Florence first responders train for active school shooter situations

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 9:26 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Heading back to school can bring on safety concerns after tragedies like the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.

Over 300 Florence First responders from multiple agencies participated in the annual Response to an Active Assailant training.

The training lasted two weeks and consisted of a “single officer” immediate response.

Corporal Oscar Merchant has worked with the Florence Police Department for 10 years.

He said being able to work with other agencies is a great benefit and provides a sense of security when responding to active threats.

“I mean it’s reassuring knowing that the person or persons standing beside me is gonna be well suited as I am to go in there and stopping this,” Merchant said.

Safety agencies are also trained to provide immediate medical help and evacuate those injured.

Paint-marked training rounds, moulage kits (special effects makeup), and 911 operators dispatching the calls over the radio were used to heighten the realism of the exercise.

“It’s not always about one person going in there and stopping everything,” Merchant said. “Who’s gonna go in there and make sure that these officers are safe and doing what they need to do and making sure that the people that are hurt are taken off that scene or violence to that room where they can be safe.”

Authorities said this training is crucial for them to learn how to better protect the community in any situation.

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