Foster Middle School Principal Ryan Carroll said he feels like his campus is safer now after being stormed by cops Thursday.
The Longview Special Weapons and Tactics team met at the Longview ISD campus for a biweekly active attacker training.
Sgt. Drew Allison said the team trains every two weeks in different locations for an attacker who could have a gun, knife or other weapon.
The training is based on a program from Texas State University called ALERRT — Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, Allison said.
He said the team has three priorities in an active attack situation: stop the killing, stop the dying and immediate evacuation.
The training drills are meant to be realistic; they even fire blanks that actually hurt. Allison said after the drill is done, the team reviews what happened and corrects any mistakes.
Carroll said the training on campus helps him feel assured his students and staff would be safe if there were an incident.
“I think that’s the first step in preventative measures, is making sure students feel safe and comfortable on campus,” Carroll said. “I think that goes a long way, aside from all the security measures they’re taking. I think that’s the first step.”
Good communication with law enforcement and the fire department also increases security on campus, he said.
Allison said law enforcement and the fire department work together on the training sessions.
After an officer stops the attacker, Allison said law enforcement secures the area while EMS works on helping the injured. Officers also have some medical training and tourniquets.
“We want to make sure we have a secure environment and then have a plan of action. And then we need to address the medical,” he said. “If we start addressing the medical before we address security, people will get hurt again.”
National average response time in an active shooter situation is about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, Allison said. The shooter no longer being on the scene, either from fleeing or dying, usually happens around 4 or 5 minutes later.
Carroll said staff and administration will undergo an active shooter training in August.
And he said the training Thursday while students were away was well timed.
“It brings a little anxiety and a little tension to students and staff when we do it on campus,” he said. “It’s good to do it in the summer.”