U.S. Border Patrol officials held an active shooter training course Friday night in Imperial Beach to help prepare residents for emergency situations.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 20 active shooter incidents each year in 2014 and 2015. That’s more than any two-year average in the past 16 years, and nearly six times as many as the period between 2000 and 2001.
Carla Garcia is a third-grade teacher in San Ysidro School District. She said being prepared for an active shooter incident is important in today's world.
"I've been in a lockdown situation, and it's scary," she said. “I've been teaching for 20 years, and I don't think we've ever been trained in this."
According to Chris Morris, a firearms instructor, people go through three stages in a disaster response: denial, deliberation and decisive moment.
"One single prepared person in that group can help set the tone and save lives," he said.
Morris also said in emergency situations you should not hide and play dead. Being aware of your surroundings is important everywhere; and when all else fails, defend yourself.
"Unless you're physically incapacitated, you have to fight. That person is trying to kill you," Harris said.
Friday night’s class was part of a pilot program and was free of charge for anyone to attend.
The U.S. Border Patrol in Imperial Beach will be having more classes in the future, as well as other agencies across the county.
Those training sessions will be publicized to the community.