Sheriff Will Holt leads the woman's forum in a lesson of self defense. BA photo by Jean Hayworth

Woman's Forum kicks off year with Sheriff Holt self-defense lesson

The Woman's Forum kicked off the new year with a program presented by Sheriff Will Holt, who led a discussion about self defense.

"In today's climate it is important to be more aware of our surroundings," Holt said. "Check where the exits are for this Forum building, your churches, schools or other meeting places. Be aware of your surroundings."

Holt used the acronym, ADD, Avoid, Deny and Defend. He suggested that our first reaction is to be in denial about what the situation is, such as an active shooter or intruder, which is when you have to do to save yourself. That is why it is important to be aware of your surroundings should such a scenario arise. By knowing where the exits are, you can flee quickly and be aware of secondary exits that can be used. 

"Escape and then call 911," Holt said. "Get to safety first and then call."

If unable to escape, then Deny by locking doors or jamming with furniture, or a door stop, or anything else  to form a barricade and keep the intruder from gaining entry. Holt said a shooter or intruder is looking for easy

targets and if they can't gain easy access, they will avoid a locked door and move on.

Other items that can be used to secure doors may be such items as ropes, belts or Bungee cords. Being creative saves lives. Outward opening doors can be secured with a cylinder device, like a potato chip can, a piece of fire hose or any other type of engineering that can be devised to slip over the door hinge.

The final one is to Defend. If a person has been unable to escape or Deny entrance then plans may have to be made to Defend. In order to subdue an attacker, positioning behind a door or on either side of a door entrance is advised in order too attempt to grab the gun, while others are attacking the intruder by going for eyes or throat. Maybe the use of mace, pepper spray, a taser or a baseball bat, as suggested from the audience. Regardless, the attack has to be done quickly and several strikes to take down an intruder. 

"Play dirty if you have to in order to save lives," Holt said.

Once police are on the scene, they are geared to stop the threat and neutralize the scene. That is when civilians respond to commands and show palms that distinguish you from the shooter or intruder. Once the scene is secure, then EMS is called in to tend to any injured. That is when it is good to ID any health professionals that might be present to help with medical triage.

Sheriff Holt said there is a 2-hour Self Defense course offered through the department if any are interested in taking the course.

The Woman's Forum also collected to purchase two Stop Stick Tire Deflation Solutions for the Sheriff's department. There was enough collected previously to already purchase one of them and the community service project for this month was able to collect enough to purchase the second Stop Stick. Mona Craig was in charge of this community service project.

Jill Flinchum was the winner at Bridge and Maurice Turner had the low score for Liverpool Rummy. The door prize was furnished by Betty Fields and Julie Fore and was won by Mary Thompson. The noon meal was catered by the Rusty Rooster, with Jan Loggains. Hostess chair was Teeny Pearce and co-chair was Ann Heckart. The hostess committee included Betty Fields, Winnie Barkclay and Julie Fore.

The next meeting of the Woman's Forum is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 23 and the program will be presented by Joanne Thompson of Sweet Stuff Bakery. She will give tips on holiday baking and special treats. The meal will be catered by Canyon Road Barn & Grill next month. Members should RSVP reservations to Julie Herring at 254-559-2793 or at, by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

Breckenridge American

114 East Elm Street

PO Box 871

Breckenridge, Texas 76424

Phone: (254) 559-5412
Fax: (940) 228-0589