UCF safety seminar in demand following shootings at schools



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A safety seminar at the University of Central Florida has become more in demand since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Run, hide or take action? It's a decision safety officials ask schools students, staff and faculty to consider in the safety of a seminar.
"This is a heavy table. I would block the door with this," said University of Central Florida professor Kristen Schellhase.

Schellhase showed Channel 9 Eyewitness News reporter Bianca Castro some the tips she learned in a safety seminar focused on what to do if there's a gunman on campus.

UCF has offered the class for years. Since the Sandy Hook shootings, they said they have received two to three requests for the class a week.

"I think any institute of higher education these days, even elementary, middle high schools have become targets nowadays," said Ari Schein of UCF Emergency Management.

Experts say if you hear gunshots in your building, you have three options: Escape, break a window if you have to. Hide, use a table to block the door to the room you're in. Or fight, even a fire extinguisher can make a good weapon.

The tips are featured in a YouTube video, paid for by the Department of Homeland Security.

The idea is to get you to think now about what you would do, just in case something ever happened.

"Look at a place when you go into the classroom. Note the doors nearby that you came in. Note an alternate exit," said Schein.

"There's no reason I can't take 10-15 minutes and assess, 'OK, what would I do if something bad happened?'" said Schellhase.

UCF officials said, in the last year, thousands of students and faculty members have attended the Active Shooter Safety Seminar.