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Active shooter training continues in local schools

The Colleton County School District continues with its partnership with local emergency responders at Colleton County Fire-Rescue (CCFR) to train the school districts’ staff and teachers on how to handle emergency situations.
Last week, on Feb. 14th, firefighter-paramedics with Colleton County Fire-Rescue held an active shooter drill at Cottageville Elementary School.
CCFR routinely holds these drills at schools throughout the school district: the fire-rescue agency is the primary emergency response system for the entire county.
These on-site safety drills are part of a partnership between the school district and Colleton County Fire-Rescue. The partnership allows for on-site teaching and emergency simulations on the campuses of local schools. In these simulations, school staff members, bus drivers and teachers are all taught how to react and how to use on-site safety kits.
To date, several of these trainings have already been held. Each school in the entire district, except for one school, has hosted an on-site training.
More simulated training sessions are planned in the future.
“The training aims to educate the first people on the scene how to properly manage bleeding injuries and improve patient outcomes,” said Barry McRoy, director and fire chief of Colleton County Fire-Rescue.
Officially called an “Active Shooter and Bleeding Control Training Session,” last week’s training session allowed teachers, bus drivers and staff members at Cottageville Elementary School to use bleeding control kits. These kits were purchased by both the school district and fire-rescue. The two groups joined forces recently and applied for two different grants: these grant funds were used to buy the kits.
Colleton County Fire-Rescue bought 40 of the kits.
The Colleton County School District also purchased several dozen of the emergency kits: the exact number is not known, as of press deadline.
McRoy says each school in the district has several of these bleeding control kits. The number of kits at each school depend upon how many students and staff members are on site, he said.
“It is hoped that the training and kits will never be needed,” said McRoy, “but the two agencies are being proactive to improve safety at the facilities to better protect the county’s children and school employees.”
McRoy says CCFR commends the Colleton County School District and its leaders for being proactive and for being forward-thinking. Specifically, he thanked Colleton County School District Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster, the district’s Registered Nurse, Denya Dingle, and Michael Thomas.
In 2016, the Walterboro Police Department also hosted a separate active shooter drill at Forest Hills Elementary School. At that time, the police department chose Forest Hills for the training because that is the only school inside the police department’s limits, Sgt. Amye Stivender said in a prior interview on the subject.
Additionally, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is also working with other schools in the district on similar training and drills. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office also hosts, upon request, shooter drills for area churches. All of these trainings are meant to be proactive and to teach community and school leaders what to do in the event of an emergency.

Heather Walters (1469 Posts)