The best practice for protecting schools when shooters come? ALICE

About 70 officers on campus for the training

Emergency crews are training for an active shooter scenario on the campus of YSU in Youngstown, Ohio.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Children train for a lockdown when a gunman comes into a school buidling. But experts said those lockdowns don’t protect young kids. They’re teaching a new strategy called the ALICE method.

“Terrorism, active shooter events that have happened in the United States, a lot of people shot on the ground not moving, and trying to utilize being quiet, we’re not mitigating casualties doing that. We’re actually causing it,” ALICE Trainer Joe Hendry said.

In the ALICE method – people are taught to be active instead of just waiting for rescue. Seventy people from hospitals, schools and police departments all across the region learned the new method at YSU Monday.

The ALICE response to an active shooter involves alerting, locking down, informing, countering and evacuating. The program is designed to teach officers and other about the latest methods in responding to campus, school and other mass shootings.

“What we are actually doing today is training people to go back and be instructors inside their facilities, to go back and train their people in survivor techniques,” Hendry said.

The first step is to get out of the building. If that’s not possible, the next step is to barricade the room. The third choice is to take action.

“Countermeasures as a last result, for people in contact that there is no other survival options, they are allowed to use noise, distraction, movement and actual swarming techniques to save their own lives,” Hendry said.

In one technique, people swarm on and try to overpower the attacker. The technique can be taught to young children.

“We are all trained as really small children in order to save them from a fire. This is no different,” Hendry said. “They aren’t really going to be able to utilize swarming techniques as a response, but we really base a lot of their response on things they do real well. They run around, they scream and they throw things excellently. Everything is built on that.”

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