Learn How to Handle Active Shooter Situations

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Dramatization of student hiding

By Nikiya Berry

The College of Southern Nevada adopted an Active Shooter training course as part of campus emergency management. The online course is provided through Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“You’re not being wise if you don’t take it,” said Greg Gammon, CSN director of fire science in emergency management.

According to Gammon, college campuses across the country have been targeted throughout history. “They happen more regularly than we would like and more often recently,” Gammon said.

Faculty is required to take the online course and administration also encourages students to do so. As of April 11, more than 700 faculty members, staff and students have completed the Active Shooter training.

The training course reviews past active shooter incidents and an active shooter profile. Then the course is divided into response and good practices, preparedness and prevention, and follow-up actions.  The training includes videos, short quizzes and a final exam.

After the 45-minute course, a certificate of successful completion is provided.

CSN incorporated the training into its emergency management plan in the beginning of February and will continue offering it through FEMA every semester.

“Through the training you can learn the major facets of awareness including: prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation,” said CSN Senior Vice President Patty Charlton.

“The reality is that in most cases when an incident unfolds, the first people at the scene are not police, fire fighters, or security personnel; it’s us,” Charlton said.

Charlton continued by saying that CSN is taking responsibility in providing tools and resources to keep students and faculty prepared to take appropriate actions. The training benefits individuals in everyday life as well.

CSN’s English professor Jarret Keene offers extra credit to his students who complete the training. According to Keene, it’s fair that faculty members are required to take the Active Shooter training course and he thinks students should be required to also.

“I’ve had at least a dozen students email me thanking me for encouraging them to take the course,” Keene said.

Michael Reed, a CSN nursing student, was one of the students lured by Keene’s extra credit and wanted to see what information the Active Shooter course offered. Reed is a military veteran with prior knowledge of standard protocal, so the course was lacking for him.

“The course doesn’t help someone defend themselves,” Reed said. He would rather be proactive in a situation with an active shooter.

Maria Marinch, CSN director of diversity who has taken the Active Shooter course, said the course offers the right training that will cause a more appropriate reaction.

“Unfortunately, it’s a reality of our day and age; the more prepared we are the better,” Marinch said. “It’s really important that everyone takes it because you can save your life and the lives of others.”

The Active Shooter course is available at no charge at: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=IS-907

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