News 2 is your official Back to School station. With the start of class just days away, active shooter drills are becoming the norm.
Rutherford County School Resource Officers are preparing for the worse, that’s why they underwent safety training Tuesday.
The drill was as real as it gets as gunfire echoed through the hallways of John Coleman Elementary School in Smyrna.
Total chaos and students playing the part of victims screamed and ran to safety.
Rutherford County School Resource Officers respond holding fake guns, not knowing what’s past the front doors.
It’s only a drill, but it feels real.
“It really hits you in the gut and you realize this is what is going to happen, and this is what it’s going to be like,” said RCSO SRO Deputy Austin Mobbs.
The SROs are making sure they know what to do in case of an active shooter.
“It’s better to be prepared beforehand and never use it than not be prepared and have to,” Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said.
The bad guy confronts SRO’s on the second floor, yelling for officers to come and get him, and then fires a shot.
What takes place was off-limits to News 2.
The tactical part of the training is kept secret and they hope they never have to use it.
“I’ve been asked would I have any doubt they would go and take care of a situation,” Fitzhugh said. “I have no doubt.”
In addition to dealing with an active aggressor, SROs are also learning life-saving techniques like applying a tourniquet.
“We’re trying to teach our officers the skills they need to take care of injured parties to allow enough time to get them to the hospital or to get to EMS. EMS is not going to run in like we do,” Mobbs said. “We have to rely on ourselves to also help injured parties.”
Those playing the part of the injured and dead hope the SROs are ready.
“It gives me a sense of security knowing that our SROs know exactly the way to handle this situation and not get distracted as they go through the building and search out the person involved in the shooting so that they can limit the injuries and the deaths,” Siegel High teacher Tristan Brown said.
“It helps the SROs in case it was the real thing,” student Jess Escabar said. “It helps us to kind of know and experience what we can do to help them.”
It’s a realistic scenario they hope never happens.
“It helps me to like so whenever things happen I know what more to do and not to freak out that someone is going to come and help you,” student Taylor Benge said.
Several of the SROs attended federal active shooter training workshops.
They took what they learn and customized varies techniques to fit their training needs.
Each Rutherford County Schools also have additional training during the school year.
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