These are comments by Joanna Schroeder, Tamen, Marcus Williams on the post “On The Guy Who Left His Girlfriend and Kids in the Aurora Theater“.
Joanna Schroeder said:
“The analysis of these things often reflects that people who are military-trained handle crises like this much better than civilians because it’s sort of human nature to just freeze or run away, and part of the fundamentals of training service people is to practice defying that instinct over and over and over.”
“It’s not just about freezing and running away. It’s also about assuming that someone else (who knows more than me) will handle the situation. One morning when I took the train to work the man sitting next to me fidgedet and then he very lowly said ‘Sorry, I am not feeling well,’ he held his glasses in his hand and he then closed his hand and crushed the glasses (I’ll always remember that detail) and subsequently lost consciousness.
“It was rush hour and the train was packed and had a lot of standing passenger and no open floor space. As I loosened his tie and top shirt button I observed the difference in response to my following to statements:
“‘Someone, go get the train conductor!’ and ‘You (pointing at a young man standing close by), go get the train conductor!’
“I yelled the first one first and it became pretty clear within seconds that nobody was moving to get the train conductor. Everyone was waiting for someone else to heed the call. Then I went for the second statement and that random person I pointed at immediately went backwards in the train and returned a bit later with the train conductor who called ahead to the next station and requested an ambulance.”
Marcus Williams added:
“That’s a good example of how to get around the ‘Bystander Effect’, and I’ve seen it included in emergency training classes, teaching to single someone out to summon help, rather than making it a blanket request to an onlooking crowd. I don’t think it has much use in this scenario while the shooting is going on, but it’s still a good piece of info to have in your brain.”
Photo credit: Flickr / hibino