Rhinelander manufacturer holds active shooter training for employees; teams up with police departmentSubmitted: 10/18/2017
Allie Herrera
Allie Herrera

Rhinelander manufacturer holds active shooter training for employees; teams up with police department
RHINELANDER - Inside any large fabrication company, you'll find a lot of machinery. Those machines prompt plenty of safety measures inside Rhinelander's Charter NEX Films. 

"Safety is number one and you'll know that when you walk through our door," said Safety Coordinator Ted Towle. 

Towle now oversees the 75,000 square foot building, which just added some new safety measures. For example, when a visitor walks inside, they have to check in and someone has to open the door. 

On Wednesday, employees learned about safety beyond the protective eyewear and ear plugs they normally use.

"We hear more and more of the active shooter situations and events so it only makes sense that we be prepared for an incident or event if it were to happen here or in our community," said Towle. 

"Unfortunately, in this day in age, it's not a matter of if it's going to happen in our area. It's just when," said Rhinelander Sergeant Angela Mertz. 

Mertz led the free civilian active shooter response training. She's the only officer certified to give these trainings in her department. 

"I thought it was a great opportunity to fill a void that we had here," said Mertz. 

In February, Mertz was certified as a CRASE instructor, which stands for Citizen Response to Active Shooter Event. She gained her certification through ALERRT, which stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training. 

During the training, Mertz used real life examples, some of which are close to home. Like the March 22 shooting in Marathon County.

"They've visited these areas. They've been to these places. They might know some of the people involved. If they can relate to it on a personal level it might be something that they'll remember better," said Mertz. 

Mertz hopes those who were at the training remember things like how to barricade walls and how to react in certain situations. She also hopes it helps get employees thinking about what could work best for the company. 

"These events can occur anywhere at any time and to be prepared just give us that much better of an edge and we can keep the employees safe," said Towle. 

Towle also says the company will review some of its policies and procedures. He calls this presentation "eye-opening" for everyone.

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