MCCTC undergoes active shooter training
By BILLY LUDT
Training someone on how to act in the event of an active shooter in a public school is still evolving.
Canfield Joint Fire District Capt. Troy Kolar said teachers and staff are the first responders in the event of a school shooting. During a full day of active shooter training Tuesday Kolar, an instructor at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center, gave a presentation to the school’s staff on how to stop wounds from bleeding.
Emergency rooms were ready to receive victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012. Three people who were shot during the incident were brought to the hospital, but no one else arrived.
The 27 victims who never left the school died from blood loss.
“It’s crucial,” he said. “That doesn’t mean everyone could have been saved, but some could have. We want to minimize the chances of somebody dying.”
Part of Tuesday’s presentation focused on getting staff acclimated to using bandages, compresses and tourniquets on bleeding victims. Kolar’s nonprofit First Responders First and the fire district donated kits to the school. They’re filled with supplies for curbing and stopping blood loss.
The other section of instruction focused on reacting to an active shooter.
“Schools are constantly having discussions about safety, and constantly preparing themselves the best they can,” Superintendent Ron Iarussi said.
The day before, Iarussi said the school board spent 21⁄2 hours discussing school- safety measures.
The training at MCCTC came six days after a deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed, and happened the same morning as a seventh-grade boy apparently shot himself at Jackson Middle School in Stark County.
“It’s just another reason why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Iarussi said.
When assistant police Chief Scott Weamer started at the Canfield Police Department, lockdown training was the standard for emergencies in schools.
“We didn’t know any better,” Weamer said.
Now, the training focuses on three key points: evacuation, barricading and fighting back. Staff split off into classrooms to participate in demonstrations protecting themselves and their students on these points.
“Can you use deadly force to protect yourself?” asked Weamer. “Absolutely. You can pick up a chair and bash this guy in the head.”
The MCCTC’s staff undergoes smaller safety training with school resource officer Dustin Cover throughout the year, but dedicates one day annually for active shooter training.