Emergency response: Public invited to active shooter trainings


One of the most horrifying “what if” scenarios has been careening through people’s minds for the past few years: what if an armed intruder terrorized my school, church or job?

Local first responders are teaching people how to defend themselves in such a terrifying event. Two free seminars are scheduled for April: Violent Intruder Preparedness and Response (VIPR) seminar on Tuesday, April 17, at Indian River High School, and Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) seminar on Friday, April 27, at Frankford Volunteer Fire Company.

Training is open to educators, churches, businesses and any other interested individuals.

“It is to improve awareness on what actions you should be taking if you find yourself in the middle of a hostile event, for example, an active shooter event,” said Robbie Murray of FVFD, although vehicles, bombs, knives and machetes are also used for mass terror events. “This is for civilians … the purpose of this class is to train the public in how they can act or react if they find themselves in the middle of a situation.”

First, the VIPR seminar will be held Tuesday, April 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Indian River High School, 29772 Armory Road in Dagsboro. Violent Intruder Preparedness and Response (VIPR) is amalgam of best practices that Delaware agencies have learned, hosted by Delaware State Police, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Education.

Topics include active shooter threats, emergency preparedness, suspicious activity reporting and hometown security threats. The seminars will not be specific to school security but will include several school-related issues. The same presentation was held March 28 at Sussex Central High School. More seminars will be scheduled across the state.

“We encourage churches, large medical facilities, large business and, obviously, the school environment to get a feel for how to protect themselves against violent intruders,” said Rodney Layfield, commander at DSP Troop 4 and school board member. “I encourage PTO organizations, school board members, teachers, get your staff out for these events.”

Next, CRASE training will be held Friday, April 27, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Frankford Volunteer Fire Company, 7 Main Street, Frankford.

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) is taught by local medics and police officers, in cooperation with Texas State University and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT).

Large groups planning to attend should RSVP as a courtesy to Robbie Murray at (302) 236-9333 or Robbie.murray@frankfordfire.com.

The method of “Avoid, Deny, Defend” is an upgrade to the traditional “Run, Hide, Fight.” For instance, targets are no longer encouraged to passively play dead or hide under desks.

“It’s very situational,” said Murray. “There are certain times where hiding under a desk may not be the best option, if you have the option to deny the intruder access to the office,” by moving a desk or filing cabinet in front of door.

They also consider “how our decision-making or coping mechanisms are affected by adrenaline or heartrate. We will discuss ways to address that … controlling your emotion, controlling your breathing, trying to maintain that focus,” Murray said.

After the lecture and public questions, attendees can also learn hands-on treatment, like “Hands Only CPR” and “Stop the Bleed” tourniquets.

Ocean View Police Department will host CRASE training on Thursday, May 17 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Selbyville Police Department will also host CRASE training in early May.

Local police agencies have provided similar training for churches and other groups.

“We are looking to develop an organized plan between the police department and these security teams,” said OVPD Chief Ken McLaughlin.

Free training

• Wednesday, April 11, 6 to 8 p.m.

Violent Intruder Preparedness and Response (VIPR) seminar, hosted by Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Education at Redding Middle School, 201 New Street, Middletown.

• Monday, April 16, 6 to 8 p.m.

Violent Intruder Preparedness and Response (VIPR) seminar, hosted by Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Education at Laurel Middle School, 1133 S. Central Avenue, Laurel.

• Tuesday, April 17, 6 to 8 p.m.

Violent Intruder Preparedness and Response (VIPR) seminar, hosted by Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Education at Indian River High School, 29772 Armory Road, Dagsboro.

• Monday, April 23, 6 to 8 p.m.

Violent Intruder Preparedness and Response (VIPR) seminar, hosted by Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Education at Caesar Rodney High School, 239 Old North Road, Camden.

• Friday, April 27, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE), hosted by Frankford Volunteer Fire Company at banquet hall, 7 Main Street, Frankford.

• Thursday, May 3, 6 to 8 p.m.
Violent Intruder Preparedness and Response (VIPR) seminar, hosted by Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Education at Cape Henlopen High School, 1250 Kings Highway, Lewes.

• Thursday, May 17, 5 to 9 p.m.

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE), hosted by Ocean View Police Department at police station, 201 Central Avenue, Ocean View.

• Early May (date TBD)

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE), hosted by Selbyville Police Department.