Thinking About the Unthinkable: Local Schools Staff Trained How to React to ‘Active Shooters’

PASNOW-ACTIVESHOOTER-01PASNOW-ACTIVESHOOTER-05PASNOW-ACTIVESHOOTER-06PASNOW-ACTIVESHOOTER-08PASNOW-ACTIVESHOOTER-11

By EDDIE RIVERA, Community Editor

5:35 am | August 23, 2017


In the U.S. in 2000, there was only one “active shooter” incident in which a gunman randomly attempted to kill people in a populated area, according to a recent FBI report. In 2014 there were 20. There were another 20 in 2015. The single worst year was 2010, with the high of 26 shooter incidents.

As the number of such shootings continues, Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena is conducting active shooter training courses this week to train the staffs at local schools best practices techniques on how to quickly react should an incident occur on their campus in Pasadena.

The current class has enrolled staff members from a number of local schools and churches including Fuller Seminary, Pacific Oaks, Polytechnic School, and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.

“We wanted to make this resource available to people with kids, in preschools, to at least have the opportunity to take advantage of this type of training,” said Levi Heidelberg, the church’s director of operations. “It’s just us being good stewards of our resources, and our resources happen to be parents, kids and older people.”

Those attending the course will be certified in the ALICE training program, according to Heidelberg.

According to the ALICE website, the program name stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.”

The training teaches teachers and others how to respond to violent critical incidents, whether man-made forms of violent disasters, such as active shooter, violent intruder, mass shootings, terrorism, workplace violence, or other unexpected tragedies.

The church has been providing ALICE training to its own staff over the last year now, through videos and online classes, said Heidelberg. The current class has enrolled staff members from a number of schools and churches including Fuller Seminary, Pacific Oaks, Polytechnic School, and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.

According to information provided by the company, the training program “empowers individuals to make their own survival decisions should they be faced with violence. Survival will be based on one of two things: either the danger area was quickly rendered safe (probably by those in the area and not responding law enforcement), or the people were able to quickly get out of the danger area.”

Graduates of the training class are taught such subjects as the history of active shooter incidents, and lessons learned from previous shooter incidents. In addition, according to the ALICE website, participants will be able to describe the history of active shooter events in America, how the traditional lockdown-only strategy became a standard response, as well as the research which supports proactive, options-based strategies and training for civilians.

Participants will also be taught to explain the strategies of Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, and then be able to conduct their own ALICE Training through hands-on-demonstrations, practical scenarios, and evaluation drills.

On Tuesday, participants were walked through various scenarios involving a differing number of locations, types of incidents, as well as a range of responses, using the church property as an active training location.

“It’s really just about keeping a safer campus,” said Heidelberg.