I’m relatively new to blogging and wrote the following as to be posted on a blog site.
This blog was supposed to be a brief introduction of who I am and about my business, it has changed due to the heartbreaking events of this past week, it is now an open letter to the world on what we must do before the next Orlando, and it breaks my heart to say it but it will happen.
Too many innocent lives violently taken in schools, businesses, a Christmas party, churches, the Boston Marathon, 9/11 and the list goes on involving so many more incidents in America and around the world. I have cried many tears and I am crying today, my heart hurts for every innocent, beautiful life taken and for every loved one left behind to mourn. We mourn with you.
Today we must honor every beautiful innocent life, remember them, support their families and loved ones in their grief, show an out pouring of love such as the world has never seen before, and that IS happening. Love and kindness will always prevail. There are far more good and loving people in this world than those who spread terror and hate. We must also learn everything we can.
I am going to take a moment to get my personal feelings out of my system, I will NEVER UNDERSTAND how any one for any reason can plan and carry out an attack on innocent, unarmed men, women and children. I don’t care who you are, what you want or what you are trying to prove. It shows nothing more than you are spineless cowards capable of the cold blooded murder of defenseless, unarmed people going about their everyday lives. You are not human and there is no reward for you on Earth or in the afterlife for such actions. I do not know how you can believe such lies or justify it to yourselves. In case you haven’t been paying attention, although I don’t know specifically what you want, your actions show the only “power” you understand is violence. Your attempts to spread fear are not working. For every single horrific act of violence and murder has created a billion acts of real “power” and that is love and kindness. Every innocent unarmed life you take unites more of the world against you, we the loving majority will never give you what you want, which is to divide us. Today in this moment a woman from New Jersey “armed” with only the love in my heart, God given knowledge and experience and a computer are more powerful than any weapon you bring against us, we see what you are trying to do and you have already lost. So the next time someone decides to murder in your name you might want to stop it, because it will create a billion more acts of love and kindness. You lose.
To my brothers and sisters all over the world:
I have prayed that God stops those who carry out acts of terror and hate, time and time again I have asked God what can I do? This morning my prayers were answered. I have a clarity and understanding only He could have given me. I know what we can do and what must change make sure there is never again a loss of life such as Orlando.
First, let me explain who I am. My name is Cindy Brennan a NJ State Certified EMT, I became an EMT as a direct result of a workplace shooting. Due to that and more dangerous life experiences, which include my grandmother being mugged twice, also twice while I was working in a place of business crimes took place, the first was an attempted pharmacy robbery, second was an actual robbery with an assault of the manager of a business in the same complex. After other exposure to crimes I began my personal safety business “Momma Bear’s Defense”.
My mission is to use my life experiences to educate others and raise awareness about personal safety, I had myself trained in the use of pepper spray and offer free seminars on safety awareness and educate about pepper spray what it is and how to use it properly. There are ways we can live safer every day and reduce our chances of being the victim of a crime, but Heaven forbid you are the victim of a crime I want you to know how to protect yourself.
What does that have to do with what needs to happen before the next Orlando, my experiences uniquely qualify me. I saw, from the inside, what happens when shots begin to fire. It was 20 years ago and I still remember, as if it were yesterday, the faces of panic, terror and confusion as my staff, patrons and friends ran past me out of the building.
I recently heard an inspirational speech by Steve Harvey, he mentions God gives us all gifts. One of the “gifts” my loving God gave me is problem solving. Here is the problem and what needs to happen to before the next Orlando. We cannot stop terrorism and hate, but we can, by the grace of God, can change the outcome.
Although, many acts of terror and hate have been prevented by governments and law enforcement by multiple means. They deserve our unending thanks for working every day to stop attacks and may God help them in all they do. Right now somewhere in the world an individual or group are planning the next shooting/bombing attack on innocent unarmed civilians. Something will happen, we do not know what, how or when.
One of the “tools” they use most to their advantage is the element of surprise. They choose the most unsuspecting of targets. It causes panic, chaos and is as deadly a weapon as the guns and bombs they use. They are using our unsuspecting, good, decent, non-violent natures against us and that must stop.
They study and plan. So we need to have a plan of defense not only to attempt to save our lives and the lives of our loved ones but by being united to limit injury and death toll. We are all in this together.
God bless every single one of our military, law enforcement, Fire and EMS. They made a choice and put their lives on the line every day for their communities and countries, for their families and complete strangers, they respond to emergency great and small, many sacrifice their lives and do not make it home, but the reality is they will not get there in time, so we must know what to do to help ourselves till they can help us.
What can we do?
