Gwinnett Technical College Partners with Gwinnett Police, Fire and EMS for Active Shooter Training

Gwinnett Technical College Public Safety Officers trained alongside the Gwinnett County Police, Fire and EMS personnel Friday in an exercise designed to help prepare first responders in the event of an active shooter. The training, which consisted of several hours of classroom training, simulations and scenarios, was conducted in one of the college’s buildings.

“We are very fortunate to be training with our Gwinnett counterparts who have trained more than 2,000 police, fire and EMS personnel over the last 18 months,” said Gwinnett Tech Chief of Police Joe Markham. “The purpose of this drill is to bring together the public safety agencies that would respond if there ever were an emergency of this nature on our campus. Training such as this better prepares all agencies involved.”

Law enforcement tactics for responding to an active shooter have changed in recent years, so training must change, too. Developed by Gwinnett County officials, the training focused on tactics and strategies to protect victims and preserve lives. Officers were paired with fire and EMS personnel to better formulate ways to work together in such a situation. Communication and clear thinking are critical in such a situation, participants were told.

Participants in the training studied the history of such incidents and learned the definition of an active shooter, the typical timing of such an incident and about some of the challenges they might face when responding to the scene. According to officials, an active shooter is a person engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, normally through the use of firearms. Typically such incidents take place over nine minutes.

“This type of information is critical for us and our law enforcement partners,” Markham added. “By creating simulations and scenarios that are realistic and high stress, we are preparing our officers and first responders to react accurately and efficiently if the need arises.”

Gwinnett Technical College offers more than 150 degree, diploma and certificate program options that can be completed in two years or less. For more information, visit or call 770-962-7580.