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Training in schools prepares students, staff for active shooter situations

RAPID CITY, S.D. — It’s a situation we never want to be in — but schools and businesses have to be prepared in case of an active shooter.

That’s the goal of ALICE Training at Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City

Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. These are the five essential steps to know when involved in a critical situation such as an active shooter.

“We’re here for ALICE today because we are learning how to train folks in our respective areas and how to deal with critical situations. Such as an active shooter situation, things like that,” SRO Supervisor and Sheriff Jesse Fagerland said.

“Today we’re actually going a little more in depth of not just what would you do in the scenario but how would you teach it. It’s very valuable because there’s some things you don’t think of and you’re trying to think about what your staff would say. But also think about what your facilities look like, because it doesn’t look like this floor of the building,” Douglas Middle School Dean Nathan Batteen said.

They have lots of representatives from different school districts here in the Black Hills, but they also have those traveling from around the state.

They also have some officials from outside — a private business is here to learn and able to bring back this education to their own situations.

The class went through a simulation to see how this applies from the students’ and teachers’ perspectives.

“We’re only using Nerf guns or Nerf balls, but yet at the same time it’s invoking a very real response to a critical situation such as an active shooter situation,” Fagerland said.

“The valuable piece is, how do we set up this training so that it’s trauma-informed and also safe, and then being able to run the debriefings so that we can get to those teaching points. Not just give answers to people, but have them think critically, and know that they have options in some sort of crisis,” Batteen said.

These officials, officers and administrators will be able to take what they learned and implement it in their own buildings.

This training also gets as many school districts on the same page.

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