Are you prepared?
In Boy Scouts and in lifeguard training I learned this mantra for a swimmer in distress:
A lifeguard will only “go” after trying reach, throw, or row. Or the swimmer is incapable of assisting in their own rescue. A reach only works if the swimmer can grab the lifeguard’s hand.
Did you learn reach, throw, row, go?
I am regularly surprised and saddened to read stories of lay people and trained responders that enter unsafe water conditions to rescue a swimmer in distress. They skip reach, throw, and row. Direct to the highest risk solution of go. Tragically the swimmer survives and the rescuer drowns. This seems to happen at least once every spring somewhere along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Run. Hide. Fight.
There is a new mantra that I am learning and sharing:
These three memorable words should be known by every student, teacher, office worker, shopper, retailer, pastor, parishioner, commuter, traveller, and more.
If an active shooter is present RUN. If you can’t run, HIDE and barricade your position. As a last resort FIGHT with any actual or improvised weapons at your disposal.