Monday, March 2, 2015

Have You Considered Incident Command as a Part of Your Safety Program

Have You Considered Incident Command as a 
Part of Your Safety Program

The Importance of  Critical Incident Command

Critical Incident Command is an extremely critical, yet often neglected area of Emergency Management training within our businesses and schools. In public safety professions (for the sake of this article when I use the term “Public Safety Professionals” I am referring to Police, Fire and EMT professionals), on the other hand, we receive extensive training in the skills and expertise of Incident Command. Why is this? Because, as public safety professionals we are the ones responsible to respond, rescue, and eliminate the threat or danger. And we do! Its critical, however, that skills and proficiency in Incident Command be recognized and achieved by those tasked with the safety of their employees, students, and patients as well. In fact, in those instances, it may be even more critical!

So what role does Incident Command play during a sudden and traumatic incident of workplace/school violence, active shooter, explosion, fire, etc.? While I will go into the details of incident command in just a moment, for now, and to answer this question, it is the need for someone to immediately manage the danger and safety of those that they are tasked to protect, including themselves. In more simple terms, to make decisions about what needs to be done “RIGHT NOW” to save those in immediate danger and potentially eliminate the threat of danger. This may be by escape to safety or dealing directly with the threat.

So lets go into Incident Command

Lets start with a definition of “Incident Commander” according to “Wikipedia”

the person responsible for all aspects of an emergency response; including quickly developing incident objectives, managing all incident operations, application of resources as well as responsibility for all persons involved. The incident commander sets priorities and defines the organization of the incident response teams and the overall incident action plan. The role of incident commander may be assumed by senior or higher qualified officers upon their arrival or as the situation dictates. Even if subordinate positions are not assigned, the incident commander position will always be designated or assumed. The incident commander may, at their own discretion, assign individuals, who may be from the same agency or from assisting agencies, to subordinate or specific positions for the duration of the emergency.

So from this definition we can break Incident Command down into decisions regarding immediate goals and objectives of the incident and ultimately transferring to decisions regarding overall goals and objectives of the incident. It is the decisions regarding immediate goals and objectives that we are concerned with in this article.

First, Training Must Be Practical

For training of any type to be effective, it must be practical. What is practical in safety and self-defense? If you cant use your skills or weapons, whether they be physical or mental, without thought; if your weapons are not instinctual; if they require something specific from your opponent (like a straight punch to the stomach) in order for your practiced moves and defensive techniques to be effective; if they are based on a pre-programmed series of movements, locks, holds, etc.,; if they require extensive thought in order to be placed into action; then they are not practical.

So How Does “Practical” Apply to Incident Command?

Consider that in any incident of sudden and traumatic violence or danger, chaos naturally ensues. And, without training, it will almost assuredly ensue! To have the best opportunity to protect others or ourselves we must manage fear, control the heart rate, bring order to chaos, and make good, fast, effective decisions.

How Does Incident Command Work

In most cases where an Incident Command is required, a designated Incident Commander is not only appropriate, but a necessity. Here’s how an incident plays out in regards to Incident Command in a Public Safety Incident:

The first responder (first to arrive on-scene) always assumes the role of “Incident Commander”. This person makes decisions based on incoming, received information and current circumstances. When the designated Incident Commander (typically the highest ranking person in the department that controls the scene – Chief of Police or Chief of Fire) arrives on-scene, Incident Command is relinquished to them and they are briefed on all current and previously received information.  The key is that the first person to “establish command” (first responder) is typically trained to take on this responsibility with proficiency.

Incident Command is a trained structure that is highly effective and has been proven to work. And, typically, that first responder or temporary Incident Commander directs and controls the incident from a location either at, or extremely close to, the scene. The ultimate Incident Commander, in contrast, will direct and control the incident, many times, from an offsite or remote location to the actual scene.

Incident Command works! So why do we not spend far more time preparing those responsible for our businesses, schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities, etc. to manage a potential incident in the same way that public service officials manage crime scenes and disasters? How are things different? First, it is a highly unrecognized necessity within our businesses and schools. Second, most businesses and to a lesser extent schools, believe that they will experience an incident of violence or disaster within their facility. “It’s not going to happen to me/us”! This must change as a proficient Incident Commander can save lives! Conversely, a lack of proficiency in incident command or training in the dangers of workplace/school violence can destroy your life or business. You MUST recognize the need for the responsibility and provide the appropriate training to everyone who might find him or herself in a position to establish Incident Command.

