Each year WVU Parkersburg has a shooter training drill on campus. The training is to inform students, faculty and staff on the latest procedure for protection in case of danger on campus.
This year’s drill will be May 2, 2016 at 9 a.m.
The campus police officer lead, Lt. Al Collins, has met with different agencies in the area to make sure that the training is done correctly. “We get a lot of local law agencies involved in this,” Collins said.
The East Wood Fire Department, Wood County Sheriff and Police Department, 911 Center of Wood County and Camden Clark Memorial Hospital, will all participate in the shooter training drill.
WVU Parkersburg previously used the lock down policy in case of a shooter for the last 25 years on the college campus. Alert, Lock Down, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (A.L.I.C.E.) training is the new policy and is what Collins and his four guards have been trained to use in shooter emergencies. Collins decided to change prior policies to a simpler policy that Homeland Security uses. Collins said, “because this (A.L.I.C.E.) is so hard to remember, Homeland Security has one called Run, Hide, Fight.”
Run, Hide, Fight is the latest policy that Homeland Security enforces, it is a simple procedure and, because of that, the reason for the switch. If in a situation where there is a shooter at the college, an individual is encouraged to run if possible. If the person is unable to run, the next option should be to hide. As a last result, if there is no way to get away or to hide the individual is to try and fight the shooter.
Homeland Security has provided a video on YouTube called Homeland Security, City of Huston to educate the public on the latest procedures for an active shooter.
Collins does not want the drill to come as a surprise to students, faculty, staff and the public. Announcements are being made in the next few weeks to tell people what the active shooter training is and when and where it will take place this year. On the day of the drill, announcements will be made and all computers will flash alerting students of the drill.
The drill should not take longer than two hours to complete. No one will know how many shooters there will be or where they will be located in the building. The officer posing as the shooter will be dressed in casual clothing unidentified.
In past years, Collins said they have had multiple shooters and some that do not speak English. “We had a shooter who only spoke German. We had to find an interpreter to talk to the person.”
Outside agencies will come to evaluate each agency involved and each agency will have their own evaluation. Counsels and paramedics will be on campus to help talk to students who get scared.
Students have not been at the campus in the past, but Collins wants them to be aware of what is happening. “We want to make sure the students are up on the policy too,” Collins said about the active shooter drill. “It needs to be something that we do talk about.”
Training for faculty and staff began March 16. Collins will provide a lecture on the Run, Hide, Fight policy and practice a lock down and other drills in small groups to help inform and train the staff and faculty. A lecture will be provided to the students along with a video Collins is hoping to create. “I think this is something important and something you [the students] need to know,” Collins said.
by Leah Carpenter