Active Shooter 101

Indiana University of Pennsylvania police Sgt. Tami L. Cramer leads a class of faculty and staff on active-shooter response strategies. Photo by Ethan C. Brogan.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania police Sgt. Tami L. Cramer leads a class of faculty and staff on active-shooter response strategies. Photo by Ethan C. Brogan.

By Ethan C. Brogan

INDIANA –- Indiana University of Pennsylvania faculty and staff heard how to respond to a shooter who is attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area: Run. Hide. Fight. Some of the 17 who attended the Stephenson Hall session said it was good advice.

IUP police Sgt. Tami L. Cramer led the hour-long morning meeting using a Federal Emergency Management Agency online presentation that includes 48 slides and a six-minute video.

“We stress the importance of always being prepared,” Cramer said during the training.

Preparation for active shooters has been learned the hard way. President Obama said Americans have grown “numb” by the frequency of mass shootings. They include the the 2007 campus massacre at Virginia Tech, the bloodiest such U.S. killing until its death toll was eclipsed by a June 12 rampage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Cramer’s instruction added others — a 2007 shooting spree at a mall in Utah and the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. 

Justin D. Fair, associate professor in IUP’s chemistry department, a former U.S. Army chemicals officer, and a member of Indiana County’s hazardous-materials emergency-response unit, said the session was instructive.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania chemistry professor Justin D. Fair attended an Aug. 11 active-shooter training session led by a campus police officer. Photo by Ethan C. Brogan.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania chemistry professor Justin D. Fair attended an Aug. 11 active-shooter training session led by a campus police officer. Photo by Ethan C. Brogan.

“I don’t think many people think about it before it’s too late,” Fair said in an interview in Weyandt Hall after the training session.

Fair said 911 dispatch recordings made during the Orlando rampage illustrated the need to alert police quickly and surreptitiously by phone.

“You don’t want to think about what to do when you should have enough information to know what to do,” Fair said.

Cramer said she leads active-shooter training sessions year-round for faculty and students. The next session is scheduled during IUP Technology Day on Aug. 24, 10 a.m., in Stouffer Hall.

Students receive similar training, although the content is less detailed and includes other personal-safety issues, Cramer said.

Ethan C. Brogan, a senior majoring in journalism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is from Pittsburgh.

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