On the Off Chance


Photo Provided by Stuart Whitmore

Newtown, Connecticut. Littleton, Colorado. People all over the country know these cities that peppered the headlines for weeks and feel a certain pang of sadness for those who were killed in these violent shooting events. And while nobody believes it could happen to them, these horrific events of mass fatality could occur anywhere and to anyone.

That’s why the Hockaday Security team remains readily prepared.

On October 29, six members of Hockaday Security attended a training seminar entitled Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events. This training session taught a universally important topic, but was unlike most other sessions in its perspective on how to deal with an active shooter situation.

Head of Security Karyn McCoy appreciated this training for that reason.

“This was from the perspective of a civilian, not somebody who sees that every day,” McCoy said. “That to us was so important. That perspective was so important.”

Created by Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or ALERRT, this civilian-aimed training provides tactics for the average person to survive an active shooter event, such as how to keep doors shut with furniture and what to do if the classroom is breached.

The CRASE training is extremely beneficial for Hockaday’s security team as they do not carry weapons. The officers who attended learned how to improvise weapons in order to aid in ending the situation.

Security officer Rachel Medlin was one of the officers who attended the training.

“We learned we can use a fire extinguisher. If you aren’t strong enough to lift it, you can throw it in his face,” Medlin said. “That’s what the teachers can do as well as the students.”

Along with the Security team, Hockaday has first responders on call that can and will arrive in three minutes in the event of an emergency. Even so, people within the building would still have to wait those three minutes and even when first responders arrived, they would not stop to help victims. They would instead go straight to the active threat. McCoy believes that the timing of official response further necessitates the CRASE training.

“That’s the very key thing is that you want to survive those incidents. And that means anybody on this campus, our students, our faculty, our staff, so we need to train them on what to do,” McCoy said.

CRASE will be coming to Hockaday on Nov. 16 for a seminar that will include the entire security staff as well as the entire faculty.

Debate teacher and Upper School advisor Jordan Innerarity believes the training being extended to the faculty will help ensure that the students will be safe if an event like this were to occur.

“As an advisor, I like the idea that we get to know because in the heat of the moment, if you haven’t had the training, you go into a fight or flight response, so we end up probably putting ourselves in further harm,” Innerarity said.

McCoy looks forward to informing and training the teachers, as an active shooter event cannot be stopped without a solid line of defense, even before the responders arrive.

“You cannot wait for everybody else; you have to go in, so we have to start educating teachers,” McCoy said.

Ali Hurst – Asst. Castoff Editor