BROOKLAND, Ark. (KAIT) – With school just weeks away for most Northeast Arkansas districts, now is the time to prepare when it comes to school safety.
Tuesday morning, active shooter training was held at Brookland High School involving multiple agencies. The real-time active shooter training put hours of planning to the test. Once the call of “shots fired” came in, emergency crews acted as they would in a real-life situation.
“When the real event takes place, everyone doesn’t know where to go or what to do next. So it’s definitely important to get everybody here and on the same page so everyone knows what their role is,” Doug Foremon, director of security for Brookland Schools, said.
Foremon said it’s important to have this training so the agencies can learn how to work together in real-time, but also to provide a sense of security to the families of students.
“I think it helps the parents know we’ve trained for this, we’re not just talking about it. We’re doing it, we’re going through the motions. So when their kids come back, we’re prepared,” Foremon said.
The training did its job, highlighting any shortcomings or oversights that could very well happen in a real-life situation.
That’s why Jeff Presley, the school safety coordinator at Brookland, said it’s vital to work those kinks out now instead of when it’s a true active shooter situation.
“This is a proactive approach to security and safety. It’s much better to be on the proactive side than the reactive side,” Presley said.
In a real-life situation, there are three priorities.
- Stop the killing.
- Stop the dying.
- Get everyone the help they need.
All three were practiced as police officers, fire crews, and EMTs all worked in tandem to handle several various scenarios. Volunteers acted as shooting victims with varying injuries. Emergency crews did not know any details going into the scenarios and had to work to communicate details to one another.
“It’s also that bonding process working together. We don’t see each other on a daily basis. This gives us that hands-on the opportunity to work together,” Presley said.
It’s a situation that all parties involved hope never happens. However, training sessions like this one could prove to be vital if it ever does.
A similar training session was held afterward at Nettleton High School. A Jonesboro Police representative said there will be more training sessions before school starts back.
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