College Tests Emergency Response With Active Shooter Drill

By | January 5, 2017

Daemen College conducted its first full-scale active shooter drill on Oct. 11 to evaluate the college’s emergency response preparedness and interagency coordination.

“Given the unfortunate increase in the number of active shooter cases at colleges and other locations across the country, we must be proactive and ready to respond in the event an actual emergency like this were to occur on our campus,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. “This drill was vital to ensuring we have the plan, resources, and training in place to best protect the safety of our campus community.”

Nearly 100 members of the Daemen community and law enforcement personnel took on roles in the active shooter scenario, which was held during a two-day fall break when classes were not in session. The drill occurred in real-time and entailed implementing Daemen’s emergency operations plan and campus notification system that provided safety instructions and status updates on the emergency.

For the drill, a simulated shooter incident was staged mid-morning in Daemen’s Wick Campus Center Dining Hall. To bring a greater sense of realism to the training exercise, the scenario presented a situation that involved two shooters, multiple injuries and fatalities, efforts to transport injured victims to a local hospital, and office evacuations, all of which required a coordinated response between the college, law enforcement, and emergency responders.

Daemen’s Emergency Response Team, which is led by Dr. Greg Nayor, vice president for student affairs, were actively involved in the training exercise. The drill was conducted in collaboration with the Amherst Police Department, Snyder Fire Department, and Twin City Ambulance.

“By making this shooting incident as realistic as possible, it allowed us to properly assess our emergency response plan and identify areas where we can make improvements in preparation for a real-life incident,” said Nayor, who oversaw the active shooter drill. “We are pleased with the results from this large-scale training exercise, which was an exceptional learning experience for our college community.”