Active shooter preparation course to be offered by LSU

The American Press

What was once intended as a hurricane response training program open to higher education institutions nationwide has quickly been transformed into a course on how to deal with active shooter situations.

Following the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, LSU’s National Center for Biomedical Research and Training launched a 16-hour course to help other campuses prepare for similar emergencies.

“Preparedness is a shared, national responsibility requiring our active participation to prepare America to address its threats,” its website boasts. “NCBRT is preparing you today for tomorrow’s threats.”

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p>This editorial was written by a member of the<em> American Press</em> Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the board, whose members are <strong>Crystal Stevenson</strong>, <strong>John Guidroz</strong>, retired editor <strong>Jim Beam</strong> and retired staff writer <strong>Mike Jones</strong>.</p>” id=”6cf94a9d-064f-434b-8af4-9baca088b99f” style-type=”info” title=”Bio Box” type=”relcontent” width=”half”}}

After the February mass shootings at a Parkland, Fla., high school, the course was modified.

The new course, which launches this month, offers a one-day, eight-hour curriculum on threat analysis and communication strategies. Called the Campus Emergencies Prevention, Response and Recovery program, the class is funded through the Department of Homeland Security’s National Training Program, meaning there is no fee for participants. Already 16 groups have enrolled.

“The course consists of small, problem-based, integrated group activities that require a coordinated, integrated approach to solve,” the NCBRT website says. “Through tabletop scenarios, course participants will observe a developing incident and respond in a manner consistent with currently established campus and jurisdictional emergency operations procedures.”

Jim Holler, a former police chief and consultant on crimes against children, was recently in Lake Charles to teach a similar course presented by a local counseling agency. He said people have a survival “switch” that flips on when under attack. The heart rate goes up, breathing accelerates and the mind searches for a way out. But without forethought, he said, many people freeze in place.

“We’ve got to prepare our brains for the bad things that could happen,” Holler said.

It sounds like courses such as this will take away those fear factors, put it into context and not only teach schools how to respond to it, but also prepare for the possibility for it.

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the board, whose members are Crystal StevensonJohn Guidroz, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones.

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