Campus police on active shooters and survival

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By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer

On Wednesday January 1, 2018, the University Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety Colonel Emil Fioravanti gave a presentation on CRASE- Civilian Response to an Active Shooter Event.

The presentation was informative, explaining more than just “what to do if a shooter comes on campus,” and included other instructions, including shooters off-campus, and what to do in a high-stress, life or death situation in general.

The CRASE program is a program run by the FBI, created in 2013 and updated in 2014. CRASE gives an in depth explanation on what a civilian should do to survive an active shooter situation, as well as a fire or some kind of natural disaster.

The presentation was insightful, with the use of a video, powerpoint presentation, and a thoroughly prepared and well trained police chief.

The first noticeable point of the presentation was how things have changed since I was a child. Back in grade school, we were always taught to shut off the lights and hide in the corner, whereas this presentation had a much different plan of survival.

The program followed the acronym ADD- Avoid, Deny, Defend. In the event of an active shooter, hiding in the corner of a dark room is not enough anymore, and the first action should be, if possible, to leave, and get as far away from the potential danger as soon as possible. If evacuation is not possible, your next plan should be to barricade yourself in as best you can.

If the intruder manages to enter even with the defenses, the plan becomes Defend, and you must fight back against the intruder.  Rather than simply hiding, as the plan was before, the current plan suggests actually defending yourself from the threat.

Col Fioravanti said in the presentation “Hiding and hoping isn’t good enough anymore.” With the rise of mass shootings, it is important to stay informed on what really saves lives, and that happens to be getting as far away from a threat as possible.

Of course this presentation was on more than just mass shootings, and helped with any events where a mass panic could occur, such as a building fire.

The most important thing to do in any kind of dangerous situation is to stay calm and control your breathing. If panic sets in, your plans may not be as thought out, and you may make a mistake. If you stay calm your chances of survival increase greatly.

When in a dangerous situation, what ends up really saving lives is the knowledge, and courage, to tell yourself you are getting out of this alive. Telling yourself “I have a family to get home to,” or “I cannot die today,” can mean the difference between life or death sometimes.

As Police Chief Fioravanti put it “You may not know what to do, but you can at least focus on staying alive,” and, in most cases, that little bit of fighting spirit can push yourself to fight for your life.

Photo Courtesy: Grand Traverse County

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