FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence Police Department held an active assailant training Tuesday morning for Florence One Schools district employees.
The training at John W. Moore Intermediate School is part of a two-week long training for law enforcement officers.
During the training, Lt. Bob Drulis, the emergency response team commander with the Florence Police Department, spoke to district employees about how to respond to an active assailant situation. District employees also learned about medical interventions, such as using a tourniquet.
Doug Nunnally, director of security and school safety for Florence One Schools, said the district has partnered with the Florence Police Department to host the law enforcement officer trainings, but this year the district decided to include teachers.
“When we started coordinating it for this year, I thought, ‘You know, this would be a great opportunity for some of our people (district employees) to come in and observe,’” Nunnally said. “The police could come in and give a presentation on how they conduct their operations, what we should expect, what they would hope to get from us as far as support and response in a situation like that.”
Nunnally, who just completed his first school year with the district, said they are in the process of implementing a stop-the-bleed program. The district purchased the kits a few years ago, but they have not been distributed and implemented in the district, Nunnally said.
Kristie Bridger, the assistant principal at John W. Moore Intermediate School, said the training was very informative for updating the policies and procedures and getting everyone on the same page in the district.
“I think we’re working on making the schools more safe as a district,” Bridger said. “There will be more policies that we will be implementing across the board in all the schools.”
Bridger said the district had a wide variety of employees in attendance, ranging from cafeteria workers to administrators.
Carol Schweitz, principal of John W. Moore Intermediate School, said the training was good for teaching preventative measures.
“It helps us to be aware of what preventative actions we need to take, so I think that’s one thing that’s really been important today,” Schweitz said.
Schweitz said during the training she learned the importance of barricading classroom doors in the case of an active assailant situation instead of just locking the doors and turning off the lights.
The Florence Police Department has been holding the trainings since 2007, and the Florence One Schools district has been providing the school facilities each year, according to Lt. Mike Brandt.
“Since each incident unfolds in a unique way, we train our officers in a variety of tactics to draw from when responding to incidents in order to stop the threat as soon as possible,” Brandt said in an email release. “Though we train in schools, the skills these officers learn can be applied in a wide array of locations.”
The police department invites local agencies to take part in the training due to the likelihood of multiple agencies responding to an event like this one.