Cape Cod Community College held an active shooter training session this week, where members of the public could participate in a simulated shooting scenario. In the North building, people crowded into corners of classrooms as a man holding a nerf gun roamed the hallways, and an alarm was sounded. This was a re-enactment of what schools typically advise students to do if a gunman is on campus.
The nerf gun shooter hit a number of people. But then, participants were instructed not to duck and cover, but to be active in trying to evacuate and keep the gunman at bay. People quickly barricaded classroom doors, and almost no one was shot.
The scenario was to show the effectiveness of a new type of training being circulated in schools and businesses called ALICE, which stands for "Alert, Lockdown, Inform Counter and Evacuate." Mark Bourque, an instructor leading the session, says this new approach trains people to think on their feet in a situation like this, so they'll be prepared.
"If we employ these tactics of simple movement, distraction, distance, and allow people to barricade rooms, break windows—if we now empower folks to make these decisions under stress—they can keep themselves alive until the professionals arrive to help them," he said.
About 70 people attended the two day workshop, and a majority of the participants were teachers and administrators from local schools.
Maria Padilla, chief of the college’s campus police, said they're promoting the ALICE method because it allows people to address a situation non-linearly when dealing with a gunman.
"Not all incidents of an active shooter are the same, so we’re focusing on having people learn to think out of the box," Padilla said. "We’re so programmed to go step one, step two. This is so you can skip a step, you can move on."
The college will be holding another training in the fall specifically for students.