WATCH ABOVE: University officials are taking a hard look at student safety in the face of gun violence. Laurel Gregory shows us a new video that aims to help.
EDMONTON — A dramatic new video for post-secondary students and staff aims to prepare them for the unthinkable: an active shooter on campus.
While Alberta post-secondary officials admit such an occurrence is “extremely remote,” they say proper preparation could prevent injuries or deaths.
“Violence in public places is a reality in the world in which we live today and we see it pretty much every day in one way or another, even here in Alberta,” says David Atkinson, the president of MacEwan University, one of the institutions behind the safety initiative.
The seven-minute video produced for Campus Alberta colleges and universities includes a tense dramatization of an active shooter, defined as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”
Warning: Some may find the contents of the educational video below disturbing.
The video advises three courses of action: escape when possible; hide and barricade; or, as a last resort, use force against the shooter. Fear can often be paralyzing in these situations, the video reminds viewers. “Planning could save your life,” especially when “every second counts.”
“The messages are blunt and the dramatization is intense,” says Philip Stack, chair of the Campus Alberta risk and assessment committee.
Police experts who were consulted for the video say its message is based on actual events.
“These messages apply equally, no matter where you are around the world,” Stack says. “Whether you’re in a different country, whether you’re in an airport, it doesn’t matter.”
© Shaw Media, 2014