Last week, Montclair State started offering Crisis Response Training to all members of the campus community.
This training started on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and continues weekly until May 11. Sessions are held every Tuesday in the Machuga Heights Multipurpose Room from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and every Wednesday in the Student Center, Room 416 from 12 to 1 p.m.
From this training, participants will learn how the University Police Department will act in various active-violence incidents like a shooting, how to develop a personal response and increase the likelihood of survival in emergency situations.
Matt Gallup is a Montclair State University Police Officer as well as the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Emergency Planner for the University Health and Counseling Services. He runs the training and is extremely enthusiastic about helping the campus community be prepared in case of an emergency situation.
During the training session on Tuesday, Feb. 2, the laughter, screams and bangs coming from the Machuga Heights Multi Purpose room could be heard from the the hallway and the buildings lobby. Gallup doesn’t want to just explain verbally what could happen and what will happen in various situations — he also wants them to feel what it’s like in order to be prepared if they are ever in a real violent situation.
Three students stayed after the training session to talk to Gallup and they were all excited about what they’ve learned.
Gallup taught his students when to run and how to escape as safely as possible, when and where to hide and how to fight when necessary. He is very enthusiastic about his work and it shows in how students talked about the class.
Yurisa Valdiveso, a senior political science major, raved about the training. “No matter what position you are in in your career path, you have to be able to protect yourself and others in case you find yourself in a violent or life threatening situation,” she said.
Valdiveso is a substitute teacher and wants to go into higher education. For her, it’s really important to be prepared to protect her students and herself in the classroom, as well as in any other violent situation.
Afnan Sayemaldahar also attended the training session. She is a graduate student studying Public Relations and is an international students from Saudi Arabia. According to Sayemaldahar, “Because I’m an international student, I wanted to understand what to expect in these situations in this country. I think all students need to attend this because if something like this happens, you’ll know what you should do and how to react and then you could be an asset in that situation.”
All the students I talked to were extremely happy they went to the event and were enthusiastic about getting their friends and fellow students to go as well. As Valdiveso put it, “This was the best hour and a half of my life.”