Students apply their education alongside industry professionals in a simulation experience
Over the stretch of two weeks in May, students from three separate Pittsburgh Technical College programs came together with industry professionals to see how their education works in a real-world training simulation. The simulation was one they hope to never have to face–two shooters open fire on a group at a picnic, killing two people and injuring a dozen more.
Beginning on May 8, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Multimedia students worked side-by-side with police officers, medical examiners, forensics experts, and incident command teams to plan tactical strategies and understand best practices. Breakout sessions and a tabletop exercise showed how resources and critical pieces come together to respond to such a crisis situation.
According to Melissa Wertz, Dean of Humanities, Sciences, Business and Online programs, “This training is ‘real’ learning. This is taking what is taught in a classroom and putting it into practice in a simulated environment.”
Virginia Molitor, Team Leader and Instructor, noted, “The event is a unique opportunity that allows students to use the skills they are learning in the classroom and interact with industry professionals.”
Two weeks after the tabletop exercise, students were ready for the simulation. They had worked closely with peers and mentored with professionals to handle a crime scene, issue warrants for arrest, process evidence, and run emergency room protocols.
On May 22 at 10:00 am, the simulation unfolded. Students role-played and recreated an emergency situation with shooters, victims, and responders. Depending on their field of study, students knew their respective roles and how they needed to work together to save lives, seize evidence, and go after the perpetrators.
Macallan G., a Criminal Justice student, enjoyed working with professionals ranging from a forensic analyst to an FBI agent. He declared, “I love my program because it provides a lot of hands-on experience that no other school can give you.”