In response to the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech University earlier this year, Siena Heights University’s Department of Public Safety is partnering with local emergency response agencies to conduct a live training exercise.
This drill is scheduled from 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 9 in Dominican Hall on the Adrian campus.
According to SHU Director of Public Safety Cindy Birdwell, the Adrian Police Department, the Adrian Fire Department and the Lenawee County Sheriff Department will work with both Siena Heights and Adrian College safety teams in conducting the exercise. This is the first time a training exercise to prepare for an active shooter has occurred on the Siena Heights campus, Birdwell said.
“We chose Dominican Hall because of the locus of classrooms and the high volume of use,” Birdwell said. “This live training exercise focuses on SHU’s DPS and the local emergency response agencies response to an ‘active shooter’ and hostage scenario. Law enforcement officers will apply their advanced training for response to an active shooter, the fire department will apply on scene triage and transportation and the county emergency response team will respond.”
The exercise will be closely supervised and controlled, and no live ammunition will be allowed in the building during training. Actors will simulate three different possible scenarios, including a shooting and hostage-taking situation. The fire department will operate a full triage unit, and local videographer Stuart MacDonald is providing the props to make the exercise as real as possible.
“In light of Virginia Tech, we all agreed we needed to do something,” Birdwell said of the recent meetings between local emergency response agencies and local college and university safety officials. “This is really good for Siena, and shows the extent to the extent we are willing to go to protect our students.”
Business in Dominican Hall will be disrupted during the exercise, so SHU faculty, staff and students should plan accordingly. Because of the close proximity of other SHU buildings, several other buildings will go on “lock down” during the drill, including Studio Angelico, the Performing Arts Center and the residence halls, Birdwell said. Business can continue in these buildings, however, doors will be locked and there will be restricted entry.
For additional questions or more information, contact Cindy Birdwell at 517-264-7194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.