Active Shooter Training

Kate Wattum discusses the Active Shooter Scenario with Emergency Management Director Greg Busch prior to the start of the exercise. Members of the Statewide and UAF Incident Management Team worked together on the training and post-exercise table top scenario. Photo by Monique Musick

Active Shooter Training Scenario prepares staff for emergency

The primary goal from the December 8 violent intruder event was to train employees to recognize and respond to a violent intruder in the Butrovich Building. The secondary goals were to determine if planning time could be reduced by producing a portable script, involving employees in the planning process and examining safety and risk issues as they appear. These goals were achieved.

The outcomes were encouraging: not only was a building-wide awareness/discussion created, but staff welcomed the training and participated at many levels. Surveys returned identified opportunities for improvement. Thank you.

Among the lessons learned were: security mechanisms in place need to work 100 percent of the time and even small rather inconsistent issues need to be tended, not dismissed; redundant communication methods need to be available so that a failure can be immediately diverted. During this exercise every communication system was tested: buttons, phones, alarms, walkie-talkies, computer messages, email, and emergency messaging systems. Finally, in future trainings employees need to advise what vendors might not be showing up during a drill.

For example, an armored security vehicle with armed security guards arrived during the exercise [this illustrated one of the reasons we have a designated safety officer on scene during any exercise we manage].

Statewide employees are great at hide and seek. Who knew that a childhood game would ever be an important tool to have to ensure safety as adults. Those who evacuated were good about cautiously entering the hallways and using a variety of exits. There were a few items that staff can continue to work on, such as remembering to close the fire doors when exiting their suite and not bunching up and walking as a mass when evacuating the building.

Here are some key take-aways from the post-event survey:

• 85% asked for a more realistic and spontaneous event in the future. We will be taking a very close look at how to balance these concerns for the next event. Comments about the messaging at the museum indicating event was over were appreciated.

• 80% indicated a positive response to messaging being effective and timely.

• 98% agreed that they were informed about the event. (If not too much so! J)

• 70% agreed or strongly agreed that the suite-by-suite training was useful.

• 80% agreed or strongly agreed the Lt. Carrington’s group training was useful. Green Dot to UAF’s Fire and Police Department!

• 61% agree or strongly agree that SW administration is prepared to handle an event like this one.

• 85% agree or strongly agree that they are personally better prepared to handle a violent intruder event. For the organizing committee this is a great statistic.

Thank you all for participating in the training and providing feedback on the event.

Britton Anderson acted out the violent intruder using a megaphone to make noise. He walked through all three floors, entering any open space, and ultimately ending at the supercomputer downstairs where a "bomb" backpack was left to detonate.
Alertus messages were pre-programmed and were sent out almost immediatly providing adequate time for staff to exit or hide. The alarm at the museum was linked so employees would know when it was safe to return.
Greg Busch observed staff during the exercise taking notes on how training tips were applied.
Staff gathered at the museum after safely evacuating the building.
Multiple forms of messaging were used to create awareness of the begining and end of the exercise.
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