Fairfield University Department of Public Safety Hosts Statewide Safety Training

Fairfield University Department of Public Safety Hosts Statewide Safety Training

Team Training Associates leaders pose with Fairfield University Lt. Rob Didato, Assistant Director of the Department of Public Safety, during a two-day training course for dispatchers on how to respond to active shooter/aggressor situations. [L-R: Daniel Jewiss, Lt. Rob Didato, Theresa Lockwood]

Team Training Associates leaders pose with Fairfield University Lt. Rob Didato, Assistant Director of the Department of Public Safety, during a two-day training course for dispatchers on how to respond to active shooter/aggressor situations. [L-R: Daniel Jewiss, Lt. Rob Didato, Theresa Lockwood]

Fairfield’s Department of Public Safety continues to be a leader in safety, hosting dozens of dispatchers during a two-day active shooter/aggressor training course.

This training adds to our commitment to use the best resources available, to continue to be a leader in safety, and to make those resources available to our partners and colleagues off-campus.

— Lt. Rob Didato, DPS Assistant Director

"If we can shave seconds, we can save lives."

On January 15 & 16, the Fairfield University Department of Public Safety hosted safety dispatchers from around the state for a two-day Active Shooter/Aggressor training course, which incorporates scenario-based training to make dispatchers respond more quickly and effectively in crisis situations. Fairfield is the first higher education institution in the country to hold the two-day training course.
 
Dedicated to dispatchers, the two-day course was led by Daniel Jewiss, a senior associate at Team Training Associates, a company dedicated to preparing law enforcement and first responders for how to respond to active shooter situations. Jewiss was the lead investigator in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., and in the years following his investigation he found that quicker first response actions in those situations can reduce the amount of lives lost.
 
Amidst the frenzied and frantic calls, the first information that dispatchers need to get is the location of the aggressor. “By the time [the situation] gets to the investigative side, you’re not saving any lives,” Jewiss said. “The more that I dealt with what’s going to end up saving lives in those situations, it took me right back to dispatch. That’s where the call starts for us. That’s where the clock starts ticking for us.” 

Theresa Lockwood, an emergency dispatcher for 27 years, assisted with the training and spoke about training the dispatchers to break habits some have had for years. “We’re kind of asking them to go outside of what they’ve done to give them good habits in such abnormal situations," she said. "This might be a once-in-a-lifetime call, and we’re asking them to do something that they don’t do every single day, and that takes a little bit of training.”

"We're dedicated to making this campus as safe as possible," said Lieutenant Rob Didato, DPS assistant director. "This training adds to our commitment to use the best resources available, to continue to be a leader in safety, and to make those resources available to our partners and colleagues off-campus."

Jewiss has high praise for Fairfield's DPS: “From their involvement in events, the training that they do, the virtual reality training – they are absolutely pushing the envelope to not only get their people the best type of training, but the best type of information."

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Last modified: 01-17-19 11:24 PM

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