LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) What should you do when the unthinkable happens?
"There's no definitive you should always run or you should always lay. It's kind of situational dependent," Lebanon Police Det. Lt. Rich Smolenski said.
Smolenski is talking about terror. Wednesday, he trained community members on how to respond to active shooter situations.
"If they can exit and get away from it, that's ideal. If they can't, put themselves in a spot where they can deny an aggressor access to where they are. And then if all else fails, they have to be able to defend themselves," Smolenski said.
It comes a week and a half after police say Stephen Paddock opened fire at a Las Vegas concert, killing 59 and injuring more than 500. Just a month ago in New Hampshire, authorities tell us Travis Frink walked inside the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and shot his mother. We showed you the hospital in lockdown as patients sprinted outside.
Jennifer McGonis works across the street from where the incident happened.
"People were coming across from Dartmouth-Hitchcock telling us what was going on and asking if we were going under lockdown," McGonis said. "It's pretty serious out there and as managers of the co-op, we want to be ready and available for our staff."
Lebanon Police say there has been a 300 percent increase in active shooter events since the year 2000. The department also reports that 55 percent of those attacks end before police arrive.
Lebanon Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Libbey brought his daughter to the training.
"When I was little, I never really thought about all of this stuff. And as I've gotten older, I just hear about it so much more," said Emma Libbey of Hartford.
Jeff Libbey notes how first responders are learning, too. He describes how firefighters have changed their procedures over the past few years.
"We're now gearing up in ballistic equipment and actually going in with the SWAT team or containment team in the EMS warm zone and actually doing primary care to those people that are injured inside rather than bringing them out," he said.
The training took people back to some of the country's darkest times in order to move forward.
Smolenski says the key to survival is education.
"That's going to be the single greatest change in determining what the outcome is," he said.
"Anybody can carry a gun, so we should be prepared," said Ann Smith-Lyons of Canaan, New Hampshire.
If you missed this course, there will be another session Oct. 27. Click here for more details.