Bryan McKenrick, the leader and owner of American Tactical Defense, LLC., an Active Shooter Training Company, has spent a career in law enforcement doing drug interdiction operations with the Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies. Bryan now trains law enforcement personnel on active shooter events and joins the MAG-TAC Podcast for Four (4) episodes. In this episode, Bryan talks about the importance of reacting to what is happening. Discusses not hoping for the best, but being ready for the worst. He then covers the basics of safety and the theory of Run, Hide, & Fight.
MAGLITE: 00:07 Welcome to the MAG-TAC podcast. I'm your host Lou and joining us today, we're going to have a veteran police officer and a gentleman who has trained thousands of people in the use of firearms, active shooter, including SWOT, military and actively/currently he is training personnel in California Law Enforcement and others in avoiding mass shootings and what to do when they happen. Joining us here, Bryan McKenrick from American Tactical Defense. Bryan, how are you sir?
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 00:42 Doing great, Lou. Thanks for having me on.
MAGLITE: 00:44 Give us 30 seconds of your background my man, cause you're kind of a badass. So… I want people to know that.
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 00:49 Yeah, don't like to think of it that way, but I appreciate the words. Little about me. I mean, I work in an agency, can't really, you know, dictate which one.
MAGLITE: 01:01 I gotcha.
MAGLITE: 01:02 However , we run our active shooter thing throughout all their officers, over thousands run. We have three active shooters in our jurisdiction, so we had to get really good, really fast. On a side of that prior military US Coast Guard for seven years. And at this point I'm looking over 20, looking back at all the years, feeling pretty darn old.
MAGLITE: 01:25 When you say coast guard, I don't want people thinking, you know, you're wearing a white uniform and swabbing decks, you were doing drug interdictions, correct?
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 01:34 Yeah. Thanks for making that delineation. Absolutely so. Yeah, we did narcotics OPS and Search and Rescue was the other side, but law enforcement took me by the hand and I went with it. So yeah, so American Tactical, we started this because, you know, I'm tired of seeing folks not being told what to do, not being shown what to do and running and hiding and hoping for the best. Hoping for the best is not a good option for anyone. Doesn't suit, but I don't feel any confidence with that forum. So, we started this whole deal, in that realm, in the school districts it is very important to get ready and get trained.
MAGLITE: 02:16 Okay, so let's talk about the basics of Run, Hide, Fight. This is the philosophy that has been adopted in these mass shooting scenarios, especially in the school setting. Explain what it means and how you go through the progression if you're caught in one of these situations.
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 02:34 All right, so if an active shooter happens, which are happening all the time, obviously, most people will always be trained by police departments or others to Run, Hide, Fight. And usually it's a presentation and usually, you know, all of us know what to do as for running and hiding. And we've been doing it since we were children. I mean, we played hide and seek, we played tag. So that's a natural given for anyone. That's good. But now what do they do in the classrooms, when they go on a lockdown? What we do, is we come in and teach those teachers how to fight and in effective measures, because there's a lot of different ways that are going to get the teachers hurt and it's going to be an ineffective, basically. So we have methods that we use.
MAGLITE: 03:16 Well, let me go back to the basics just so that people were clear. Active shooter, you hear ... I hear this all the time and it makes me crazy. Well, I thought we heard fireworks or firecrackers. No. You know what? Assume it's gunshots, right? I mean, don't wait to find out, right Bryan?
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 03:33 Yeah, I mean, absolutely. If it's an in and around the school grounds and it's during school hours, you know, you gotta think about it, even if it's on the 4th of July. Is that normal? Is that really gonna happen to the schools? Is it that close? You have to react. These days it's just happened.
MAGLITE: 03:49 And the first thing you do is try to get away from wherever the sound is coming from, Right?
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 03:55 Thats the number one goal, if you have the means and the capabilities...Get out of there, you don't want to be the fish caught in the bowl.
MAGLITE: 04:01 And if you can't, that's when you hide.
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 04:04 Right? And if you can't, for example, you have little preschoolers and you can't round up 30 of them in your arms. So with that being said, you've got to do something. You want to, you have to go bury yourself into a locked room, set it up for a war. You have to be ready to attack.
MAGLITE: 04:20 So be aware of your surroundings. If something strange is going on, assume the worst. Don't assume the best. Run first. Try to get out of there and get away from the noise. Hide secondarily. And the third option is going to be to Fight. Now we're going to cover each of these things in an individual podcast. We're going to discuss improvised weapons, hiding behind cover versus hiding under desks, which isn't really cover. And the pros and cons of barricading in upcoming episodes of the MAG-TAC Podcast with Bryan at American Tactical Defense. The recap here, Bryan, is be aware, Run first, right?
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 05:07 Run first. And if you can't run, get yourself behind some cupboard and get ready for war. It's you against them.
MAGLITE: 05:15 All right. And quickly, your relationship with Maglite, do you want to characterize how that is and how you use Maglite's (flashlights) in your training?
BRYAN MCKENRICK: 05:22 Absolutely, So with Maglite, we partnered up with them and they have great products. Their (Maglite) flashlights are nice and they're hard. And for a nice solution, for anyone that has a plan, like a shooter coming in to shoot up people, they always have this plan. And I want to go with it. Well, you know what, like Mike Tyson says, everybody has a plan so you get punched in the face. These flashlights here, if everybody knows they've had them in her hands, everybody's had a Maglite at some point in her hand, they heard if you were to get smashed in the face with it. So that being said, they have a wonderful product. The brightness of their flashlights, the consistency, all of these different things will bring up in the other (MAG-TAC) Podcast, as you mentioned so.
MAGLITE: 06:00 All right, well that'll wrap it up for this segment of the MAG-TAC Podcast and we will be back later next week with more with Bryan from American Tactical Defense.