March 2023 Session Recap

Introduction to Active Shooter training

This post was written by LDA Class of 2022-2023 Team Aces Jacob Smith, Baker Tilly; Kayla Schaapveld, Ansay & Associates; Jayden Chan, Craig High School Senior; Maddie McCue, Nowlan Law; Kara Witt, Blackhawk Community Credit Union; and Melissa Wittwer, Rock County.

March’s Topics included My Leadership Journey Speeches, and Active Shooter & Casualty Care in the Workplace.

Our session began with a welcome from the Mercyhealth Team engaging us in some trivia with questions specific to our Real Colors. We then moved onto the either highly anticipated, or dreaded, 2.5-3 minute speeches on “My Leadership Journey”.

Throughout the speeches we learned that leadership commonly stemmed from youth sports such as baseball/softball, football, golf, and soccer. We also heard that leadership came from many other sources such as fitness instruction, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, FFA, observing and modeling parents, Police Academy training, being first born, student council, balancing college with work, competitions, law school, city council, and experiencing growing up in a single parent home.

There were plenty of laughs, tears, and takeaways. Some of the recurring advice from our peers included leadership skills being transferable, the importance of getting to know the people that you are working with, and leaders will not ask their employees to do something that they are not willing to do. 

Casualty Care

To kick off casualty care, Retired Officer Olin engaged our group with a 700 slide PowerPoint teaching us about gun, knife, and vehicle attacks in the US since 2001. We were surprised to  learn that Wisconsin has experienced more per capita mass casualty events, which is defined as 4 or more deaths excluding the suspect, than other states.

There have been 464 events across the United States since 2001, with 2002 injuries and 1132 individuals killed. We learned about the importance of evaluating our surroundings and being prepared to avoid, deny, defend if we are ever in an active shooter/violent situation.

Lieutenant Mike Blaser then demonstrated how to assist with casualty care. We learned how to sweep bodies to locate wounds, apply tourniquets on limbs, wrap wounds, pack wounds and apply pressure, and apply patches to wounds within the soft tissues of the torso.

Active Shooter Simulation

We ended our day at Mercyhealth Trauma Preparedness Center, located in Janesville, WI. The 25,000 square foot training facility is dedicated to several casualty care courses available to the public as well as training available specifically to law enforcement and first responders.

The Trauma Preparedness Center is equipped with multiple scenarios such as a classroom, office, movie theater, emergency department, and a nightclub. LDA class participants were able to apply the Avoid, Deny, Defend skills learned earlier in the day in a hands-on scenario based active shooter training simulation.

The simulation is aimed to make you think “What would you do?” in the event of an active shooter situation. The intense and life-like simulation was led by certified Mercy Tactical Instruction officers, Mike Blaser, Kevin Olin, Tim O’Leary, and Erin Briggs.

LDA participants were faced with difficult decisions, and some rendered medical aid to wounded mannequins while the fictional story line played out. The community is encouraged to attend courses to be better prepared for a life-threatening situation.

Please visit the Mercyhealth website or call 608-756-6182 for more information on how you or your workplace can receive this beneficial education and training.