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Free 'Active Shooter' Training Available

VIDEO: Eureka Police Department Chief Michael Wiegand emphasizes training anyone can take to prepare for individuals trying to kill people in confined areas. He encourages school staffs and residents to consider it as helpful background.

Sniping and shooting-related situations obviously are unpredictable; reacting quickly is key.

Free training to prepare for attacks from active shooters is available to everyone from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. At Thursday's Safe Schools Partnership meeting held for multicounties' worth of local school districts and hosted by Rockwood School District, Eureka Police Chief Michael Wiegand spotlighted an independent study course designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute.

This course provides immediate tips for school teachers, but was developed to be applicable to anyone who desires to increase their awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.

The web-based course, entitled "IS-907—Active Shooter: What You Can Do," provides guidance to non-law enforcers regarding recommendations if confronted with an active shooter situation. Active shooters are define as any individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and other populated area.

Upon completing this FEMA course, class organizers indicate participants should be able to:

  1. Describe actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement officials.
  2. Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
  3. Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
  4. Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident. 

The class takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. It was updated on Jan. 18, according to the webpage. The Emergency Management Institute awards 0.1 continuing education units (CEUs), upon completing the final exam.

Click here to start the online course. There also is an option to print the course information.

Editor's Note:  Good points from the online course, for example, I immediately learned it is imperative for victims to keep their arms and hands up where police arriving on the scene can immediately discern them from shooters. I'm not positive I would have thought to do that as a first and main step had I not viewed the presentation.

A 90-minute webinar also is available from FEMA to help people understand the importance of developing an emergency response plan and the need to train employees on how to respond if confronted with an active shooter. The presentation describes the three types of active shooters—workplace/school, criminal, and ideological—and how their planning cycles and behaviors differ.

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