ALICE training given to home health care workers
Keeping safe is a priority for most people, but for home healthcare workers, every day brings the risk of violence.
It was these risks that brought Marietta Police Chief Rodney Hupp to the Buckeye Hills Regional Council on Monday for ALICE training. The acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evaluate.
“It’s a matter of trying to keep the staff safe and aware, educated and trained,” said Dawn Weber, council home care director. “We’ve also had active shooter training in the past and general safety training to keep them as safe as possible.”
She said at the state and local levels, safety is something the network of area agencies on aging is concerned about. While there haven’t been major issues with home health visits in the past, being educated on what to do is important.
“When they are out in individual homes, they are doing risk assessment,” Weber said. “It’s important they have the education and training for high stress or high risk environments. That’s why we as an agency reached out to the Marietta Police Department today.”
Hupp has been teaching ALICE training since 2008.
“The ALICE program is one of the most important things I’ve done as a law enforcement officer. It gives options to respond to violence,” he said. “I thought it was a neat idea that people can be in charge of their own survival.”
The program has been used in Washington County’s school systems. It rolled over into churches, workplaces and the Memorial Health System.
Hupp noted the training program teaches the mechanics of improvised weapons, such as the Kubotan, a self-defense keychain about the size of a marker. People have to consider the reality that bad things can happen, he said.
Hupp said when attacked, people have to do whatever it takes and feel OK with it if it enables them to go home to the people they love .
“You are valuable. You have a right to go home every day,” he said. “You have to be comfortable inside your own mind and skin with your response.”
Rehearsing responses is important as “the body cannot go where the mind has not been,” Hupp added, noting people often ask what kind of gun they should purchase for safety.
“Unless you have considered taking someone’s life, buy the smallest gun you can,” he said. “Be mentally prepared to take someone’s life.”
During the training, Hupp taught attendees about site safety and personal safety measures.
Site security includes parking in well-lit areas, assessing the building for exits and leaving if they feel uncomfortable. Personal safety measures include carrying pepper spray or a Kubotan, maintaining a work bag without personal effects enclosed and watching what personal information they give to clients or put on social media.
A question was asked about using keys or pepper spray as weapons.
“Anything is better than using a fist,” Hupp said.
Michele Newbanks can be reached at email@example.com
At a glance:
Alert – Alert is your first notification of danger.
Lockdown – Barricade the room. Prepare to evacuate if needed.
Inform – Communicate the intruder’s location in real time.
Counter – Create distraction to reduce the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately.
Evacuate – When safe to do so, evacuate from the danger zone.