Ohio begins shooting Response training

COLUMBUS- Two local Ohio school superintendents were among educators from around the state who attended the first of five regional training events in Columbus in response to school shooting situations.

Martins Ferry Schools Superintendent Dirk Fitch said he welcomed the training opportunity that offered insight into the issue of school safety.

“(The training) was very informative and very eye-opening. A lot of times when people see red flags, there is a lack of communication between the school facility, a mental (health) agency, parents and law enforcement and when they don’t communicate there might be a problem. That was a big part of the issues discussed yesterday,” Fitch said.

“They spent a great deal of time explaining the different phases of planning these deeds and carrying them out. What was surprising is the amount of time that a shooter will put into planning for these actions, but the average time of these incidents is seven minutes. So we are preparing to hold on as long as we can before first responders get to the situation.”

Fitch said the first thing he wanted to do when he got back from the training was to check out his district’s plans.

“The city of Martins Ferry, between the fire station, police, the sheriff’s office and EMS, we’re meeting with all three schools and we’re working so everyone is on the same page,” Fitch commented. “We’re updating our active shooter and all our emergency response plans. We’re going to meet at the school and learn the layouts and incorporate some training scenarios, so they’ll be able to come up and actually train in our facilities.”

Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Ted Downing, who also attended the training, was unavailable for comment this morning.

A state instructor said planning a response and practicing in advance are keys to saving lives.