What Needs to Be Done?

So there are three distinct yet critical needs in Incident Command:

1)   Immediate Internal Incident Command
2)   Designated Internal Incident Command
3)   Overall Incident Command (Public Safety)

This article and topic focuses on the first one – Immediate Internal Incident Command.

What is the Difference?

In most all businesses, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, etc., the Overall Incident Commander is a designated individual, many times either the highest ranking person within the company or location, and in others, it may be the person responsible for security.  But what are the likelihood that this designated person will be present when and where the disaster strikes? What is the likelihood that they will be able to begin making life saving decisions the second that a sudden and traumatic violent encounter or disaster strikes? More likely, this person will be someone who is located, briefed and, at some point, takes command at best, several minutes after the incident begins. This is too late!

There will be people, however, near to or at the point of the initiation of a violent encounter or the initiation point of a disaster. These are the people who need to be trained and able to take command and immediately begin to direct a life saving effort based on circumstances that are happening right now, in many cases, in their presence.

Remember – There is Strength in Numbers!

I have said this many, many times – there is strength in numbers. Do not neglect your masses – your employees and/or students! Too many schools and businesses, after recognizing the very real danger of the possibility of workplace violence, proceed to train only their administration staff or faculty. While this is a huge step forward, it falls way short in an overall safety plan that must allow for each and every school and/or business to take advantage of its most powerful advantage – Numbers! Again, in incidents such as those that we are focusing on in this article, numbers wills undoubtedly always defeat weapons. Psychologically, weapons will usually defeat anything else. But for those who are trained to understand this, it takes very, very few to overpower someone with a firearm or other weapon.

So we MUST train everyone within our respective schools or places of business on safety and tactics as well as Incident Command and the skills necessary to act as temporary Incident Commander, and most importantly what information and tactics are required to end the threat, or at least contain it.

Consider this example:

In the very crowded hallways of a large high school, students are moving in all directions as they prepare for their next class. At one point a student notes a male subject with a duffle bag walking down the hallway amongst the other students. Inside this bag this students clearly sees a handgun that she is convinced is real. So, what does she do?

She goes to the Principals office to report the incident. Good job right? Exactly what is expected of her?

Possibly. This student, in all likelihood, had no previous instruction or training on how to handle such an incident.  So she does the only thing that makes sense to her and runs to the Principals office to report the problem.

So, if you were the person that this incident was reported to in the Principals office, what would be the first thing that you would want to know? My first question would be – Where is this person now? In this case, the reporting person wouldn’t have any idea. There would be numerous additional questions that this person would likely not be able answer. Why? Because they left the person that posed the potential danger to report the problem. Does this create an issue with making life-saving decisions and how to proceed to protect the others inside the facility? No one knows where this person is at this point, who they are, what they are doing/planning, etc. How can you make appropriate decisions without all of this information?

Now Lets Consider an Alternative:

Instead of going to the Principals office to report the problem, she tells another student, or teacher, that is in closer proximity to the problem.
Would this be better? For numerous reasons, I would submit that this would be a far better and more effective solution. Why? Because the person that this is reported to would become the initial Incident Commander and will begin to make far more accurate decisions based on more immediate, accurate, and useable information.

How can this be even more effective? The student who notices the problem takes on the immediate role of Incident Commander and is trained to formulate a plan and immediate response to the potential threat. Now, all decisions are being made are being made based on real time circumstances.

Again, this Immediate Incident Commander role is only temporary. But like public safety responders, someone must immediately begin to bring order to an incident in order to save lives.

So What Does All This Mean?

Everyone (numbers) must be trained to be able to make effective, fast, practical decisions and to establish himself or herself as Incident Commander. Everyone! Everyone must be trained to formulate a very fast and effective plan that will immediately begin to alleviate the potential threat.

One Possible Plan for the Above Scenario (Although There are Many)?

If the student notices a firearm inside this persons bag, and there are numerous other students inside the hallway at the time, she could gather other students, inform them of the problem, and then as a group address the person with the firearm without allowing him any access to the bag in which he carries the firearm until school staff and/or police can arrive to deal with the potential threat.

There are many who would say that this might create a danger for those addressing the problem. There are those who would say that addressing the person might cause him to act. There are many would might think to immediately jump on him and take the bag by force; not allow him to gain control of the firearm. There are yet others who would say “protect yourself and just get out and leave others to their own devices”.

