Winona State offers active shooter response training

Winona State offers active shooter response training

McKenna Scherer, News Reporter

Winona State University’s security department will be hosting an active shooter response training class on Feb. 17.

From 5:30–8:30 p.m. in Minné Hall 103, up to 50 participants will have the opportunity to learn response training techniques.

The class will provide training in preparing and planning for the threat of an aggressor or critical incident, such as an active shooter situation.

The class is not mandatory for Winona State faculty or students.

“I look at [response training] as a life skill, unfortunately, during our times,” said Chris Cichosz, director of security. “I highly encourage everybody to take it at least once.”

The class will be split into two sections.

The first section of the class will focus on the history of active threat situations and demonstrations.

The second section will be scenario-based training.

“We pretty much walk people through step-by-step,” Cichosz said. “Building up their confidence and knowledge, as opposed to just throwing them into it.”

The class will follow the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) method instead of the traditional “lockdown only” method used in the past.

Cichosz said that the security team is flexible with which parts of the class attendees feel comfortable taking part in and have had people sit back and watch, rather than participate first-hand in some demonstrations.

The professional Winona State security members have each gone through response training like this class.

There are four professional security staff members at Winona State alongside about sixty student security members.

“Several student security members have also been through the training as well,” said Cichosz.

Cichosz said that the 50-person maximum is in place due to difficulty in managing groups larger than that at one time.

Winona State security team would offer another training event “depending on the response,” Cichosz said.

As of Feb. 10, there were still spots available to sign up for the class.

The school has another training opportunity planned over the summer, that is open to Winona State staff and faculty as well as students.   

Winona State-Rochester is also invited to attend the response training.

Cichosz said that Winona State is currently trying to provide training events like this on the WSU-Rochester campus, but nothing has been set yet.

“The university continues to update its crisis communications plans”, said Cichosz.

“We’ve put a lot of effort, time and energy and money into our emergency notifications systems,” Cichosz said. “so, students and staff can make informed decisions about their own safety.”

Andrea Northam, director of communications, was unable to comment on the school’s current crisis plans.

 

The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.