Run, hide, fight — Bellevue training program offers free tips for surviving workplace active shooter scenarios

Eastside business owners are invited to learn more about creating a safe work environment for their employees, clients, customers, and visitors by participating in a program this month that offers resources and training for how to respond properly to a workplace active shooter scenario.

Individuals who attend the free, two-and-a-half-hour seminar will learn: how to recognize a threat and act appropriately; tactics for survival; tips on proper evacuations, hiding, and barricading; what you should and shouldn’t do when law enforcement arrives; strengths, vulnerabilities, and compliance issues that expose employees and business owners to unnecessary risks; walk-through scenarios on what you can do individually or as a group if confronted by an active shooter; and cell phone do’s and don’ts during active shooter situations.

The program was developed by Steve McDonald, a retired Montana State Trooper with more than 30 years of combined law enforcement and military experience. It is being presented by Avitus Group, the global human resources and business management consulting firm that opened a regional branch in Bellevue last month.

“Public shootings are senseless acts of violence that need to stop,” said Avitus Group public relations manager Dianne Parker. “We are encouraging employers to form a united front against workplace violence, and we feel that starts with education.”

The FBI defines an active shooter as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Between 2014 and 2015, 92 people were killed and 139 people were wounded in the United States as a result of 40 active shooter events, according to the FBI. Similarly, the FBI reports that between 2000 and 2013, 486 people were killed and 557 people were wounded in the United States as a result of 160 active shooter events.

The Avitus Group’s active shooter training program will be held on Thurs., Feb. 16, between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., in the Training Room at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, located at 330 112th Avenue N.E., Suite 100, in Bellevue. The event is free and includes a complimentary breakfast. RSVP online at