Again, there are no right or wrong answers. Everyone, however, needs to be trained in how to effectively and quickly make good decisions, guide and direct others to safety, and decide for themselves based on their particular circumstances, how to react to the danger that is present. Good decisions will likely not be made without appropriate training, the ability to access effective and practical options, and a controlled heart rate.

The bottom line is that everyone in your business/school must be trained in Incident Command. Everyone should have the ability and authority to take immediate command of a situation. 

Don’t Forget Policy

Remember, as with everything else in school/business safety, we must have policy that addresses Incident Command. Everyone must know that the policy exists and what its purposes are, what their respective roles and responsibilities in such incidents will be, and they must be trained to be able to enact the policy and carry out their responsibilities with confidence.

Incident Command is Critical

The role of Incident Commander is critical! It may be the most critical role in an incident where preservation of life is at stake. Please do not take this lightly. If you don’t have training in Incident Command, get it immediately. If you do not have policy and procedures that include Incident Command, develop one! If every person capable of taking on the role of Incident Commander is not trained to do so, get them trained!  If everyone inside of your school or business are not training in how to react to the types of incidents that might be faced, get them trained. Unless everyone know exactly what information will be needed by the Incident Commander and how to quickly get this information to them, you need to get them trained “know and do”. And remember, there is a difference between the need for immediate decisions (Initial Incident Commander) and longer-term decisions (Designated School/Business Incident Commander), and overall scene Incident Commander (Police/Fire). Don’t confuse these roles, the responsibilities of each role, and how command will transition from one Commander to the next. Again, your role as Incident Commander, whether it be initial or designated, will only be temporary until public safety agencies arrive.  Incident Command brings order to what would otherwise be chaos. Incident Command saves lives.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Are We Asking Your Employees/Students/Patients to Fight Back?

This is a very common question that arises regarding our Workplace Violence/Active Shooter training, especially when we are presenting to school administration and/or parents. The concern is that an offensive act would put them in danger of harm. And it’s a completely understandable concern, isn’t it? 

Well, here is the answer to the question:

No we are not teaching them to engage and fight!

Make no mistake however:

In an incident of violence or active shooter, they are in danger simply by the very fact that they are there! There is nothing that anyone can do about that; it is what it is!  

You see, we (Blue-U Defense) train in tools. Minds are toolboxes, options are our tools in this case, and we simply train you to fill your toolbox with options (tools).  

Remember, there is strength in numbers!

I have written on this topic at least once in the past. When we analyze a battle of any sort, if we are to have any chance of winning, we must take stock of our strengths and weaknesses as well as those of our opponents. There are many categories that need to be analyzed and I am in no way attempting to over-simplify this by discussing only one of them.  However, one advantage can overcome almost all others, in most instances – the advantage of numbers. Numbers, in a case of an active killer, can typically overcome the majority of their strengths, in the end. BUT – we have to have our “numbers” prepared. Their toolboxes must be full of tools. Otherwise, we hand this huge advantage right back to our adversary by allowing him defenseless opponents.

So, lets consider an incident of Active Shooter inside of a school:

First, in regards to victimization, we cannot differentiate between adults, children, patients, disabled, etc. Victims are victims regardless of age in most instances. The “bad guy” just kills/injures everyone. Just look at Sandy Hook where many extremely young children were killed along with adults. And there are numerous other examples of this as well. The difference is that in institutions where there are those who cannot defend or care for themselves (children, elderly or disabled patients), those charged with their care and safety simply have to do more; they have to be better prepared and trained; they must have an elevated level of skill and expertise; and they must have a toolbox full of more powerful tools.

Think About This

When we see a video of an adult being abducted, and this adult doesn’t fight back we say, “that’s horrible. They didn’t even try to fight back". Why? Why do we expect them to fight back? To give themselves a chance of winning! Because we don’t want them to walk helplessly, compliantly and willingly to their deaths! We want them to give themselves a “fighting chance”. Children deserve a chance as well. Children, even if deemed incapable in some instances, still deserve to have as many tools in their toolbox as an adult does. They should be taught more than just to hide and hope, or worse, nothing at all because we don’t want to scare or traumatize them. Most parents typically give their children only some of the necessary tools; only the tools that will be less likely to scare or alarm them. There are numerous examples, however, where parents provided more tools to their children and it paid off by potentially preserving their lives.

A perfect example of this is the recent attempted child abduction where a very young  girl (5-6 years old) was grabbed by an adult male who started running away with the child. What did this child do? She bit him, scratched him, kicked him, and screamed.

