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Run, hide and fight: CWC students, faculty and staff get training on campus intruder

Jan 20, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College officials have been sharing an instructional video with students, staff and board members this week that shows people what to do in case of a shooting emergency.

According to published reports, the video, "Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event," was created by the City of Houston, Texas, in response to the mass shooting in July 2012 in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.

Steve Barlow, CWC's director of student life and campus safety, said the six-minute clip represents a change in attitude toward active shooters.

"You don't want to just hide under a desk," Barlow said Tuesday. "If you can run, get the heck away."

If escape isn't possible, the video instructs people to find a hiding place, turn off the lights, lock the doors and make sure their cell phones are on silent. Finally, if the shooter is approaching the area, people should any find objects they can use to fight back.

"It's a very good video," Barlow said. "I'm showing it (along with) a 10-15 minute training in every classroom we can get to."

He said it's important for students to think about their options in dangerous situations.

"If you walk across campus now and someone has a gun, what do you do?" Barlow said.

"There might not be anyone coming to save you in time, and you have to take care of yourself. That's what we're teaching."

He also has been sharing the video with the other groups, including the classified staff association. Jan Jensen, the president of that group, approached the CWC Board of Trustees on Wednesday to offer her feedback.

"It was a pretty intense clip we got to see, but it brought about a lot of discussion," she said. "These things are happening closer to home all the time."

A murder-suicide took place on the Casper College campus in November, and Jensen said her colleagues are still thinking about the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

She shared some staff comments Wednesday.

"One person said, 'The recent tragedy has been on everyone's mind, but no one has felt comfortable discussing it,'" Jensen said.

"'I think it's a reality that must be faced, and I'd rather know what to do than not.'"

One employee wondered whether the video was meant to start a dialogue or scare people. Someone else requested an assessment of each department's orientation from a safety standpoint.

"'As you look at our offices, we don't have many options if someone comes in with a gun,'" Jensen read. "We're just asking for some options. (And) I think it's important that it comes out and people get their fears out and get some discussion going on."

The board watched the video Wednesday.

It can be viewed online here.

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