In a time when shootings are prevalent, especially in school settings, Belmont Campus Security is working to make sure students will know what to do if a shooting happens on campus.
Belmont follows an all-hazards response plan when it comes to any crisis, from inclement weather to an active shooter, which includes a solid communication plan.
An emergency management team is trained and in place to alert students to any urgent situation on campus, said Chief of Campus Security Pat Cunningham.
“Students can expect to see email communication and see text messages if there’s imminent threat to campus community,” he said.
In the specific case of an active aggressor on campus, students should follow the Run, Hide, Fight model.
“If you’re in an area and something like that breaks out and you can get out, get out. If you can’t get out, then take shelter,” said Cunningham.
Although there is an active shooter protocol, some students are unaware that Belmont even has a plan.
Freshman Jamie Emerick isn’t sure if she would know what to do if an active shooter was on campus, she said.
“I would like to believe that I would be prepared to do something like that, but until that moment comes, which hopefully it never does, I’m honestly not totally sure,” said Emerick.
Most of the student emergency training and education Cunningham plans is done through convocations, he said.
“The part we are working most on is getting that message out, providing more opportunities for training,” he said.
The most important piece of Belmont’s active shooter protocol is educating students on what to do in case of an emergency situation, because even one second could save a life.
“It’s an extremely rare event, but obviously, if it happens, it’s something that could be tremendously significant to that campus. When we talk about preparing for those sort of things, that education and doing what we can to get information to the campus community is a critical piece of that so they know what to do,” said Cunningham.
This article written by Caroline Cathey. Video by Abigail Bowen with contribution from Marissa Avnaim, Jordan Shatto and Jessica Hood.