ALICE Training to prepare for active shooter situation

Logan Raschke, Campus Reporter

The next ALICE Training session, a lesson conducted by University Police Department officers to educate people about their options during an active shooter attack, will be held Thursday night.

The ALICE Training will go from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Thursday in Room 3040 of the Physical Sciences Building. It is free for all students, staff and Charleston residents.

Kent Martin, UPD chief of police and instructor for the ALICE Training, said ALICE stands for “Alert,” “Lockdown,” “Inform,” “Counter” and “Evacuate,” and they are all options people have when responding to an active shooter.

During the ALICE Training session, the first hour or hour and a half will consist of an in-depth education about ALICE, and the second half includes a real-time active shooter simulation for people to practice what they have learned, Martin said.

There will also be simulated gunfire using blank ammunition during the second half of the session so that people can learn what a firing gun sounds like, how acoustics affect the loudness and quality of the sound and how they can respond more quickly to the active shooter, Martin said.

When it comes to the ALICE options, one response is sometimes more viable than others, depending on the specific circumstances of the active shooter attack, which is why it is important to learn about all of them, Martin said.

One critical aspect of the ALICE Training is to keep the nature of the environment in mind when decision making, he said.

“What you have to do is figure out how you’re going to apply what you’ve learned in the various settings that you encounter throughout the day,” he said. “Are you in an area, like a string of offices? Or are you in an open area, like the sanctuary of a church or the produce section of the grocery store? How you react to those settings can play a part in what’s available to you in those types of settings.”

Martin said the goal of the ALICE Training session is to educate people about what options they have, how to evaluate which options are better in different circumstances and for people to learn to be confident in their decision making in any environment.

“The principles we teach in the ALICE program are not exclusive to the venue where you take the training,” Martin said. “Those principles go with you wherever you go.”

Anthony Hoh, UPD patrol officer and instructor for the ALICE Training, said many people who have not had the correct training panic and can accidentally put themselves in harm’s way if an active shooter is present.

“I think there’s a fallacy in our minds that (implies) just because someone has a gun, they win,” he said.

If people attend the ALICE Training, Hoh said the lessons they learn stick around and are incredibly useful in an active shooter situation.

Hoh said he thinks everyone, even people who are not directly involved with Eastern, should attend the ALICE training because it could save lives.

“The first time you have to encounter or deal with an active shooter, do you want (that) to be the very first time (you) think about what you’re going to do and how you’ll respond?” he said. “What ALICE Training does is it kind of prepares you and empowers you to make your own life-saving decisions.”

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]