can’t run away from the shooting, you should hide.

Greg Floyd, vice president compliance services, says a key take-away for him was considering where his safe hiding space might be. Ideally, it would be a windowless space where you can block the door.

Greg adds: “We learned about the items you can use to barricade a door, and were reminded to silence our phones and stop notifications.”

Remittance Services Supervisor Audra Von De Bur says she, too, is now thinking about escape plans and potential security measurements and improvements. She says that since the training she is more observant and aware of what’s going on around her.  Andi says she, too, is now more aware of her surroundings and realizes that her routines can make her vulnerable. 

Preparing to Act Quickly

The trainers reminded participants that an active shooter situation can happen very quickly, that’s why it’s important to prepare. The team learned that reactions need to be quick and defensive.

We also need to re-train ourselves on what we might have traditionally done in an emergency. For example, Audra says she learned that you should NOT pull a fire alarm because the shooter can potentially aim at large groups of people exiting the building. While running away is good, you should only run if you know it’s safe to do so.

When it comes to fighting off the attacker, Phil Ratliff, vice president, loan operations, adds, “We learned we should use everyday objects for both defense and offense.  For example, a book bag can be a vest for protection. You can use a lunchroom chair to hit someone over the head or a fire extinguisher to spray them in the face.”