Butrovich – Active Shooter Exercise - Planned for Dec. 8

Active shooter training event that took place at the UAS Ketchikan Campus. Photo by Kate Wattum

The offices of Statewide Emergency Management, Project Management and Public Affairs, in coordination with UAF Police Department and University Relations, will be conducting an active shooter exercise in the Butrovich building December 8. This is designed to be a short, semi-realistic, small-scale exercise that will be reproducible in buildings across the UA system. A similar event will be scheduled for the Bragraw building during the spring semester.

In November, Butrovich building occupants will begin to see updated safety signage, regular safety minutes and invitations to participate in safety trainings. These communications will be building blocks leading up to the active shooter exercise. Please pay attention and get involved when possible.

Scheduled announcements, a web site with updated information and planned events will also introduce the concepts, actions and responses needed by employees in an active shooter event. The desired outcome is for employees to become more aware, improve communications, test systems, reduce or limit access to potential victims and to reduce the potential for loss of life should such an event occur. Thorough planning coupled with hands-on training is essential and ultimately helps to imprint a “subliminal road map” which staff can draw on in an emergency. 

The UAF Police and University Relations departments will participate in the event to add realism, test response and compose accurate and timely messages directed at the appropriate audiences. SW Emergency Management Director Greg Busch and UAF Police Chief Keith Mallard will be doing pre-event training with all departments. Individuals will have ample opportunities to ask specific questions and discuss concerns prior to the exercise.

During an active shooter situation, the natural human reaction is to be startled, feel fear and anxiety, and even experience initial disbelief. In the exercise employees can expect to hear sounds like “pop, pop, pop” from pretend gunfire, followed by the commotion of people shouting and screaming. Training provides the means to regain composure and be more able to commit to a plan of action. We know a regularly trained individual will be more likely to respond according to the training received, while the untrained will more likely not respond appropriately, hesitate or freeze.

A tabletop exercise for the SW Incident Management Team (IMT) will follow the event. This exercise will assess the event, building damage, employee trauma and chart the path for recovery. It will also start the beginnings of an after action report used identify areas for improvement. This report will not be focused on any one individual but will focus on overall flow, timing, coordination between departments and responses to specific injects planned into the event.

Remember that pre-training, signage and education will take place throughout November where expectations of staff will be clearly out lined. 

Safety is our primary concern for players and participants. More information will be coming, as we get closer to the event week. For specific questions and concerns contact: Steve Mullins - OIT Project Management, Kate Wattum - Public Affairs or Greg Busch - Emergency Management.

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