MISSOULA – While students enjoyed a day off on Friday the staff at Rattlesnake School spent the day training for an active shooter situation.
Instructors taught them how to remove multiple types of weapons from the hands of an intruder, how to give emergency medical care, and how to fight when they need to.
“Having worked with hundreds of school teachers I can tell you their first priority is do anything they can to keep their students safe and then after that’s done move on to the next emergency action plan and that could involve any number of the options we’re presenting here today,” said Missoula Police officer Mark Puddy who’s assigned to Missoula County Public Schools as a safety and security officer.
Teachers were taught skills and then later in the day were asked to put those skills to the test in a handful of active scenarios. In order to make the scenarios as real as possible, the instructors fired blanks from a revolver.
“From the scenarios, they’re able to test and see how would they react to gunfire inside a school or how would they react to an armed intruder or an upset person inside their school. What emergency action plan are they going to initiate?” said Puddy.
Rattlesnake Elementary School Principal Pam Wright said that this opportunity has been difficult but it has also acted as a source of empowerment.
“In the past we’ve done a lot of drills, a lot of fire drills and a lot of drills where we just lock the door and cowered in the corner. So what’s good today is we’re learning we can all be decision makers, we can all make good decisions, and we have to do what’s in the best interest of kids in the moment,” said Wright.
The program they demonstrated in the trainings is available to members of the community through the Lifelong Learning Center.
Lowell Elementary School will be having a similar training on Monday.