SF State hosts training session to prepare for campus shooting

Campus shooting training
UC Davis police officers Mary Macias, Michael Valenzuela and Lt. Matt Carmichael (left to right) demonstrate how to disarm an attacker during the Active Shooter Awareness Training at SF State on Tuesday. The training sessions are part of Campus Safety Awareness Week. Photo by Cindy Waters.

A gunman is loose on the SF State campus–where do you go? What do you do? Who do you call?

SF State’s University Police Department, Office of Emergency Services and the department of Human Resources, Safety and Risk Management are sponsoring training sessions to help people be prepared for this exact situation.

These trainings will focus on how to deal with a specific threat of an active gunman on campus and provide the skills and strategies we need to know to survive threats to campus safety. The trainings will be conducted by the UC Davis Police Training Team Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 18, 19 and 20 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Towers Conference Center.

“An active shooter on campus requires a unique response,” said Gayle Orr-Smith, SF State’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, in an email. “In an earthquake, we all know how to duck and cover and hold on.  In a fire we all know to evacuate.  But the response to an active shooter may be to stay where you are and be silent, until police give the all clear. This kind of training is less familiar, and needs to be explained and demonstrated.”

The Active Shooter Awareness Trainings are open to all students, staff and faculty. There is no registration fee, but space is limited. It is part of a series of ongoing emergency preparedness trainings on campus.

“Active Shooter Awareness will examine this threat as it relates to the risk to our campus,” Orr-Smith said. “To do that, we examine incidents at other campuses, such as VA-Tech, Northern Illinois, and other incidents of violence where people in groups or public venues have been targeted. In doing this, our goal is to learn what to look out for, a profile who the assailant may be, and what we, as a community and as individuals, can do to prevent and survive such an incident.”

The Active Shooter Awareness Trainings come less that a month after Cal State Northridge student, Gahren Moradian, 22, was charged with felony criminal threat stemming from a claim that he had a gun on campus, according to the Daily Sundial.

Moradian’s suspicious behavior and possible threat of a gun prompted the evacuation of the Oviatt Library Sept. 27 after he was unable to be located for several hours. He later turned himself in to police. He is due to appear in North Valley Municipal court on Oct. 19. If convicted, Moradian could face up to three years in state prison.

When it comes to SF State, most students still feel safe on campus, but think that an active shooter training would be beneficial.

“Well, I suppose I feel pretty safe on campus, and you can only be so prepared,” said Ander Frischer, 22, Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts major at SF State.

Students, staff and faculty are also encouraged to enroll in the Emergency Notification System to ensure their safety. This system is a communication tool designed to send rapid information and instructions in the form of an emergency. It is a fully hosted, web-based system that disperses messages to phones, voicemail, email and text message.

For more instructions on how to enroll in the Emergency Notification System contact SF State’s Human Resources, Safety and Risk Management.

School shooting safety
Numerous weapons are displayed at the Active Shooter Awareness Training at SF State on Tuesday. The training sessions are part of Campus Safety Awareness Week. Photo by Cindy Waters.