Being prepared for anything

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2016

We read about acts of terrorism more often than we should. Someone decides to set off an improvised explosive device or shoot up a business or public place.

About 20 years ago people shooting up a place was called “going postal” because these incidents typically took place at post offices.

Today, they are known as an “active shooter” because they take place outside of places of parcel processing. The worst part is they seem to be increasing in frequency and deadliness and take place at schools, marathons and even movie theaters.

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Saturday, emergency responders had the chance to attend a

presentation at the McNeill Volunteer Fire Department where a trained professional shared his experience in identifying and building improvised explosive devices and surviving active shooter situations.

For clarification, the IEDs he built were for educational purposes, typically modeled after a device made or used in real life terrorist attacks.

An interesting aspect of his presentation involved the fact that many of these devices are found, but did not detonate. That means IEDs are found much more often than the general public knows.

I was disappointed to see that there were not more people at the presentation. It was said that school officials and law enforcement agencies were invited, but I didn’t notice any of their representatives at the event. Maybe next time more of them will find the time to attend.

The general public was not invited however, which is for the best. If the general public had access to the information presented Saturday, someone in the audience without regard for public safety could cause serious damage.

That’s a sad fact too. Because if more of the general public knew this information, they could possibly help deter acts of terrorism by being the eyes and ears of law enforcement.

It’s just too risky to share that information with people who may have ill intentions to protect law-abiding citizens.