Teachers, administrators and dorm aides from the Alabama School for the Deaf and Alabama School for the Blind are scheduled to receive their training in each campus auditorium.
The program teaches AIDB staff members proper steps and actions to take in a scenario involving a potential intruder or active shooter while they await assistance from local emergency personnel.
From the initial training session, the staff moves into their respective facilities to play out the planned scenario.
“There will be someone role-playing in the school as an active shooter, so they’ll understand what law enforcement does and how the situation will be resolved and what is expected of them,” AIDB’s Director of Campus Safety and Security Mike Hubbard said. “We’ll also be working on communication between both the staff and local law enforcement.”
Approximately 12 members of the Talladega Police Department, 10-12 members of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, school resource officers and representatives from the Talladega Fire Department and Talladega County E-911 Center serve as the instructors for the program.
“I would think that in light of recent (tragedies), it’s something that makes us shudder, but it’s something where we have to prepare our schools for these events and also how to respond to them,” Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore said. “We’re very excited to be involved with this training and hopefully we can make this training an annual occurrence.”
According to Hubbard, the city’s SWAT teams also will be involved in the training and neighboring citizens should not be alarmed by their presence.
Al Crow, AIDB’s school resource officer, mentioned the hands-on training would include “Run, Hide, Fight” discussions and Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate training.
Once the scenario is completed, the staff members will return to the auditorium for an assessment and open discussion on the scenario.
Hubbard estimated approximately 150 of the staff members for each campus have already signed up to participate in the training.
President of AIDB Dr. John Mascia commended the efforts of the long-standing partnership between the institute and local emergency responders and discussed the benefits of taking proactive measures in preparation for the worst-case scenario.
“We are grateful to be working with local law enforcement on this very important initiative,” Mascia said. “Because local law enforcement and AIDB work in tandem, unique communication needs and strategies utilized by our students will be addressed during training sessions. The potential for saving lives in the future is increased because of our partnership.
“We appreciate our strong relationship with the Talladega Police Department and the Talladega Sherriff’s Department,” Mascia added. “The active/intruder training they are providing to our AIDB staff is one more step in our quest to do whatever it takes to provide a safe and secure environment for our staff and for our students at AIDB.”
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