HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University has developed a training module for faculty, staff and students to learn how to best handle an active shooter situation on the Huntington campus.
Tracy Smith, director of health and safety at Marshall, said the goal of this training is to better prepare the campus for an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.
“An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims,” Smith said. “Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene and standard evacuation procedures and lock-down protocols may not apply, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
Jim Terry, chief of the university’s police department, said active shooter situations are unpredictable and happen quickly. He noted that reports generated by the Gun Violence Archive, which compiles data from shooting incidents, indicate the U.S. has seen 248 mass shootings so far in 2016.
“Mass shootings are becoming more prominent and as scary as this may be, we must be prepared. Our concern for the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is always a top priority,” Terry said. “To ensure that we maintain a safe working and learning environment, we strongly encourage all campus members to complete the training.”
The training module is a collaborative effort of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the Marshall University Police Department. The module is based on training and responsible protocols developed by U.S. Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
To complete the training, visit the Environmental Health and Safety BlackBoard training site at www.marshall.edu/safety/accessing-online-training.