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News | June 28, 2017

Installation active shooter exercise tests crisis response

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

To test the installation’s emergency and crisis response capabilities, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, hosted an active shooter exercise June 8.

According to Wayne Rhodes, Installation Emergency manager, the goal of the exercise was to assess the Installation’s readiness to respond to and recover from an active shooter incident.

The scenario involved an employee actor, mimicking the role of active shooter, opening mock fire in an office environment.  Several employees acted as victims, live and dead.

Once ‘shots fired’ was reported to Police Dispatch, a message was generated using the AtHoc Mass Notification System informing installation employees of an installation-wide lockdown.  The system pushed pop-up alerts to networked computers, and supplied registered phone numbers with text and voice messages regarding the event.  Additionally, messages were broadcast via the installation’s external and internal sound system to notify employees and visitors of the status of the exercise.  

Upon police arrival at the scene, officers pursued the suspect through the building, resulting in the suspect barricading himself in an office.  

The lockdown ended with an announcement that the suspect was deceased, for the purposes of the exercise, and the area was then cleared for mock medical and emergency response.

Upon cancellation of the lockdown, members of the Emergency Operations Center were activated to a local meeting area to conduct emergency management and execute decisions related to personnel accountability and release, security, public affairs, mission continuity and victim tracking and assistance.  Together, the group simulated the management of the first four to six hours of an emergency event.  

Additionally, a Simulation Cell was formed to test EOC capabilities and response, with members of the SIMCELL calling as family members of installation employees, members of the media, the parents of children in the Child Development Center, and commanders of tenant activities.   

“The entire installation- employees, responders, and EOC members- continues to make progress in its readiness for large scale emergency.  With each exercise, we become more prepared for a catastrophic event,” said Rhodes.