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Perkins Schools News
An active shooter situation is a nightmare no student, teacher, parent, administrator or first responder ever wants to experience. But being prepared for such a dreadful event will save lives.
That’s why Perkins Local School District and Perkins Police have teamed for a day-long active killer training event on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Briar Middle School.
The day is a staff professional development day. The district expects that up to 35 teachers and staff members will participate in two separate sessions, one beginning at 8 a.m. and the second at 12:15 p.m.
Although students have the day off school, some 20 Perkins High School students are expected to participate, as well. The building will be closed to the public that day.
The drills will involve someone acting as an intruder attempting to harm students and staff, and police and emergency responders reacting to the reports.
Perkins Police Chief Robb Parthemore said a key outcome of the drill will be getting first responders exposure to the school building’s layout and a familiarity with staff.
“We want to put faces of school staff with my officers,” Chief Parthemore said. “We want officers familiar with the buildings.”
Chief Parthemore has invited police and emergency responders from all surrounding agencies. Among those expected to participate are active shooter experts from the Erie County Sheriff’s office and Sandusky Police.
Chief Parthemore said that he expects all of his officers to participate in the drill. Perkins Township Fire Chief David Murphy said he expects his on-duty firefighters and emergency medical technicians to participate. His off-duty firefighters can participate, though it is not mandatory.
Neighboring fire departments also have been invited to participate, Chief Murphy said.
“It’s certainly valuable to get inside the schools,” Chief Murphy said. “We’re preparing for an event that hopefully we’ll never have to have.”
Won’t be ‘running hot’
All Perkins teachers and staff have been trained to respond to a report of a violent intruder following guidelines set by the ALICE Training Institute. If an armed intruder is reported, teachers and staff are expected to make crucial decisions, such as whether to flee the building, shelter in place or to actively defend themselves against the attacker.
Part of the drill will be to help teachers and staff prepare for such an extremely stressful and traumatizing event, Chief Parthemore said. There will be some hands-on training for teachers and staff on when and how to restrain an intruder.
First responders also will be evaluated on how they react.
Typically, first responders can be at the school within three to six minutes.
“Minutes and seconds count,” Chief Parthemore said. The ALICE training “empowers staff to make decisions and it gives us time to get there and do our jobs.”
For the training, police officers’ weapons will be disarmed. And, though there will be multiple police, fire and first responder vehicles at Briar for the training, they will not be arriving with lights and sirens.
“For this training, we will not be running hot,” Chief Parthemore said.