Active Shooter Training at Wilson College

March 2012: Deputies from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office attended Active Shooter Training at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA.

The training was conducted by Chambersburg Borough Police and included instructors from the Pennsylvania State Police Special Emergency Response Team (SERT). The event featured classroom training in addition to live action/scenario based exercises. The 'students' learned different procedures for entering and searching buildings using a variety of weapons in combination with other equipment, such as bullet resistant shields and battering rams.

"An exercise like this allows multiple law enforcement agencies to work together in a training environment to be better prepared for all events in which they may work together in the future," Chambersburg Police Chief David Arnold wrote in a press release.

The Franklin County Emergency Management Agency and the South Central Counter-Terrorism Task Force provided Homeland Security funding and "logistical support" for the exercise "to simulate real world experience," he wrote. This included actors portraying civilians during the scenarios.

The Task Force is made up of emergency responders from Franklin, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties. A regional organization "allows responders to train and prepare for larger scale incidents involving all hazards," Arnold wrote. Deputies from ACSO have been part of the Task Force since 2009.

Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers will normally be in teams; they may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets and other tactical equipment. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns or handguns and might also be using pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation. The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons.