Local college prepared for active shooter


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – The importance of being prepared for an active shoother on campuses is taking hold. One local college is the first in the state to be recognized for its effort to keep everyone safe. 

“Our goal in the department of public safety here is to ensure all faculty, staff, students, and visitors arrive to our campus safely and leave our campus safely,” Rodney Pell, Mountwest Community and Technical College director of public safety, said. 

MCTC is the firsrt institution in the state to be awarded with an active shooter training certification. Faculty and staff are now using a technique call ALICE: alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate. It proved to be such a valuable tool the students are using it, too. 

“The tragedies. Reading about it, hearing about it. Realizing that I am not equipped if something were to happen to me, to my school, to my fellow students. I just felt inclined to do something about it,” Mariah Clay said. 

One of the steps in the ALICE training is “counter” and one can take something simple like a stapler or a box of tissues and throw them at the assailant to cause a distraction.

“When we hear an alert, if we hear a gunshot in the hallway, one of the first things we need to make sure we do is get this door shut and make sure that it cannot be opened. If we have to we start piling up chairs and creating some type of barricade so the person can’t get through the door to us,” Pell said. 

While it may be difficult to be ready for any give situation, the culture of being prepared for such a dark event is beginning to be embraced.

“Knowing the basic tools like how to have a lockdown if you need one, how to barricade a door, that alone…the basic knowledge of that made me feel exponentially more equipped,” Clay said. 

College officals explained the main goal is to give everyone a sense of “preparation, not paranoia.” MCTC is one of only four colleges in the nation with the certification.   

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