by Cara Bas
In America, an average of nine mass shootings per year occurred in the past 15 years, according to a study conducted by SUNY Oswego for the “Wall Street Journal.” Adding on to that number is an Oregon community college.
“Mother Jones,” reports that the number of mass shootings has risen steadily since 2011, and that since 2009, two have occurred in Upstate New York. The result was 19 fatalities.
Preparedness is paramount, and FM takes every measure to be ready for the unthinkable.
President Dr. Dustin Swanger explained the measures that are in place, including all of FM’s faculty and staff attend crisis training every two years, with the next one in May.
FM has an emergency response plan, as well, Swanger said, with a mass notification system reaching campus and area public safety.
Campus and community police run active shooter drills, in which faculty and staff act out emergency procedures.
“Campus safety has equipment to respond safely to an incident I hope we never have,” Swanger said.
FM Police Chief Mark Pierce said, “Every time one of these incidents happens, law enforcement learns.”
Campus police also engage in rigorous crisis training.
“In training we have actors grabbing us. We pass individual trauma kits to them for first aid. We don’t have time to treat wounds. While other people run from gunfire, we run to it. Our primary job is one thing: get to the threat and stop the threat,” Pierce explained.
He noted that the national average length of time a shooting lasts eight minutes, with gun shots fired every seven seconds.
Swanger strongly recommends that students watch the video, “Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event.” All FM faculty and staff are required to watch it as part of their safety training. The video demonstrates the safest procedures to take in the worst scenarios.
Chief Pierce explained some of the procedures, “If you have the opportunity you need to leave. If you can’t get out then lock yourself down.”
Swanger said, “Shutting into classrooms can be the best option. The locks can be secured from the inside without a key.”
“If you can’t hide, look for anything you can use to fight,” he added.
“Run. Hide. Fight.” is available for viewing on YouTube or on www.fbi.gov