And she got away!!!!

Now think about this:

Someone taught her to fight! And because someone taught her to fight she lived!

She didn’t go out looking to fight. She didn’t go out looking to be abducted so she could “use her skills”. She didn’t go out scared that she would be abducted. This child only fought in a situation where she was in danger! She didn’t go to the danger nor did she create the danger. It was created for her and she was trained to react. She had been provided with options and she used them. Wouldn’t it be a shame had that child been abducted because her parents were concerned about “scaring her” or “sheltering her from the reality of violence”?  We all teach our kids to stay away from strangers, not to take anything from them, etc so we acknowledge that the danger exists, otherwise we wouldn’t find it necessary to say anything at all to them. Teaching them avoidance is great, but it’s only a part of the safety equation. There are aggressive criminals that will take a child against their will regardless of whether the child comes to them willingly or not. It happens daily throughout the world. It happened in the example above.

Finally, we have no problems teaching our kids about the dangers of fire, do we? From the day we step foot into school until the day we retire from work we practice fire drills. We have no issues with “scaring” our kids in regards to fire danger, do we? Yet, do you know how many people die in fires in either a school or workplace each year? Very, very few to none! Yet, we practice and practice for this danger all our lives. Comparatively, there are thousands that become victim to violence, abduction, etc and we do little to train for this possibility, which is very high relative to fire danger.

Again, the fact is that the violence and danger exists regardless of our attempts to shelter ourselves and/our children from it. Everyone must be prepared to consciously avoid becoming a victim and, to react quickly and effectively should they be chosen as a victim regardless of age.

So the Options Are?

We can either run or hide
We can fight, or not
We can lockdown or evacuate
We can do something, or not.
We can be a helpless victim, or we can fight for our lives and others

So the Bottom Line:

Our goal in our training is to teach people - children, adults, young adults, elderly, patients, disable, etc how to give themselves the best chance to survive a violent encounter. The best way to do this is to not be there in the first place. Next comes escape, followed by hide/shelter, followed by fight.  What we are advocating for is giving everyone the most effective tools and options to accomplish survival goals in the above order of preference. There will be times when you either use physical means to defend your life or you will either die or be seriously injured. And again, criminals, most of the time, do not care how old you are.

Again, the age and ability of those that you are charged to care for (the disabled, elderly, elementary school children, etc) can change the level of training and responsibility required of those who care for them. As a caregiver, you will simply be required to do a lot more than those who can take care of themselves.

Everyone just has to do something! And training to possess and effectively utilize as many options as possible is simply smart and responsible. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Our #1 Commitment to Our Clients

Our #1 Commitment to Our Clients

As we move into 2015, our first order of business is to give thanks! Blue-U Defense has become extremely successful for many, many reasons and we are thankful to God for the blessing and corresponding responsibility of this company and the passion that has been instilled in us to continuously improve our knowledge and the quality of our product.  And this is an extremely critical responsibility that we take very seriously.  We have been trusted by numerous large corporations, small businesses, insurance providers, schools, universities, hospitals, sporting clubs, trade associations, law enforcement related groups, and in 2015, even a large federal administration. Additionally, we have been asked to speak at and provide our training at business, healthcare, and safety/security related trade shows! We could not be more thankful. 

Our Highest Level Commitment?


Why am I thankful for passion and why is this our Highest Level commitment? One of the most influential people in my life once told me “if you follow your passion, success will surely follow you. If you seek financial reward directly, rarely will you achieve your goals”.  This is so true! Passion is the key ingredient in success in anything!

What is Passion? Everyone has likely “felt” it at one time or another so there is little need for an official definition. It’s the thing that you think about doing when you’re not doing it and it’s the thing that you do every time that you have the opportunity. It’s the thing that you endlessly crave to do better, and learn more about. It’s the thing that you want to be the absolute best at. While there can be “fad-type”, short-term passions, true passions are long-term and consistent through time. 

Helping others! And safety through practical tactics, thorough understanding of the mind and how these things can have a significant impact on safety, in both personal lives and business, is my passion. Understanding the process of critical decision-making is my passion. Understanding of the criminal mind, how it works, how they choose their victims and how this information can be used to protect our clients is my passion. Understanding the horrible plight of drug abuse and helping those dealing with addiction, both addict as well as family and employer is my passion. Training to positively impact the drug problem through various means, is my passion.  And improving our product through continuous research and development in these areas is my passion.  The overall role that each of these critical factors play in overall safety is a part of a passion for providing the absolute most effective, practical and unique safety training available. And this is not a new passion for me. It has been my passion since I was in my teens.  It’s “long-term” and continuous.

