A few weeks after a school shooting in Parkland, Fla. the UO is hosting a series of trainings to educate students, staff and faculty on how to prevent and respond to a during an active threat situation.
On Wednesday the UO held the first of four Active Threat Preparedness Trainings at 10 a.m. in the Crater Lake South room in the EMU. There were about 40 people in attendance most of which were members of the UO faculty and staff.
“The main goal of the trainings is really to give people an overview of what the recommended practices both for recognition and prevention, but most importantly for response,” said UOPD Spokesman Kelly McIver.
The training featured two main speakers: Dr. Shelly Kerr, director of the UO Counseling Center, and Jason Wade, a Captain with the UOPD. Kerr discussed how members of the UO community can help prevent a shooting before it happens.
During her presentation, she listed a number of different behaviors that can be indicators that a person may commit an act of violence like a school shooting. These included: a history of violence, interest in weapons, extreme stress, and if the person blames others for their problems and dependency on drugs or alcohol.
She also said that if someone plays an excessive amount of violent video games that can be an indicator of future violence but that there is not one single indicator that should be very worrisome.
“In terms of the violent video games it is really more about what is drawing them to that level of violence,” said Kerr. “Most people who play those games are not going to harm anyone.”
Wade’s presentation focused on what to do if you are in an active shooter situation. He said the best thing to do is the “Run.Hide.Fight.” strategy.
This means your first option is to run away from the shooter until you are in a place you know is safe. If running is not possible or too dangerous, the second option is to hide as best you can by turning off the lights in the room and making as little noise as possible. If neither of the other options are safe, the final option is to fight the shooter with others using anything you can find as a weapon.
The next three upcoming trainings the UO is planning are student-focused trainings for April. UOPD officers train every year for how to handle an active shooter threat and train every month with firearms.
“If something terrible happens we would rather people know what to do because it really is going to improve their chances of survival. We want people to be as safe as they can be in those situations and get out alive,” said McIver.
The recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla. was the main driver to get the training events scheduled, according to McIver. The UO also does trainings like this for student organizations that invite them and educate them on prevention and response during a school shooting.
“We are really going to be trying to do more whether it’s production of videos or ways to make sure that this is on people’s minds,” said McIver.