PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's a frightening thought; an active shooter moves into your workplace, a movie theater, or your church. These events have all happened in the past years, and now a local organization is offering classes, usually only reserved for police, to teach people how to react in an active shooting situation.
What would you do if confronted with an active shooter situation? How would you defend yourself and your family? In today's climate, these are the questions you may have asked yourself.
"Grab what you can, because this will give you leverage and strength and you want to push it down," said an instructor.
At Guardian Tactical Concepts they've assembled a group of law enforcement professionals who normally teach classes to other police agencies, but now they've changed their curriculum to prepare civilians.
"What we're trying to do is basically save American lives," said Skip Clarkin.
Clarkin is the Development Manager at Guardian Tactical Concepts.
"We've taken stuff that was formerly restricted to the military and law enforcement, and kind of broken it down for civilians because they're the ones most likely to encounter a bad event before any uniform shows up," said Clarkin.
The four-week course is broken into four different situations. The class goes over survival techniques such as turning out the lights to temporarily disorient the attacker.
It also covers first aid and medical care. Like what you should do if someone was shot. The class shows students how to stop bleeding through various methods.
"Time is critical. We can lose enough blood to lose consciousness in one and a half minutes," said Jamie Spada.
Training includes force on force training. For students who carry a concealed weapon, they learn the ins and outs of using deadly force.
"What this allows us to do is bring a sense of realism to a training environment. We have the opportunity to put a weapon system in someone's hand that will engage in much the same way a real firearm would, but it inoculates them to the stress of actually having to draw their firearm in a lethal scenario and take action," said Tony Cardinale.
And it teaches self-defense. Using Krav Maga techniques, it's about learning to put space between you and your attacker.
The students of these classes say although it may be scary to think about these scenarios, they feel empowered should the unthinkable happen.
"It gives you the confidence and the perspective that you can make a difference in providing your own safety and to others if it's needed if you run into an unfortunate situation," said Tammie, a student.
Clarkin says the classes are for everybody. "We've had kids as young as 16; we've had grandmas in her 60's."