A civilian team from the Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker has won the U.S. Army’s competition to develop an app to better respond to active shooter situations. The app will be released soon, and it will available for free on iTunes and Google Play.
Army Training and Doctrine Command was concerned at the possibility of an active shooter situation following the false alarm at Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal last month. It decided to immediately commission an app to help first responders handle such complicated situations should another potentially dangerous situation arise.
“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,” Capt. Dylan Gallagan, the operations officer at the Army Office of the Provost Marshal General, said in a press release.
Judges determined the winner based on the capabilities of the app and “overall user experience.” The winning application instructs those in danger on how to optimize their safety during an active shooter situation. It also has access to emergency personnel, who can be contacted directly through the app with the push of one button.
According to Matt Maclaughlin, of TRADOC’s Senior Mobile Training Development program, the app’s step-by-step instructions are helpful because people can often forget their training and drills in stressful situations. “If adrenaline kicks in and they forget what to do in the moment, all of that information is right there in front of them,” he said on the Army’s website. “We’re going to try to think for you because there’s situations where you won’t have time to think.”
Recently, the Army has expanded its training programs into the digital realm for topics such as sexual harassment prevention, suicide prevention, and certain elements of combat tactics. With the development of the new emergency response app, the Army hopes it can continue to expand its digital capabilities in the future.