Emergency workers, teachers train for school emergency - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Emergency workers, teachers train for school emergency

Members of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, the Bartlett police and fire departments, and local teachers trained Thursday for an event they hope never happens: a school shooting.

In the halls of Bartlett Elementary School, emergency workers and educators participated in an active shooter drill.

"Immediate response is a tactical field training exercise for the Shelby County sheriffs and the Bartlett police force," said Matthew Ransom, a teacher at Bartlett Elementary.

Emergency workers and educators said they wanted to be ready for anything.  Role playing exercises were used to determine how staffers would respond in emergencies like a shooting or hostage situation.

"That would be some disgruntled person coming into the school with a weapon, and actually firing a weapon or taking hostages," said Gary Gitchell of the Shelby County school district.

Authorities hope the practice will prevent violence in schools and improve response times, should there ever be a problem.

"Our main priority is to make sure the student's are safe," Ransom said. "We're trying to meet that need first, and if the students are safe, that creates a foundation where they can learn."

Emergency workers running Thursday's exercise were especially grateful to the participation of the teachers, asked to come in during their summer vacations to help protect their students.

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