BELL COUNTY, TX. — Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker was among those taken hostage at Congregation Beth Israel and is now crediting active shooter training as the reason he and the others survived the horrific ordeal.
Active shooter training instructors agree with him.
"I think that’s what empowered them to know or to decide that we’re not going to die today. At least not without a fight. They were proactive in that fact that the Rabbi threw a chair at the guy and they all ran out.” said Michael Julian, Creator of A.L.I.V.E Active Shooter Survival Program.
That is why the instructors with A.L.I.V.E Active Shooter Survival Program say it focuses on more than just running, hiding, or fighting.
"My program teaches people how to have the mindset to survive an active shooting. Recognizing the warning signs because this type of violence is a process, it’s not an event," said Julian.
Recognizing the benefit of active shooter training is exactly why Rabbi Jonathan Dade of Messiah Echad in Georgetown, encourages his congregates to attend classes they host.
"We actually have individuals in our congregation that work for the military and other organizations. So, they actually host the training, and they literally do that for members in our congregation,” said Rabbi Dade.
Worshiping on Saturday while another synagogue was under attack, is a reminder of why they continue to host active shooter training classes.
"Especially after something like this. I would expect that we’re going to do another one in the next couple of weeks if not the next couple of months” said Rabbi Dade.
He does have a message for those held hostage on Saturday.
"It will be scary and will have to go through a lot of processing of thoughts but, your community needs you and I pray that you are able to resume services. That you’ll be able to emerge from this and be able to thrive,” said Rabbi Dade.
Active shooter training like those offered by ALIVE can be taken online or in person.