JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – According to GunViolenceArchive.org, as of January 4, there have been five mass shootings in 2020. 7 people were killed, and 17 others were hurt.
On Monday, members of the Jackson County School District learned ways to be better prepared in case of an active shooter or any other type of mass casualty situation.
The training event was hosted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP) and nursing school.
About a dozen young people acted as patients in the mass casualty training at the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology in Hollywood.
“Before it started, we kind of had a plan in place before that, but actually when it started, there was a little bit more adrenaline,” said Hollywood Elementary School nurse Amanda Adkins.
She and others used whatever they had to save the lives of the patients during the simulation.
“I took my jacket off and wrapped it around above the wound, and I did stop the bleeding there,” said Adkins.
The teachers, nurses, and administrators were encouraged to do whatever they can to save the lives of their students and themselves, including breaking out windows to escape, blocking the doors, and hiding if you can’t escape.
“This is not something that we went into education going ‘we’re going to be first aid, we’re going to be security officers, we’re going to be mental health people,’ but that’s the reality we are in today and we want to be as ready as we can be,” said curriculum and instruction supervisor A.J. Buckner.
During the simulation, it took the shooter about 12 minutes to walk across the hallway and the courtyard twice. It’s important for teachers, principals, and nurses to have first aid training because, in an actual active shooter situation, it could take some time before first responders get there.
“They are going to be maybe 5, 10, 15, some of our schools 25, 30 minutes away from help, so we have to be vigilant on our part to make sure we’re vigilant to save lives and prevent further damage from happening,” said Buckner.
UAH SMAP Director Gary Maddux said there are a lot of stereotypes of what a shooter will look like. But he said, that’s not the case and he knows firsthand.
“We’ve come to expect the bad guy to be dressed in a black trench coat, to be a male. UAH found out the hard way, that’s not always the case,” said Maddux. “It may not be a student, it could be an employee and it very well could be a female, like we had, so you have to be prepared for everything.”