Remember those fire drills you use to have to go through in elementary, middle and high school? You would walk in an orderly fashion up the hall, out onto the school grounds and stand until the principal gave an “all clear.” Now, the reality of the world we are living in today, there is something new going on at schools all across the nation, and around the world.
A survey by the Government Accountability Office is finding out that nearly two-thirds of U.S. schools hold some form of “active-shooter” drills to teach kids and teachers how to react in the event that an armed intruder enters the school.
So that you don’t panic when you see lots of cruisers, firetrucks and ambulances next Thursday at both Portsmouth Elementary School and Portsmouth Junior High and High School, Doug Poage, principal director of Secondary Operations with the Portsmouth City School District, says there will be an active shooter drill on Oct. 20.
“We’re going to be doing a mock active shooter training with our staff, the (Portsmouth) Fire Department and the(Portsmouth) Police Department,” Poage said. “The elementary is going to be from 8-10:30 (a.m.) and the high school is going to be from 12-2 (p.m.).”
Poage said he wants the public to know about the event in advance so no one will worry that something is going on in real time.
“When they (public) see a lot of vehicles out in front of the school it’s just part of the training,” Poage said. “No students will be involved.”
In recent weeks, active shooter scenarios have been the focus of law enforcement and emergency agencies. Southern Ohio Medical Center held a drill involving all the local law enforcement and emergency agencies, and members of the Portsmouth Fire Department have been training on Tactical EMS protocols in which firefighters go into an active shooter situation with law enforcement to provide immediate medical attention.
“Stop the Bleed” is an initiative by The White House Administration calling for more to be done by the public that is witness to active shooter and mass casualty events. The objective of the “Stop the Bleed” initiative is to provide bystanders with the tools to stop life threatening bleeding in the event of an emergency.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.