By: Faradh Ameen
On Oct. 1, 2017, the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history took place at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fifty-eight people died and 546 were injured.
Such events leave people anxious about their personal safety, and spark discussions about controversial topics such as gun control.
“I don’t think we have much to worry here at FM, but the neighboring towns do have people with guns and that might be scary,” said Linh Mai Le, a sophomore.
The FM public safety officers are the acting security and campus police of the college. They are qualified professionals who have been trained to handle such incidents.
“We’re trained to respond. If something like that happens here, we apply our training,” public safety officer Ray Waldynski said. “Public safety officers receive their training numerous times throughout the year, so our goal is to take out the threat and get civilians out of here,” he added.
The faculty and staff at FM go through a drill once every two years to keep them alert for an active shooter situation. “We put them through a course called ‘Run, Hide, Fight,’ in which they see a video that instructs them on what to do in such a situation,” Waldynski noted.
“We also do a drill to get the staff involved in a very real simulation of the scenario so they can see what it’s like,” Waldynski said.
FM professor Jason Radalin described the experience. “After the staff receives a debriefing from Mr. Pierce, we split in many groups around the campus and act as if we’re doing our everyday activities, and then suddenly we hear someone walking in the hallways with a real gun and blank bullets,” Radalin said.
“In that scenario, we hear people screaming as if it is actually happening and we have to practice how to stay alive and rendezvous at a certain point. The whole simulation gets your heart racing,” Radalin finished.