Bay Area schools prepare students for active shooters

- Each year the number of mass shooting incidents across the country continues to rise.  Active shooter training courses are now offered in offices and likely held at your child’s school.

Hillsborough County Public Schools is vigilant making sure everyone on campus knows how to think and react before a threat happens.  The district’s 250 buildings are the first defense.

“All of our schools have secure campuses, we have gates, we have fencing, we have buzzers that would requires someone in the office to buzz someone in,” Spokesperson Tanya Arja said.

School district security regularly trains with local law enforcement, teachers and school employees are taught how to respond to an active shooter on campus, and pupils run through drills for different emergencies.

“We want to make sure that not only our staff, but our students are prepared, they know what to do in situations like this,” said Arja.

Surviving a mass shooting is also the goal of C.O.B.R.A Self-Defense Systems.

“Active shooter training has become a necessity, whether it be a public school, a private school, local business, a major corporation, it doesn’t matter, it can happen at anywhere at any time,” C.O.B.R.A Chief Instructor Thomas Aydelott said.

The 15-step, comprehensive course goes beyond run, hide and fight.  Instructors want the techniques to become second nature so you don’t become a statistic.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going to train you how to survive in one of the worst situations ever imaginable,” said Aydelott.  “We’re gonna teach you how to get out, we’re gonna teach you where to go, and how to do it.”

Aydelott says being prepared for a gunman is 80% mental.  The active shooter training classes focus on the critical window after that first gunshot is fired, but before police are on scene.

“We have plans for hurricanes, tornados, floods, you name it,” Aydelott said.  “No body has plans for active shooter; you need to have those plans because that is a manmade disaster right there.”

A free active shooter response training class is being held on Wednesday, February 21. You must RSVP to attend.  The seminar will start at 7 p.m. at the C.O.B.R.A Self-Defense Headquarters at 24103 U.S. Highway 19 N, Clearwater, FL 33763

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