While schools often have fire drills to prepare students and teachers for such emergencies, when was the last time a school actually had a fatal fire?
In contrast, when the was the last time an active shooter or assailant attacked a school?
The answer to the first question is 1958. The answer to the second is far more recently.
That’s why those in law enforcement are working to prepare school districts, workplaces, churches and other public areas on how to respond in such active shooter situations.
At the Nov. 30 Waunakee Rotary meeting, Dane County Sheriff’s Deputies Josalyn Longley and Cindy Holmes offered an abbreviated training session that they provide to groups.
Josalyn was formerly a negotiator with the Dane County SWAT team and has offered active shooter training with Waunakee Police Sgt. Asher Torbeck in Waunakee. Cindy is retired from department but returned part time.
Recently, the county assigned Josalyn to offer active shooter training on a full-time basis. Through the sessions, she and Cindy talk about why preparation is needed, what lessons have been learned from previous situations, the definition of an active shooter or assailant and the options for survival. Having a plan is important, Josalyn said.
Wherever Josalyn goes, she scopes out the exits. If you’ve never taken the time to think about what you’d do in an active shooter situation, you’re likely to freeze when it happens.
While active shooter events at schools are widely publicized, Josalyn said they’re more likely to happen at businesses by a disgruntled employee or an estranged spouse. Employees within a business setting should have a response plan in place.
The average police response time is between 5-7 minutes although Cindy said it can take her 20 minutes to drive from one side of the county to the other.
The average time an active shooter attacks is between 4 and 8 minutes.
“You are the first responders,” Cindy said. “You’re the witnesses. You and your coworkers and families need to be thinking about, ‘What would I do?’ ”
One training that’s been used is referred to as ALICE, an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.
The gist is, try to alert others, if necessary, try to get a room where you can secure the door, and if needed, counter – throw objects at the assailants. And if possible escape or evacuate.
“You have to move, get out, throw things, do whatever it is you have to do to live,” Cindy said.
Both recommend that companies train their employees.
Other news:
-Those who signed up for the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection’s Adopt a Family can drop items off at their facility on S. Century Avenue.
-The club will sing Christmas carols at the Waunakee Manor on Dec. 14.  
–The Village Center could use more help for Santa’s visit Saturday, Dec. 2, between 1-4 p.m. Also, if you’d still like to contribute cookies, you can bring them to the REMAX office in Waunakee for Peggy.
–A trailer will be needed for taking down the Rotary Light display. The cost is about $6,000.
–Two dates need to be filled for greeters at the Rotary Lights – Dec. 16 and 29.
–Maintenance is also needed on the lights while they’re up, just changing bulbs. Ask David Weishoff about this. Also, volunteers are needed to turn the lights on and off..
Guests: None.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: Dec. 8, Neil King, Dec. 8, Roberta Baumann.
Anniversaries: None.
Greeters: Dec. 7, Bob Sachtjen and Todd Schmidt; Dec. 14, Jim Schmitz and Phil Simon; Dec. 21, Dan Statz and Harriet Statz.