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Residents learn how to deal with an active shooter situation

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As random shootings happen more often across the country, local leaders want you to be prepared.

Ironically, Tuesday night’s seminar has been in the works for about the past month.

Residents in Lackawanna County gathered at the Center for Public Safety to learn who's more likely to survive in case an active shooter situation happens in our area.

"It's the person that can actually slow themselves down and think about it. That can make the right choices,” James Decker, Lackawanna County SWAT Commander, said.

The seminar took place hours after a gunman killed four people and left several others injured in Northern California.

Decker showed the room full of people the best ways to handle an active shooter situation.

For example, find your exits when you enter a room so you know how to get out fast.

Also, try not to panic.

Our heart rate increases in stressful situations, which could have a negative impact on the decisions we make.

June Ejk diligently took notes during the presentation and believes it’s important to be informed as more shootings occur each year.

"The better prepared we are, the better reaction we'll have if, unfortunately, we're in a situation where we have to deal with someone that's out of control,” Ejk said.

Those in the room also watched a video of a survivor from the Virginia Tech massacre who played dead on her classroom floor.

They also learned where shootings are more likely to occur, and who's more likely to be behind the gun.

"People have to know what they're doing if they're in a crowd and they hear a gun go off, and what to do. I'm hoping this seminar will be very helpful,” Lackawanna County Commissioner Pat O’Malley said.

The biggest takeaway for Ejk: try to avoid the situation.

If you can't, learn how to defend yourself.

But even with the tips she, like many others, is changing her habits.

"I find that I'm avoiding more large public gatherings because I just, do I really need to be there? No. So I change my mind and go someplace different,” Ejk said.

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