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UAS conducts "shooter on campus" emergency exercise
Published: 07/29/2010 17:06:40
In an emergency it can often take time before professional help arrives. And those first few minutes can be critical. The Community Emergency Response Team program, known as CERT, is a national organization that trains normal citizens in the skills needed to respond during an emergency until further help arrives, which can be minutes to hours away, depending on the incident. UAS has such a volunteer team of staff at their Juneau Campus, and on Tuesday they put their skills to the test as part of a "Shooter on campus" drill.

Lt. Ron Swartz is the Emergency Manger with the UAA Police Department, he explained the simulation: "In this scenario we had a person who came to the campus with an assault rifle, we didn't know his intent or who his targets were. But apparently he wanted to shoot as many people in as short a period of time as he could."

After JPD had secured the situation, CERT was escorted in to find 18 victims, portrayed by 8 volunteer actors and 10 mannequins.

"In this case we simulated that the city police and the fire department were busy and we needed all the help we could on campus after a simulated shooting incident to secure the area, keep people away, to get the emergency word out to everyone to stay away. And then when the area was safe, they responded and started doing some medical treatment." Said Swartz

One of CERT's responsibilities in a medical situation is to begin the triage process to pre-sort patients so that medics can work faster once they arrive.
Rick Forkel, Director of Emergency Management at the University of Alaska has been involved with the planning of the event for many months. "We work with the community agencies; law enforcement, hospital, EMS - people we would be working with in the wake of a disaster like this and we wanted to get familiar with each other's procedures so that we can learn from it and gain confidence in it. And that's basically what we are doing here right now." He said.

By: Mikko Wilson -