Why is passion our first commitment?

Because when you trust in us to provide you, your family, your business, employees, patients, students, clients, etc with training, you need to know that those attending will walk out with a greatly increased understanding of, and ability to safely react to an incident of violence against you or another.  You need to be 100% confident that it will result in good and proper decisions that will positively impact your business, school, family, etc. You need to know that you are getting accurate, practical and effective information that will lead to positive results. You need to know that you will be able to do something that has a higher probability of success. Our passion ensures this! And we will never stop pursuing perfection of this commitment.

So what does this mean? It means that anyone representing Blue-U Defense will possess this extremely high level of passion and that we will all sacrifice for this passion to ensure that we always EXCEED our clients expectations! This is not subject material that can be put together one time with a hope that it remains effective and timely. This is subject matter that, in a lifetime, one could never possess all of the experience, expertise and information available. It does, however, require hours of research, and training every day, week, month and year and the ability to bring it to a venue that will provide for a highly effective, practical and usable conclusion. What we will promise you is Passion!

Happy New Year!

Terry Choate

Thursday, January 1, 2015

You Better Make Sure Your Adversary is Armed Before You Use Force! A Commitment to Train in 2015!

Think about what this country has come to!  The Use-of-Force Continuum is getting dangerously small. We have now come to a point where you had better be certain that your adversary is ARMED before you make that critical decision to use force. PERIOD! Right now, in this country UNARMED = NOT DANGEROUS! In this day-and-age, there is only one standard that justifies force for many - an armed adversary. And even then, for many, your armed adversary must be in the process of taking your life before you initiate any defense. I was talking with my wife about this last night and she concluded that this sentiment may be more for police officers than it is for anyone else. And maybe she's right. But what sense does that make? Anyone other than a police officer can defend themselves as is appropriate based on the circumstances presented to them?  If this is the case, and it very well may be, you can count on fewer-and-fewer people who step-up to take on a career to protect others! And, bottom line, do you want to take the risk that this sentiment will only be applied to police officers and not to you? I guarantee you that anyone that uses deadly force on a subject who is unarmed will potentially be "the bad guy".

So how does this apply to personal protection? 

It's simple:

It is becoming more and more risky to do anything to protect yourself that may result in injury or death to another!

Do you want to take the risk about what your jury will think about your decisions?

It is Absolutely Critical That You Train! 

Personal protection cannot be an afterthought! It cannot be something that you deal with on the spot with little, or in most cases, no preparation.

Personal Protection is about far more than simply owning a firearm!

Personal Protection is about constant awareness, proficiency with the weapons that you choose to possess/carry and, most importantly, understanding and the expertise in making extremely fast (fractions of a second) , well-thought decisions at times when your body simply cannot do anything except freeze as result of fear and panic!

Personal Protection is about far more than physical protection. Its about protecting yourself and your family from extreme mental trauma as a result of your involvement in, and decisions made during, an act of violence against you or another. Trust me, they can destroy a family in many different ways.

A Commitment to Train in 2015

Blue-U Defense offers highly effective training in Stand Your Ground and Practical Personal Protection. The combination of these courses will significantly raise your chances of survival and avoidance of criminal and civil liability. Whether it be our courses, someone else's, or a ideally a combination of many, just train to understand, make good decisions, and become extremely proficient with your firearms or other weapons of choice.

We will be offering a 1-2 day course which includes training in Stand Your Ground, Practical Personal Defense, Making Good Decisions and Firearms Proficiency/Tactics all combined into a single course that will give you the skills and confidence to keep you and your family safe! This course will likely be provided at both Cheshire County Fish & Game Club as well as the Peterborough Gun Club in late January or early February.

I just cannot emphasize enough how critical this is!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Some Critical Advice on Drugs

Folks, I am begging you to listen to what I am about to tell you! If you care about your family, friends, co-workers, etc. the following is critical:

We are continuing to see an increasing number of deaths due to drug overdose. It is not getting any better! We care about these people who have addiction problems! If you are one of the people who don’t care, who believes that addicts are “a waste of air”, or they are “bad people”, then just wait until it impacts someone that you love and care about. And, if you are someone who has never had to deal with this horrible problem within your family, please try and refrain from giving advice that is consistent with “taking a hard line” (“kick them out”, “don’t put up with it”, etc) to those who are dealing with it. Although I realize that this advice is well-meaning, it only makes it more difficult for the families who are desperately seeking answers to their problems.