First, every single one of us must understand, although many usually “feel safe” safety is an illusion our minds create so we can function through our days. Crime happens every day in all of our neighborhoods. How many times have you heard “I didn’t think it would happen to me?” One thing my life has certainly taught me and what we all must understand is anything can happen anywhere and at any time. What MUST CHANGE is how we react.
I put together in the simplest terms the most basic principles of surviving an incident.
Put ICE- In case of emergency contact in your cell phone. Even when your phone is locked it will be on home screen. Each phone is different. Check with your carrier for instructions.
The basic principle: Identify-Contain/Disarm-Escape
No matter what happens the procedure is the same.
1. YOU MUST REMAIN CALM, PANIC KILLS.
2. Call 911. Check your area you may also be able to text 911. If you cannot speak text someone who can call 911 for you.
3. Take cover as best you can or escape.
4. If it’s dark get the lights on.
5. Identify the situation: Emergency personnel need as much accurate information as possible. Is there one or multiple shooters, was it a bomb? It is difficult to react till you know what is happening.
6. Be aware sound can be deceiving, sounds ricochet like bullets you need to make sure you are running away from and not into the shooter.
7. If you are injured and cannot move play dead, many have survived doing this, try and control/stop the bleeding with your hand, piece of fabric, clothing, bag or piece of plastic wrap will do.
8. Carry something for personal safety. I am not going to get into a gun debate. I do believe guns don’t kill, people do but the facts are the majority of civilians do not carry guns and nothing will convince them to do so. Every single civilian now MUST carry something. There are a variety of alternatives; pepper sprays, gels, foams are incredibly effective, stun guns and Tasers work! Check your local laws for what’s legal or contact me. 10-25 dollars could save your life. Buy from me or buy from somewhere else but get something, it will give you a fighting chance. I would take my chances with 100 civilians with pepper spray, stun guns and Tasers over one or two with hand guns. Imagine if at the next attack civilians had both! The outcome would be far less loss of life. No civilians will ever be carrying equal firepower. We must use our wits and numbers to our advantage.
9. Everything around you is a tool to be used to defend yourself. Glasses, bottles, chairs, pieces of tables, desk items. Use whatever is around you to throw or defend yourself.
10. Contain: If you are able to tell the location of the shooter put as many doors and items in between you and them. Lock doors, lock yourself in rooms or get into the ceiling. Stay away from basements if not familiar to avoid being trapped. The goal is to put as many barriers between you and them as possible to slow them down.
11. Disarm: I am not suggesting be hero, escape to safety is priority but if that is not possible and depending on the situation. Such as if this is a public place people must help each other. The shooters even if multiple ARE OUT NUMBERED. The objective is to slow them down or disarm. Work together and get those guns away from them. Protect yourself with whatever is available. We need to remember what happened with 9/11 United Airlines Flight 93, after having been taken by the hijackers the passengers attempted to retake the plane, tragically bringing it down but saving countless lives, remember the three Americans on the Paris train, the shooter opened fire they subdued him, NO loss of life, that could easily have been a mass casualty attack.
Every single business, church, school or place where people gather must now make some sort of safety plan. Everyone should know all of the principals of survival and have items of personal safety and defense available to staff, hidden from public view to prevent countermeasures. A bear spray under the bar for example gets a range of approx. 20 feet.
Additions to plan for establishments:
Staff should know all entrances including doors only used for fire escape.
Establish where staff is to meet outside of building and at a safe distance.
Establish how staff are to be accounted for.
All staff should be aware of locations of all safety and defense items.
Establishments must evaluate all internal and external doors and locks, must be able to be locked by all to create barriers.
Window security must also be evaluated, must be secure from the outside and function so people escape easily.
Be aware of patrons, even regulars asking questions or wandering in areas they don’t belong. This is a warning sign.
Get smart, get creative and get a plan to protect your employees, patrons, yourselves and loved ones. Even the most basic plan will help make a better outcome. The next time some son of a bitch wants to harm innocent people I want them doused in pepper spray, stunned, tased, shot and ALIVE to rot in prison for many years as an example to others that WE WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE!
Life has no guarantees and I can not guarantee anything, however based on logic and my personal experiences this makes sense and can help.
More information will be coming and we are always working to create new products and ways to protect yourselves and loved ones.
Print the principals and keep them in your wallets, we will be printing free wallet cards.
This is my bear hug of love and healing to the world, may we know peace in our lifetime.
Live, love, be safe and God Bless-
Cindy Brennan EMT
Owner Momma Bear’s Defense
Facebook: Momma Bear’s Defense