Training for Active Shooter Emergency

December 4, 2015 by JordanG
By Heather Harvey, MA, ATC
AB Miller High School, Redlands, California
NATA Young Professionals’ Committee

I’m sure everyone has heard about the mass shooting that occurred in San Bernardino, California. The Inland Regional Center, where the shootings took place, is about 15 minutes away from my workplace, and we have all had some connections with people who were either there or, sadly, lost their lives in the attack. A graduate of our school (a former basketball player) lost his father.
My husband and I happen to live in Redlands; in fact, we live less than 500 yards away from where the shooters lived. To hear that there was a “bomb factory” in their garage so close to home has shaken us and our community. We were not home that evening as we were in Orange County for the night attempting to celebrate my 30th birthday. Friends and family of ours were on lockdown for hours as police searched our neighborhood for the suspects.
As I leave the house and come home at the end of the day and see helicopters, federal officials, yellow tape and news vans everywhere, I am reminded we live in a very strange time. I think back to when Dawn Emerson, MS, ATC, (my colleague on the YPC) went through the horrific tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and my heart continues to sink. It’s terrible to hear teachers on campus feel that they have to lie to their students and even their own children when they are asked if it is safe to go to school.
As I thought about this tragedy and how we as athletic trainers can be prepared in case this happens at our school or workplace, I thought about this video our staff was required to watch about what happens if there is an active shooter at work. We had a real lockdown on campus about three weeks ago during my treatment time, so my college students got a firsthand taste of how to manage 25 high school kids in a very real and very stressful situation. In the event that other athletic trainers might be searching for a similar resource, I wanted to share.


Note from NATA: Another member of the NATA Young Professionals' Committee, Kenneth Games, PhD, ATC, LAT, helped organize a special training session for doctoral AT students at Indiana State University that focused on non-traditional emergency scenarios. Read more about that training (and watch a video) here.