When you are dealing with a drug addiction in your family it is going to destroy you until the problem is safely overcome. I recently heard the following from a father who had recently lost his son to an overdose regarding how to deal with an addict that you love and care about:

 “there are no right or wrong answers. You deal with the problem in a way that you feel is best for your loved one and your family”.

I wholeheartedly agree with this! No one, especially those who have not gone through the problem, can provide you with advice that is certain to solve the problem.  Especially when someone is telling you to simply “cut your son/daughter/mother/father out of your life, take away every resource from them and make them suffer until they submit to the problem and get help” in an effort to assist in creating a “rock-bottom” for the addict. We don’t have any clue what one’s rock-bottom is going to be nor do we know that they are going to react the way that we are hoping that they will react to hitting their “rock-bottom”.  Personally, the last thing that I would want would be to have my loved one no longer care whether they live or die because they have nothing and no one left to care about them! This is a very challenging problem that may be one of the worst things that you will ever face in life.

Try everything that you are comfortable with trying to help them. One thing to remember – forcing someone to rehabilitate will rarely work. The addict has to want to quit for their own personal reasons. Every addict is different and, as a result, will react differently to various stimuli. There are no hard, straight-forward answers. Many times it will take numerous attempts, using different strategies.

Talk to as many people who have gone through it or are currently going through it for help and support. This is critical:

Many are embarrassed by the problem and, as a result, attempt to deal with it secretly and within a very small circle. This can be very dangerous. Please don’t fail to react appropriately because you are embarrassed or ashamed! The best of people to include are falling victim to this disease and your personal efforts in their lives don’t always have a direct impact on the outcome. You will need help to save your loved ones life. Get it! This disease, and it is a disease, is no different than finding out your loved one has any other disease. Again, this is a disease that, these days, is impacting everyone! Even those considered the very best and most honorable! Save your loved ones life! Don’t be concerned about embarrassment!

Learn about the signs of drug abuse! Many people just don’t have a clue as to what drug abuse looks like.  They don’t see the signs. Even if you have no reason to believe that you have someone within your family or circle of friends may have a problem, get training on the signs. Like I said earlier, “if it hasn’t yet affected your family or circle of friends, it likely will”. In fact, it likely is already; you probably just don’t realize it. When we teach our Drug Recognition and Workplace Violence Course, I tell everyone in attendance that they likely know someone who has a drug addiction problem. Everyone! Whether they realize it or not, and it could be addiction to legally obtained prescription pills, they likely know someone. That’s how widespread the problem is.

Another thing for those who think that addicts are “ a waste or air” or “worthless”:

I hope that you aren’t addicted to anything! Because if you are, you are absolutely no different than those you consider to be “a waste of air”! Think about it, an addict is an addict! Outside of the legality issue of  obtaining and using narcotics and unprescribed pills, from a pure addiction standpoint, there is no difference! Except  one major thing:

heroin is far more difficult to beat than ANY other addiction. So if you cant quit smoking or eating or playing video games etc, think about how much more difficult the task is when heroin or other opiates are your problem. Trust me, your task of quitting almost anything else is hundreds of times easier.

The one thing that I would ask you to focus on without having any additional training in the signs of drug abuse is CHANGE! In order to save someone from addiction you MUST intervene as quickly as possible. To do this you must recognize CHANGE! To recognize CHANGE you must intimately know them and their lifestyle. And watch their friends! I can’t tell you how many times just one single person has destroyed a life. One wrong friend! Please monitor your children’s friends and do not allow them to be around those that you have a bad feeling about. If your kids get upset with you for playing an active role in choosing their friends, “To bad”! This is a regular statement from addicts that we talk with and deal with “I was a good person with no problems until I met ________________________”.  I hear this over-and-over again.

As we approach the new year I am asking you to educate yourself on this extremely widespread and epidemic problem. Even if you don’t currently have any concerns, the chances are that you will at some point. Prepare yourselves for this in advance. It may save a life.  We will be providing numerous courses and services to those with drug addiction problems whether it be an addict or a loved one of an addict. These types of courses are growing throughout the state, region, and nationally. Please, if you see one, attend it. And if you need assistance with resources, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I have a large network of them that I can direct you towards.

Happy Holidays!

Lt Terry L Choate Jr
Blue-U Corporate Resources