By Robbie Owens

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – As the Washington Navy Yard shooting once again thrusts the ‘unthinkable’ to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness, many North Texans are choosing to prepare, rather than panic.

“It’s just a reminder that we live in a world where these things do happen,” Dallas real estate executive Russell Gum said plainly. The married father of four says neighborhood and recent news events prompted a sobering ‘what if’ conversation with his wife. “What would happen if someone breaks into our house right now? What would you do? What’s the plan? It really caused me to pause and think – I don’t know what the plan is,” admitted Gum.

But, all that changed after Gum and his wife took part in security coaching led by Dallas based Trident Response Group.

“Fear is this impulse that says something is not right,” explained Trident President Clint Bruce. “But, after that, you really only have two choices: you have afraid, and you have ready. We choose ready.”

The former special operations officer says the company mantra is to meet clients “where they are” and determine what “ready” looks like in each situation. However, he says, regardless of the intensity of the training, there are four basics that everyone learns.

“Your options… OPTS: how to get out, how to protect, how to treat, and how to shelter. Those are the only four things you’re ever going to need to know.”

Trident’s says his “coaches” are all former intelligence officers with extensive experience in rescue and security. And while he says most of his clients will never have to react to an armed gunman situation, the company acknowledges those concerns—but, not at the expense of preparing for those critical situations that they will most likely encounter—like a house fire or injury.

“What to do if the person you love just got hurt in front of you, because if you don’t know what to do and you’re not able to treat that scenario, if they don’t make it, you’re going to be living with that for the rest of your life and I don’t want you to have to live with that,” explains Bruce.

The company’s roomy training area offers an easily adaptable space that they can transform for clients to replicate their offices, homes—even schools. To prepare for fire training, they can douse lights and fill the area with “smoke” to offer clients a realistic—but, still safe—training experience.

“What surprised me was how really hard it is,” says business owner Jeff Wilson. “The natural thing to do is just freeze, thinking ‘I’m not sure what is the right choice to make’. But, with this training you at least feel like I know what the next best thing to do is, or the second best thing to do is, and I’m gonna do it.”

The father of three says the security training was entertaining and fun, while also instilling important skills. “If you’re a little bit prepared, it may make the difference between life and death.”

For Gum, he says the training has made him more alert as he goes about his daily life. “Not head down, in your iPhone walking to your car. But, head up, scanning, understanding where you are, your surroundings… just being aware, having that awareness.”

“I hate afraid,” adds Bruce. “I love ready.”

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