SACHSE -- There are three simple steps that in a moment of panic could could save lives: Run, Hide, Fight.
They are the basis for a short course in active shooter survival put on by the Sachse Police Department Thursday night.
They are also three steps Barbara Harbison wishes she had known when a thief broke into her home, and when the bank where her daughter works was held up.
"No one knew what to do," Harbison said.
Even though the ordeal happened years ago, Harbison said when she heard the Sachse Police Department had developed a course to help people survive any situation where a shooter is on the loose, she knew she had to attend.
"It's sad that we live in a country, or a nation, or even a world that there is situations like this, and where people have guns and they take lives" she said, "and we have to learn how to protect ourselves."
The course uses techniques developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Houston Police Department. Instructor Officer Chris Holland emphasized that active shooter situations are unpredictable, fast moving, and usually continue until law enforcement arrives or someone intervenes.
"This is about coming home at the end of the day and seeing your family again," said Sachse Police Chief Dennis Veach.
With the help of a video, instructors explained the importance of a fast escape, using self defense only when necessary, and what to do when police arrive on scene. Holland told the class first responders will be focused on stopping the shooter, not evacuations or giving first aid.
Afterward, Harbison said she feels empowered.
"It gives you some ideas of what you need to do -- what you can try and do to protect yourself," she said.