Agencies engage in active shooter training held at UT Martin

Members of area law enforcement converge on the Johnson EPS Building in response to an active...
Members of area law enforcement converge on the Johnson EPS Building in response to an active shooter training exercise May 25 at UT Martin.(Bud Grimes, Office of University Relations)
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 1:04 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2023 at 3:41 PM CDT
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MARTIN, Tenn. (KFVS) - Law enforcement and other emergency officials joined forces for an active shooter exercise at University of Tennessee at Martin.

UT Martin held the exercise on May 25 in the Johnson EPS Building, and included three active shooter scenarios. Scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, the exercise was designed to stop the active-shooter threat and overload local emergency systems in a realistic emergency response situation.

The exercise took place next to the Paul Meek Library on Mt. Pelia Road. Response teams encountered several aspects of an active shooter scenario, including sounding fire alarms, smoke-filled hallways, securing multiple floors and the urgency to assist volunteer “victims” and move them from the building to safety.

The “injured victims” were transported by ambulance to West Tennessee Healthcare Rehabilitation Hospital Cane Creek and West Tennessee Healthcare Volunteer Hospital for the second phase of the training, which concluded with a debriefing for participants.

Charlie Jahr is the operations and training commander in the Department of Public Safety at UT Martin. Jahr said the university welcomed the training opportunity as active shooter events are realistic threats to the college.

“We’ve got a lot of good local resources, and this is a good way to get them all together in one place,” Jahr said. “A lot of these agencies have never trained on our campus, so it gets them a little more familiar with it, and it just lets us see what we need to work on and what we did right and what we did wrong and where we can improve.”

The full scale exercise provided a unique training opportunity that replicated a real world scenario. According to a post from the Weakley County EMA Facebook page, it was an intense, immersive experience but responders handled it with professionalism and efficiency.