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Emergency drill simulates active shooter scenario on campus

Responders+check+rooms+during+the+active+shooter+drill+Thursday+morning.+
Responders check rooms during the active shooter drill Thursday morning.

Responders check rooms during the active shooter drill Thursday morning.

Photo courtesy of University Public Relations

Photo courtesy of University Public Relations

Responders check rooms during the active shooter drill Thursday morning.

Daniel DiFabio, News Editor

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Slippery Rock University held an emergency preparedness drill yesterday which simulated an active shooter on campus.

The campus community was notified about the event in advance and received updates about the scenario via email and the e2campus alert system. Some of the messages sent included reporting shots being fired at Swope Music Hall (where most of the event occurred, though others on campus were told to stay in their rooms), the suspect being in custody, injuries reported, and three dead.

The all clear for the drill was sent out at 9:29 a.m., which started at 8 a.m.

Responders included SRU Campus Police, Slippery Rock Borough Police, Slippery Rock Borough Fire Department and Emergency  Medical Services.

In a press released posted by the university, SRU’s University Police Chief Mike Simmons said the drill used the ALICE program, which provides staff and students with an “option-based, proactive response to an active shooter gaining entry into a school or business”.

Paul Novak, interim executive director, planning & environmental health and safety and emergency management administrator, said after the event that this is the second annual campus wide emergency drill.

“Our goals were to give the entire campus; faculty staff and students, and opportunity to sit back, take a moment and start discussing amongst themselves,” Novak said.

Novak and the rest of those who participated in the event underwent a debriefing where the role-players (there were members of the campus community who were ‘actors’ in the scenario) provided their thoughts on the drill.

“The overall commentary is very positive about doing the drill,” Novak said.

There will be two upcoming meetings, one on April 20 with on campus stakeholders, and another on April 26 which will be the final post-incident evaluation.

“We’re going to gather all of our information and data from the reviewers, obtain as much input as possible and then all of this information will be translated into the next steps for the campus in terms of overall safety and security,” Novak said. “[The information] will be utilized as part of our drill planning for next year. All in all we feel the initial comments are very positive so we’re going to review everyone’s information, get it all together and identify points to be addressed or areas we could improve.”

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Emergency drill simulates active shooter scenario on campus