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DHS facilitates active shooter exercise at Mercyhurst

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will facilitate an Active Shooter Table Top Exercise at Mercyhurst University on Wednesday, March 8, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., in the Center for Academic Engagement.

As part of its Emergency Response Plan, Mercyhurst holds regularly scheduled table top exercises to gauge its readiness in the face of crises. This particular exercise is expected to go even further in testing the university’s preparedness in conjunction with that of its public safety partners, all of whom will have representatives in attendance.

“We have found the best way to vet the effectiveness of our crisis response plan is to run a series of tabletop exercises, where we can rehearse our methods and evaluate our performance,” said Mercyhurst University President Michael Victor. "We are looking forward to learning a great deal from this opportunity."

Protective Security Advisor Bob Winters of DHS, Pittsburgh District, will lead the exercise, with support from Mercyhurst University Police and Safety, Erie Police Department, including SWAT team and bomb squad; Erie Fire Department; City of Erie Emergency Management; Erie County Sheriff’s Office; Emergycare; Erie County Public Safety (911 center); and the Erie Office of the FBI. Mercyhurst’s own emergency response team will also attend.

“The exercise will cover the Initial Response Phase, Tactical Phase, Assessment Phase and Post-Incident Response Phase of an active shooter incident on campus,” said Mercyhurst Police Chief DJ Fuhrmann. “This exercise will help both Mercyhurst and our community partners to test our capabilities, make informed planning considerations in the event of a real emergency, and further enhance our collaboration and relationships.”