Spokane Journal of Business

Concerns team up on safety DVD

Video offers survival tips on violence in workplace, wins high-profile clients

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Two Spokane-based companiesCorner Booth Productions Inc. and the Center for Personal Protection & Safety LLCsay the new instructional DVD theyve created, called Shots Fired, is boosting their revenues and attracting some high-profile clients.

The DVD, which is available in versions for corporate workplaces and universities, walks through the possible scenarios of an active shooter situation and gives viewers survival strategies, says Randy Spivey, executive director of the Center for Personal Protection & Safety (CPPS). Corner Booth Productions produced the 20-minute program for CPPS, which consists of former employees of the U.S. Department of Defense and FBI, Spivey says.

Essentially, it goes through the what if? scenarios, says Frank Swoboda, co-owner of Corner Booth. We really feel like the solution is that no matter what you do with safety systems, theres no substitute for education.

Spivey points to the shooting at Virginia Tech University last spring as an example of the need for students and employees to be prepared for a violent situation by adopting a survival mindset.

Were trying to prevent further harm by empowering people to take action in a crisis, he says.

CPPS licenses Shots Fired to customers for between $500 and $25,000, depending on the scope of use, Spivey says. Customers can load the DVD onto their internal intranet systems so that all employees, students, or faculty members can view it online, Swoboda says. For an additional fee, customization also is available for customers that want to incorporate their own environments and policies into the DVD program, he says.

Some of the customers that have bought Shots Fired include Boeing Co., ConocoPhillips, FedEx, United Parcel Service, Pfizer, AOL, and nonprofits such as Focus on the Family, Spivey says. More than 50 universities have agreed to license the program, including the University of Texas, University of North Carolina, Michigan State University, and Eastern Washington University.

CPPS is discussing sales with various other Fortune 1000 companies, he says. Its currently working with Corner Booth on updating its college version to include more scenarios that relate specifically to university settings. The two companies also plan to release a version aimed at middle schools and high schools by next summer, he says.

CPPSs sales have received a big boost from Shots Fired, although Spivey declines to disclose revenues. CPPS, which has seven full-time employees, also is the parent of Safe Travel Institute Inc., a Spokane company that offers training and educational materials intended to keep people safe when they travel abroad. Corner Booth and Safe Travel Institute jointly created the Safe Passage Travel Companion video, which has been bought by companies such as Boeing and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that frequently send employees overseas on business.

Spivey says that in the future, CPPS plans to focus more on projects aimed at protecting employees in the workplace and abroad, rather than just on travel safety, by creating materials on topics such as workplace crisis prevention.

Meanwhile, Shots Fired also has boosted Corner Booths revenues, Swoboda says, although he declines to disclose exact figures. Gary Fievez, a certified management consultant here who works with Corner Booth, says the companys revenues grew 20 percent last year and are expected to increase up to 40 percent this year, in part because of Shots Fired.

Corner Booth, which has six employees, does work in the commercial, nonprofit, government, and entertainment sectors, Swoboda says. Some of its customers include Spokane Teachers Credit Union, Gonzaga University, the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, and credit unions across the U.S., he says.

Contact Emily Proffitt at (509) 344-1265 or via e-mail at emilyp@spokanejournal.com.

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