Commentary: ALICE trainings keep Cordova secure

Front, from left, Fire Chief Mike Hicks, Christopher Wigner of the city of Barrow, Officer Daniel Fiser and Joshua Pearson. Back, National Guard Cpt. Zachary Huckstep. Photo courtesy of Heather Brannon

By Heather Brannon
For The Cordova Times

On March 31 the city of Cordova held an ALICE Active Shooter Instructor training for several representatives of local entities and outside organizations. This training was funded with resources awarded to Cordova through the State Homeland Security Grant Program.

In past years local ALICE Active Shooter trainings have been held by retired Police Chief Michael Hicks with the assistance of Fire Marshal Paul Trumblee, City Emergency Management and other various volunteers. Chief Hicks and his team have dedicated many years to educating members of the community in how to safely and proactively respond in the event of an armed violent intruder. This training has been essential in preparing local entities including all grades of the Cordova School District and Cordova School District staff, employees from the Cordova Community Medical Center, Alaska Airlines, TSA and many others.

The ALICE Active Shooter Instructor training has allowed the city of Cordova to maintain the culture of active shooter awareness and response in our community. Moving into the future the city of Cordova now has 14 ALICE Certified Active Shooter Instructors. While Chief Hicks is passing on the torch to Cordova Police Department Officers Daniel Fiser and Kyle Butler he remains a steadfast part of the Cordova ALICE Training team offering support to new instructors and the community.

In addition, funds provided were able to support training for attendees outside of the community of Cordova which included entities from the communities of Juneau, Barrow, Palmer, Wasilla, Soldotna and Anchorage. Outside participation was essential to creating a strong learning environment that offered a diversity in background and experience. Each attendee brought individual perspective and in collaboration this helped to create scenarios relative to Alaskan communities.

Local entities represented were:

  • The City of Cordova Police Department – Officers Daniel Fiser, Kyle Butler, and retired Police Chief Mike Hicks
  • The City of Cordova Fire and EMS – Ian Davis
  • The Cordova School District – Jason Fastenau, Josh Pearson, and retired Principal Gayle Groff
  • The Native Village of Eyak – Reese Plant
  • The United States Coast Guard – Jesse Poplin
  • The Cordova Family Resource Center – Nicole Songer and Yaritza Mejias
  • United States Forest Service – Andy Morse
  • Alaska State Trooper – Cassandra Hajicek

Non-Local entities represented were: United States Army and United States Army National Guard, The Alaska Wildlife Troopers / Soldotna, United States Coast Guard Sector Juneau and The City of Barrow.

The City of Cordova would like to thank each participant for their time and dedication to this course. Your commitment to this training and to your community is appreciated.

Heather Brannon is emergency management coordinator for the city of Cordova.