Alabama Media Group, Birmingham
Reports of an active shooter shut down Redstone Arsenal for hours late last month. While the reports were later deemed to be false, the possibility of an actual event has led the Army to create an app that can be used to alert authorities of emergency.
A team of civilians from the Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker in Alabama submitted the winning entry for the Army Training and Doctrine Command and TRADOC Capability Manager - Mobile competition to develop the app. It is set for release soon, with free downloads on Google Play, iTunes and other online stores.
"All these applications have the necessary and vital information that will save lives, time, and educate those with little or no training on active-shooter response situations," said Capt. Dylan Gallagan, operations officer at the Army Office of the Provost Marshal General.
The app is designed to walk users through various steps on how to respond to an active shooter and what to do when law enforcement arrives. It also features a button that will dial emergency personnel with a single tap.
"If adrenaline kicks in and they forget what to do in the moment, all of that information is right there in front of them," said Matt MacLaughlin, who works at TRADOC Senior Mobile Training Development. "It should help everybody respond to that situation in the fastest manner possible.
"We're going to try to think for you," MacLaughlin said. "Because there's situations where you won't have time to think."
Redstone Arsenal was placed on lockdown June 27 after two calls were placed to 911 to report an active shooter at the Sparkman Center. A "run, hide, fight" order was issued and personnel were directed to shelter in place; all gates were closed and barricades went up at entrances and exits.
Personnel remained under lockdown for several hours until a search was completed. Investigators later said the calls were a false alarm.
Army Public Affairs contributed to this report.
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