Hollins to Host Emergency Exercise with Roanoke County, Dec. 17

Hollins sign

On Thursday, December 17, Hollins University will be the site of an Active Threat Field Training Exercise (FTX) between 9 and 11:30 a.m.

The FTX will begin on Front Quad (which will be closed to vehicular traffic while the exercise is under way) and encompass other parts of the campus.

In addition to Front Quad, West Campus Drive will be closed to traffic during the exercise to accommodate the number of emergency vehicles that will be moving back and forth between the Cromer Bergman Alumnae House parking lot and the parking area between Dana Science Building and Moody Student Center. People entering campus during the exercise will be directed to turn right onto East Campus Drive.

Facilitated by Roanoke County, the FTX is designed to assess the local, regional, and university’s response to a major incident. A plausible active threat/shooter scenario will be the basis of the FTX, and it will involve operational personnel from area fire/emergency medical services, law enforcement, and tactical response teams, who will be on campus from approximately 8 a.m. – noon. A number of role players will also participate.

While there is no actual threat, the FTX is intended to be as realistic as possible in order to test the collective decision-making processes and response protocols that would be in effect during an active threat/shooter incident. Therefore, the campus community may see law enforcement personnel carrying weapons (loaded only with blanks) and hear sirens and simulated gunfire during the exercise.

“This FTX is an excellent opportunity for Hollins to test its emergency communication procedures, and for students, faculty, and staff to think about what they would do if this situation were real,” said Kerry Edmonds, vice president for finance and administration. “During the exercise, we are asking everyone to please ‘shelter in place’ between 9 and 11:30 a.m., the same as they would during an actual active threat/shooter incident. Students, faculty, and staff should stay where they are and not wander around campus during this time period.”