ALICE training helps students stay safe on campus

Officer Robert Wilson demonstrates how to use a makeshift tourniquet during A.L.I.C.E. training on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

Hannah Davis Feature writer

For freshmen at Kent State, there are several mandatory events to attend. Unlike orientation, Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate (ALICE) training provides its attendees with skills they can use outside of the classroom.

ALICE training is a required presentation for freshmen that teaches them ways to stay safe in case of an active shooter.

Kent State Police Officer Tricia Knoles said, “ALICE is the most proactive option when it comes to dealing with a shooter. It’s not a traditional lockdown,” she said.

Rather than hiding from an attacker, ALICE teaches students to help others around them, secure the area, block the shooter from entering and leave to a safe space.

Freshman marketing major Eileen Coakley said the lockdown drills she did during middle school and high school were comparable to the ALICE training she attended at Kent State.

“My lockdown drills were like the ones shown in the presentation where kids prepared for drive-by shootings, but in the last couple of years we learned some aspects from ALICE training like evacuating and building a barricade,” she said.

Coakley said she feels better prepared in the event of encountering an active shooter after attending the session.

“You never know how you’re going to react to a situation until you’re in it. You think you’re going to be the brave one and then you end up being a deer caught in the headlights,” said Coakley.

Officer Knoles recommends attending ALICE training again while students endorse yearly attendance due to the amount of information being taught during the short session.

“This presentation was an hour and a half, say I go to see a movie that was an hour and a half. I’m going to forget a lot of the important details (of the plot) in probably a couple weeks. That’s not nearly as important as this, I’d keep the basic concepts in mind but I’m not gonna remember this in a year or two,” said Coakley.

In addition to the strategies taught in ALICE training, students can stay safe on campus by signing up for FlashAlerts. The service provides subscribers with text notifications about emergencies, cancelations and other events on campus.

Students, faculty and staff can sign up for FlashAlerts by searching for the keyword on FlashLine, then entering their FlashLine username and password into the server.

“Right now, only about 50 percent of students and faculty are signed up. We’re trying to make it more of an opt-out service than an opt-in option,” said Knoles.

When comparing the methods taught in ALICE training to a traditional lockdown, Coakley said the strategies potentially could help them in a harmful scenario. Knoles and Coakley recommend attending a presentation yearly to become up to date on the methods taught during the training session.

Contact Hannah Davis at [email protected].