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Elkhart General hoping to save lives with active shooter simulation

ELKHART, Ind. - Days after the deadly shooting in Vegas, an official with Elkhart General Hospital showed ABC 57 how they're stepping up active shooter training to give their employees a real-deal experience in the hopes of saving lives.

ABC 57's Jess Arnold tried out the relatively new simulation.

"We never know why and we never know when, and we never know where," said Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Elkhart General Hospital, Chris Heck.

If a shooter comes to Elkhart General Hospital, Heck wants to make sure his co-workers are as prepared as they can be.

“It’s one thing to have it on paper, but until you practice it and make sure that you get rid of all the hiccups that when you practice, that’s when it’s real," he said.

Heck says one of the worst things you can do is hide.

“he best way to increase your survivability, don’t be there. If there’s someone with a gun, run. ...If you can’t run and escape, the next best thing is to barricade yourself inside of a room and create a fortress basically," he said.

Chris, an Army vet, has trained folks on a national scale for years, but he says he really only saw local hospitals start thinking about this kind of training when school shootings picked up.

“I think it was when people started shooting little kids," he said.

Just like most people can't forget those tragedies, Chris doesn't want them to forget their training.

“My goal is to make it realistic...I don’t want them to walk away from here and ten minutes later forget what they learned, ...I want them to remember it," he said.

When Chris does these trainings, he says he's remembering his buddy who lost his life to an Al Qaeda ambush in West Africa.

Chris was supposed to be with that team, but he wasn't, and his friend ended up distracting the Al Qaeda members so his group could escape--at the cost of his own life.

Since June, Heck has trained about 600 employees and says they will continue to do so until all 1600 have gone through the simulation.


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