Participants in the Active Shooter class.
PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) in conjunction with JetBlue and Sundial School held a masterclass “How to react when your business is under armed threat” on Tuesday. A special segment specifically on school safety was also held during the session.
Sixty representatives of hotels, businesses and schools were present to learn from former special agent Miguel Figueroa (JetBlue/Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport international security supervisor) about how to deal with malignant armed individuals.
Unfortunately, incidents involving armed individuals happen. SHTA thought it prudent to provide this training to increase confidence and awareness among members by providing knowledge on how to react in case an event might occur.
The presentation is part of the “JetBlue for Good” programme, which aims to share specific knowledge and best practices with partner destinations. Other islands in the Caribbean will host comparable programmes.
There is no reason to believe there is an imminent threat of an armed incident. The focus of the meeting centred around the benefit of preparedness and awareness. As Figueroa put it, “Prompt and educated decisions could be the difference between life or death in situations like this.”
Among the attendees were teachers of SHTA member schools Asha Stevens Christian Hillside School, Milton Peters College, Sundial School and University of St. Martin, as well as managers and security specialists from various properties and companies.
Figueroa discussed a long list of international “active shooter incidents” involving multiple casualties. Based on the philosophy “run, hide or fight”, he taught the priorities in case of such an event. “Fighting should always be the last resort in a situation like this,” he said.
SHTA said on Wednesday that it hopes no visitor or resident will ever be faced with such a situation, but it hopes the knowledge provided can be used in the event such an incident occurs, and will help keep individuals safe. SHTA thanked the participants, JetBlue for making Miguel Figueroa available and Sundial School for hosting the event.