PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County Schools hosted ALICE training for school staff Monday.
ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, is a national program designed to prepare staff and students in the event of a school shooting situation. The training can help community members prepare for something that could not only save their own life but others too.
The training took several hours at Topsail Middle School. Teachers and staff from other schools in the county took part. It’s a requirement to complete the training which was done by Pender County EMS and the Pender County Sheriff’s Office.
“In the beginning, we get skeptics," said David Dudding, the Battalion Chief of Training for Pender County EMS & Fire. "People aren’t sure what they’re getting into. By the end of time, when class is over, they’re all proponents of the program. They all see it as a new way of survivability if that worst day happens in Pender County.”
The training began with a slideshow explaining what ALICE is and how each step works to protect lives in an active killer situation. Other school shootings were studied to find out what happened and what could have been done to save those lives.
The last part of the training consisted of interactive scenarios. The sheriff’s office and EMS acted like school shooters, using airsoft guns, and had the teachers and staff use the tactics they learned during the power point presentation to stop the gunman and save lives.
Clara Bosch, a 6th grade Language Arts teacher at Topsail Middle says it’s important to be have training like this because a shooting can happen in seconds.
“It’s 10 seconds,” said Bosch. “It’s 15 seconds. You just don’t have the time to practice being able to react because lack of reaction can ultimately cost lives.”
The school system hopes to have all teachers and staff become ALICE trained by the end of the school year. The next step is to train students.
“It’s not getting any better in the world or in the united states so if we can be proactive to give people the tools to survive, then we’re doing everybody a service," said Dudding. "If we operate on a reactive society, then we’re never going to get anywhere.”