A group of Alberta post-secondary education institutions, including the University of Lethbridge, has launched an initiative to educate staff and students about how to respond in an active shooter situation.
An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.
“An active-shooter scenario at an Alberta campus is an unlikely event, but it is a critical exercise to ensure that our campus community understands how to react should such an incident occur,” says University of Lethbridge Executive Director of Campus Safety, John O’Keeffe.
The Campus Alberta Risk and Assurance Committee (CARA) has produced a short video that depicts a dramatization of an active shooting scenario. The dramatization is supported by a voiceover and on-screen instructions. The instructions stress three courses of action: escaping when possible; hiding and barricading when necessary; and, as a final resort, using force against the assailant.
“The messages are blunt and the dramatization is intense,” says Philip Stack, Associate Vice President of Risk Management at the University of Alberta, and chair of CARA. “But we are speaking to an adult audience and we need to hold their attention while giving them vital information.”
Along with the University of Lethbridge, partner institutions include Concordia University College, MacEwan University, Mount Royal University, Norquest College, SAIT Polytechnic and the University of Alberta. The group consulted with police experts during the development of the materials, which are available to all post-secondary institutions across the province on a cost-recovery basis.
Developers of the video relied extensively on existing materials and training available in various jurisdictions in both Canada and the United States.
Clips of the video are available online at: http://www.ualberta.ca/~uaemerg/Active/
Screenings of the video, along with a presentation by Campus Safety, are now available to all campus units by contacting John O’Keeffe at firstname.lastname@example.org.