MERCER, Pa. (WKBN) – The Mercer County Sheriff’s Critical Incident Response Team held an active shooter response class Thursday night and part of the training came from a Las Vegas shooting survivor.
Corry Fenton is an EMT in Mercer County. It’s been five months since he, his wife, Carol, and their daughter escaped the shooting at a concert in Las Vegas that killed 58. After his family was safe, he went back into the chaos to help others.
He said surviving a mass shooting has changed their perspective on everything.
“My wife and I both, we recognize entrances, exits, windows. We’re always looking at the windows and the doors, planning an exit out of something.”
For the first time since, the Fentons shared their story about that October night, hoping to teach the public how to better prepare themselves for an active shooter situation.
“Someone had just been shot behind us, so they were going to start doing CPR on him,” Carol said.
The running, hiding, jumping over fences and, ultimately, how they managed to get out alive.
“Prepare yourself to make a plan. Always be alert, and watching and seeing what’s happening around you,” Corry said.
The Fentons’ tips went along with what the Mercer County Sheriffs Office was teaching during Thursday’s class.
“Thinking ahead about what they need to do if something occurs,” Sheriff Gary Hartman said. “It’s going to negate that factor of ‘what’s occurring, I don’t know what to do’ or panic mode.”
He stressed being aware of your surroundings and who is around you. Hartman also suggested developing escape and safety plans for your families and businesses in case a shooting happens.
“Be aware of where the exits are. Pay attention to people around you. Sometimes seeing it before it happens, it might buy you some time to react to it, maybe get yourself to safety,” he said.
The active shooter response class was planned months ahead of what happened last week at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Hartman said that’s only made it a more important conversation to have.