Training session taught me, others a lot

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Last week, Escambia County Middle School was under attack.

During an active shooter training drill, city, county and state law enforcement officials, along with emergency responders, participated in the session that coordinators called a success.

Sitting a room with other school administrators, the media got the chance to view the action via school cameras.

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When asked if the school ramped up its camera numbers, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Weaver said they had added some to help in the viewing.

Sitting there with the others, I was anxiously awaiting the start of the drills. There were two drills done that day so all law enforcement officers present were able to go through the training session.

When Weaver came over the school-wide intercom announcing that the shooter drill was about to begin, the hairs on my arms started to stand up.

All of a sudden in the distance, gun shots could be heard.

From the camera’s vantage point, volunteers who acted as students and teachers, began to barricade the doors to block the shooter’s entry into the classrooms. They did exactly what they were taught in this situation.

Through constant communication, law enforcement officials were able to apprehend the shooter and then tend to the wounded. In the scenario, there were eight dead and six in critical condition.

While viewing the action, I couldn’t help but think about how professional each of the law enforcement officers were during the training session.

It takes a lot guts to be thrust in that situation at a moment’s notice.

When the session was over, I interviewed a few officials to ask about how they thought the session unfolded.

All that I interviewed said the officers and emergency personnel all did their jobs, and realized that they could do some things better. That was really good to hear.

Another point that all of the officials made is that while this training is great to have, they hope to never have a situation to use this type of training.

I don’t either.