OSU active shooter incident impacts many, putting training plans in place

Due to the active shooter situation that took place at Ohio State University Monday, Marshall University officials are taking charge when it comes to reminding students, faculty and staff of the safety resources available to them, and what to do if an emergency takes place.

“We, as a university, need to be prepared if something like this were to happen,” said Chief Jim Terry of Marshall University Police Department. “As the rise in active shooting situations increase, I encourage all students and staff to participate in any kind of training.”

MUPD holds safety orientations throughout the fall and spring semesters for groups on campus. However, attacks are unexpected and Terry said a person can never anticipate how someone will respond when placed in an emergency situation. Terry said Ohio State’s safety procedure was the same plan Marshall uses.

“Ohio State used run, hide, fight which is a basic concept,” Terry said. “You either evacuate and get away from the situation, you hide in a secure location, barricade the door, turn off your cell phone or put it on vibrate and fight is the last resort.”

Dick Parker of MUPD said the main principle to safety is simple.

“Trust your instincts,” Parker said. “If you feel like there is something going on… if you hear there is something going on, a loud noise that sounds like gunshots, trust your instincts, get away from the situation, hide or barricade yourself in, or if you have to, at last resort, fight.”

While University Communications has previously stated that an online training module has been developed online, the student outreach for it has not been successful.

“Honestly, I’m not sure how I would react in that situation,” said Kasey Madden, senior public relations major. “I know it would be difficult not to panic, but after alerting the appropriate authorities, I would let them do their job in handling the situation. I can’t imagine the impact this incident has had on the OSU campus community.”

MUPD is holding more safety orientations for students and faculty in January 2017. The orientations will educate individuals on how to be safe in a building and when to use the “run, hide, fight” technique.

“I was completely unaware that Marshall had a training plan if an active shooting incident were to take place,” said Jesslyn Hughes, freshman secondary education major. “But knowing that we are alert in preparing for a future situation makes me feel more protected on campus if minor incidents were to occur. The alerts we get in our emails also make me feel safe as well.”

In the event of an incident on Marshall’s campus, students are to use the information sent out by the MU Alert system to seek safer areas.

“It hasn’t been officially decided yet on how we are going to do the training next semester,” Terry said. “But meetings have been set, and we assure everyone that we will make this community as safe as possible for everyone.”

Jordan Nelson can be contacted at [email protected]. Elayna Conard can be contacted at [email protected].