Macon County Chronicle

Active Shooter Response Training For Teachers

Pictured at Fairlane Elementary are, back row, l-r: Principal Carroll Gunter, SRO Terry Atkins, Sgt. Matt Looper, Sheriff Mark Gammons, SRO Larry West, SRO Jennifer Singelmann; front row, l-r Constable Tom Dallas and Firefighter/EMT Billy King.

The Macon County Sheriff’s Department is holding “Active Shooter Response Training” for teachers at all Macon County Schools, and they were at Fairlane Elementary on Tuesday, July, 19. The focus of this mandatory training is to teach our educators the proper response for an active shooter situation on campus. 

An active shooter is described as as individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, usually using firearms, with no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Teachers and staff are the first line of defense. They become the true first responders in protecting the students and themselves from violent attacks because the teachers are the ones who are there when the attack starts.

The topics covered are, the  history of active shooter events, active shooter mindset and actions, situational awareness, “Run, Hide, Fight” and ‘Stop the Bleed”. “Run, Hide, Fight” involves the initial actions when a threat is recognized.  Run away from it if possible.  If running is not possible then Hide to avoid being seen and as last resort, if running and hiding are not possible, be prepared to Fight - using anything and everything at ones disposal.  “Stop the Bleed” covers the 3 main concerns involving gunshot injuries.  Tourniquets and pressure bandages are used to stop bleeding at the arms and legs. Chest seals are occlusive dressings used for the wounds that penetrate the chest, back and stomach areas to prevent outside air from being sucked into the chest cavity and “wound packing” for those wounds at the junctions where the  neck, arms and legs join the trunk. Wound packing involves physically packing gauze or other materials into the actual wound to stop bleeding in those areas where tourniquets and pressure bandages can not be used.

“I appreciate our SRO’s, along with the Lafayette City Police, and other different organizations that are helping put this on. This is very important to assure that our teachers are trained in case there is an event here at school. Hopefully, we will never have an active shooter but if we do we want our teachers trained and able to take care of our children as much as possible. We also want to assure them that all law enforcement agencies within the county will be coming in to help them,” said Sheriff Gammons. 

“We have tools that we are using to show the different types of tactics, including teaching them how to render aid for those who may be injured,” said Gammons. “We are also taking aerial views with our drone to get a layout of all the streets coming into our schools for officers to use in time of need.”

 “All agencies are trained to respond and eliminate the threat. They are prepared because every  situation is different,” said Sheriff Gammons.

Also assisting with conducting the training are the Macon County Constable’s Office and the Lafayette Fire Department.

The instructors are Sgt. Matt Looper of the Lafayette Police Department, Captain and SRO Larry West, Constable Tom Dallas and Firefighter/EMT Billy King of the Lafayette Fire Department. The instructors stated that “Stop The Bleed” training is available for businesses, churches, day cares and individuals in Macon County. For more information contact any of the above instructors. 

Fairlane Principal Carol Gunter said, “The safety of our students is the most important thing. I know sometimes it’s not always the most popular thing, especially to parents if they don’t have full access to the building, but like I said the safety of our students is what matters. I appreciate everything our SRO’s do to keep our children safe.”