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Friday, Aug 17, 2018

Light Rain, 71 °F

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Simulation

Active Shooter Training is available to the entire University community

Photographer: Jennifer Cochran

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Emergency Programs Office and OUPD collaborate to provide active shooter response training


What would you do if an active shooter entered your place of work or study? Thankfully, statistics show that most of us are unlikely to ever encounter such a situation, but as the incidence of school and mass shootings continues to increase around the country, parents, students, educators, and community members find themselves searching for solutions in many forms. One response offered by the Ohio University Police Department has been to offer ALiCE training on campus, and in the community. ALiCE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, is a national program that trains civilians on how to respond to an active shooter situation. Nearly 50 members of the campus community attended a training on May 24 at Baker University Center on actions they can take to protect themselves and others in an active shooter situation.

Business Continuity Coordinator Bev Wyatt organized this particular training as part of the Business Continuity efforts at OHIO. “It is our hope that those who participate in the ALiCE training, will learn best practices and techniques for how to handle an aggressive intruder or an active shooter,” Wyatt said. “We plan to offer several more training session this summer and in the fall, so watch Compass for registration dates and information.”

OUPD began offering ALiCE training about ten years ago. Since September 2017, they have provided training on campus to over 1,000 faculty, staff, students and community members. Community Relations Officer John Stabler led the recent training, and also provides training and outreach in area K-12 schools.

“As a department, we want to assure that we provide our community with tools to help them in all aspects of their lives,” said Stabler. “My personal goal is to provide resources to our community to help them in case they happen to be confronted with one of these situations, no matter where they may be. The safety and security of my OHIO family is quite important to me.”

The training began with a screening of the OUPD video on responding to an active shooter and concluded with active shooter simulations meant to help participants think about how everyday items around them can be used to help counter, and potentially disarm an assailant.

Pam Harvey, a staff member from Accounts Payable who participated in an active shooter simulation activity at the session, said that although an active shooter situation is a heartbreakingly scary situation to imagine, she was glad that she attended the training and she has encouraged others to attend as well. “I found the training to be less intimidating than I anticipated,” she explained. “I found the Counter strategy the most surprising and the instructor gave reasonable ideas of throwing items at a shooter and even yelling…that causing chaos can throw a shooter off.” She noted that participating in the training has providing an opportunity to discuss the issue with family and friends. “If I am ever in such a situation, I hope I am able to use the Counter strategy,” Harvey said. “I remember taking personal self-defense classes and the strategies are similar; to defend myself and others as much as possible.”

Another simulation participant, Sarah Logue, said she was glad she participated in the training, even though she knew it might feel difficult because of the nature of the topic. “Naturally, I hope I never have to use what I learned, but I do feel more prepared and empowered,” said Logue, manager of communication and academic relations in Undergraduate Admissions, “As much as we don’t want to think about this kind of thing, there’s something comforting about being informed.” Logue added that she also encouraged others to participate in the training.

Stabler encouraged participants to be aware of their surroundings, know their escape routes and building layouts, and to plan ahead. “Prepare yourselves to handle a critical event as an individual,” Stabler said. “There’s always something we can do. Awareness is vital in protecting our family, friends, co-workers, students and our community,”

For more information about active shooter situation preparedness, see the OUPD’s award-winning video. To schedule an ALiCE training for your group, call OUPD at 740-593-1911 and ask to speak with Lt. Eric Hoskinson, or submit a training request online. ALiCE Training will be offered through the Business Continuity Office on Friday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to noon in Baker University Center 231. Email Bev Wyatt to register.