Active shooter response exercise put on by UAF

UAF conducted a training exercise to ensure that they are ready to respond to an active shooter on campus.
Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 12:03 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) held an active shooter response exercise in the Akafosu Building on Nov. 9. This training let first responders enhance their response skills in the event they should ever face such a threat.

As the pandemic continues to wind down, many institutions are having to re-adjust back to an in person work environment. However, the months of isolation have caused a lapse in preparedness for certain events. One of the events identified by Kate Janoski, UAF’s Emergency Manager, was an active shooter situation.

In 2021, the F.B.I. reported 61 active shooter incidents and Fairbanks has even been the target of an active shooter hoax. Working to ensure that the university is prepared along with other local first responders, Janoski spent eight months developing an active shooter training.

Janoski coordinated these efforts with various agencies from different levels of government, to include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and local first responders from North Pole, the Fairbanks International Airport and the Fairbanks Fire Department.

Participants from each of the agencies attended the training exercise. Janoski said that while the training was designed around the response for UAF’s first responders and facilities, it was important for “surrounding firefighters and our local police officers, so that they could practice their response as well.”

During the training police cleared the area and located the dummy that was designated as the shooter. Meanwhile, medics provided aid and extraction for victims which were played by actors and with dummies marked as dead victims. After the shooter was located law enforcement provided security for victims who were tagged with different colors which identified the severity of their condition and response needs.

“We had representatives for Alaska Command come up here from JBER to teach a tactical combat casualty care class for our participants, so they could learn how to treat people under fire and get them out of the way in safety,” said Janoski.

The collaborative effort was able to identify areas that needed improvement and learn some of the differences between departments. Leadership from the participating agencies were satisfied with the results and while they hope such and event doesn’t happen, they believe they are better prepared to respond to one.

This training was not held in response to the shooter hoax at Lathrop High School.