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University officials, community partners engage in active shooter exercise

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

In response to the recent Virginia Tech shootings, officials of the University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage Police Department, Anchorage Fire Department and the Municipality of Anchorage Office of Emergency Management gathered on Wednesday, June 20 for a 3 hour exercise to discuss their would be response to an active shooter on the UAA campus. The main goal of the exercise was to review and evaluate UAA's emergency response plan and to reaffirm contacts with supporting agencies.  The workshop scenario involved a student gunman on campus who took another student hostage.  The group discussed step-by-step actions each agency would take to control the situation, from overtaking the gunman, caring for victims, communicating key information and arranging for grief counseling in the aftermath.  From the discussion, UAA pinpointed the strengths and weaknesses of its existing plan, and developed action items to improve any potential weaknesses.  

The UAA emergency response plan outlines the University's procedures for managing emergencies that may threaten the health and safety, or disrupt the programs and activities, of the campus community.  The plan identifies department or individual positions that are directly responsible for emergency response and critical support services, and it provides a management structure for coordinating and deploying essential resources.  These responsibilities include preparedness and response to emergencies and disasters that are both naturally occurring and man-made.

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