Members of the Lehigh University Police Department will join with the Bethlehem Police Department and a number of other health and safety agencies in a three-day course designed by Louisiana State University. The three-day event will include two days of training and one day of an active exercise drill that will test response capabilities in the event of an active shooting scenario.
“We feel well-prepared to respond to threats on and around our campus, but there is always more to learn and something to improve upon,” said LUPD Jason Schiffer. “We also want to do all that we can to make sure that we are able to fully integrate with local law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services in the event of an active shooter.”
The sessions will take place from Tuesday, October 15th through Thursday, October 17th, in the Ben Franklin Technology Center on Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus, concluding with a physical drill in Mountaintop’s Building B. Other participants will include the Bethlehem Fire Department, local emergency medical squads and health and safety personnel. In total, more than 50 individuals will be a part of the training and exercise.
This course is designed by the Louisiana State University’s Center for Biomedical Research and Training/Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education (LSU NCBRT/ACE), a nationally recognized center for emergency preparedness and response training located at LSU’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The center provides mobile training to both the national and international emergency response community.
This exercise builds on a series of trainings and public sessions designed to build situational awareness around potential campus threats, and test the university’s capacity to respond, according to Kim Nimmo, director of risk management at Lehigh. Working with offices across the university, Nimmo recently organized a desktop drill that examined ways in which Lehigh can work with city, county, state and federal resources in the event of a significant emergency situation. The drill included members of Lehigh’s Crisis Management Teams on both the strategic and tactical level.
Later this month, the LUPD and the Office of Communications and Public Affairs will host a series of presentations on Active Shooter Response, which will include the showing of a brief film, as well as a question and answer session. The sessions will take place at 4 p.m. on October 22nd and 24th on the Asa Packer Campus, and will be open to any member of the campus community. More specific information about times and locations will be communicated shortly.
“We recognize that active shooter situations are, unfortunately, a disturbingly frequent event,” Schiffer said. “And we know that our students have probably already been a part of drills in their schools. Since Lehigh is a new environment for many of them, we want to make sure that they are aware of what they need to know about how we would respond, and what they would need to do to stay safe. We encourage everyone to attend these sessions and to do all that they can to be prepared to respond should we ever have to face this kind of event.”