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Tioga County Members Prepare for Active Shooter Situation

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Tioga County Sheriff's Department and the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce hosted an Active Shooter Seminar, Wednesday, helping the community prepare for a worst-case scenario.

According to national data, 208 victims lost their lives to mass killings in 2017, alone.  The most deadliest year for mass killings in the U.S. in more than a decade, sparking many to ask, "how can we be better prepared for a gunman?"

Joshua Delmage, a Tioga County Sheriff Deputy, stepped up with other fellow officers to answer concerns and offer citizens an interactive workshop that could possibly save their lives. "We believe this training can help us as a whole community, if we're ever dealing with an active shooter event," said Joshua Delmage.

Discussed in the seminar; assessing situational threats, managing stress during incidents, responding correctly, avoiding unnecessary risks and proper defensive tactics. Delmage recommended remembering a simple phrase called "ADD" (Avoid, Deny, Defend).

"God forbid anyone has to use it, but hopefully they are prepared. Avoid the attacker, deny the shooter access to your area...defend yourself. You do have the right to defend yourself," said Joshua Delmage.

Tioga Police said as a precaution to any threat, it's good to investigate your surroundings for possible exits (and defensive tools), should the need to escape arise. "Whenever I walk into somewhere I look around...where are my exits? I'm also looking for tools to defend myself; a coffee cup, keyboard...its a habit you want to get into," said Delmage.

One civilian attending the seminar said he had seen problematic altercations before. Chris Wait, Tioga Hardworks Plant Superintendent, said he learned that even if one person can keep a level head during an emergency...others will follow them to safety. 

"That's one thing I took away from this, I'll have a different perspective from now on," said Chris Wait.

Deputy Delmage also discussed active shooter precautionary rules that have been deemed useless today. He said staying under a desk, hiding and hoping, is not recommended, neither is playing dead. "If you have the ability to move, do it."

Although discussing "what if scenarios" is useful, when a nightmare situation happens Delmage said it's the psychological effects that can endanger others. He said although losing the ability to rationalize threats during a high-stress situation is common, by practicing these simple methods of safety precautions it can mean the difference between life and death. 

"Avoid, Deny, Defend, implement it," said Delmage.

For more information on Active Shooter safety visit the Alerrt Active Shooter Data.

The Tioga County Sheriffs are asking others in the community if anyone is interested in taking part in the next safety seminar to call their office at:

(607) 687-1010

Or call the Tioga Chamber at:

(607) 687-2020