SFU preparing students for possible active shooter scenario

Simon Fraser University has partnered with Burnaby RCMP to train students and staff to be prepared in case an active shooter targets them on campus.

University staff say the situation is highly unlikely but want to be prepared

Simon Fraser University has partnered with Burnaby RCMP to train students and staff to be prepared for an active shooter on campus.

The awareness campaign includes a website, workshops, and a video that simulates an emergency scenario.

"Although active threat events are extremely rare, they have taken place in Canada," says Chief Supt. Dave Critchey in the training video

Steven MacLean, senior director of SFU Campus Safety and Security Services, says the university will hold safety workshops on campus to prepare for threats including the chance of an active shooter. (CBC)

Steven MacLean, senior director of SFU Campus Safety and Security Services, says the video is designed to help people protect themselves, while other training opportunities will also be offered.

"Our staff will also be engaging our community in lunch and learn sessions and staff meetings, and providing educational resources through face-to-face interactions," he said. 

Tips include:

  • Finding an exit and head for it immediately.
  • If that's not a safe option, find a place to hide.
  • As a last resort, take action against the assailant. 

"Tackling the threat, if safe. Using a chair, using a fire extinguisher, doing everything you can to actively stop the threat," said MacLean. 

Security expert André Gerolymatos says all universities should provide training for active shooter scenarios. (CBC)

André Gerolymatos, an SFU professor and international security specialist, says he wonders why the university didn't offer an awareness campaign sooner. 

"We are living in a new age ... where killing and terrorism have become commonplace," he said. 

Gerolymatos recommends more schools train students to respond to an active threat on their campuses.

SFU said it plans to hold the training sessions later this year.

With files from Kamil Karamali

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