The first minutes of any incident are the most important, Tiffin University communications professor Jan Samoriski said Thursday during a presentation about active shooters on campuses.
The presentation was a "dry-run" for the University Risk Management and Insurance Association Midwestern Regional Conference to take place May 30-31 in Columbus, Samoriski said.
Presentations will be given by Samoriski along with criminal justice professor Scott Blough, Director of Campus Security Jennifer Boucher, Tiffin Police Officer Doug Skornieka and School of Criminal Justice Dean Robert Orr, who is to serve as the panel's moderator.
The panel is to address issues that arise from choices school officials make as they plan for situations such as active shooters.Beginning the presentation will be a video, "The First Seven Minutes," which is a dramatization of the Columbine High School massacre.
"There are several hundred to 1,000 communication events that will occur during the first seven minutes of an incident," Samoriski said.
Miscommunication between the school, law enforcement and the media can cause major consequences. Samoriski said it is important to manage communication as much as possible.
During this time, Samoriski also said that cell infrastructure will be down due to many calls coming in and out.
Other important aspects from Samoriski's presentation were to keep everyone informed and to have a communication action plan.
Blough discussed the controversial issue of have an armed faculty member.
"Having armed faculty can freak administrators out," Blough said.
For any campus, it is important to have a security plan and understand that every situation is different, Blough said. There are two types of armed faculty: One is to have a faculty member with a conceal and carry license and the other is to have a sworn law enforcement officer.
"The conceal and carry training is only 12 hours where a sworn officer will have to have 569 hours of training and have to be re-qualified," Blough said.
She also said to coordinate and communicate with first responders and to be able to identify the good guys versus the bad guys.
Boucher discussed the importance of having an emergency response plan and Skornieka, as an officer, gave his perspective on how law enforcement would respond to an active shooter situation.
Orr said the main message is to think through problems ahead of time and work with faculty and staff so everyone knows what do. The presentation involves perspectives of many people who would be involved and includes identifying areas where communication breakdowns might occur, he said.
If all goes well, the panel could be asked to present at the URMIA national conference in Phoenix in October.