Home Live trainings Troup County School System Holds Hazardous Scenario Trainings in Preparation for New School Year

Troup County School System Holds Hazardous Scenario Trainings in Preparation for New School Year

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LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The Troup County School System partnered with the LaGrange Police and Fire Department on May 8, 2021 for their annual safety training.

All school administrators in Troup County are required to attend preparation for the new school year. The day consisted of fire extinguisher training, gang training and active shooter training.

“This specific training is what we call ‘public safety training’ to give staff and administrators some exposure to different things that concern us as a school system. In this case, active shooter and active threats in our schools,” said Steve Heaton, district school safety coordinator.

Administrators are also encouraged to develop security plans for each of their facilities. Heaton said creating this plan helps them think through and adapt to issues that may arise in their schools in the future. Safety plans are designed to address issues such as fires, threatening weather conditions, and medical emergencies.

“What I do, every year they send it to me and I pass it on to our emergency personnel so they can receive it as well,” Heaton said.

Administrators develop security plans based on templates provided by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. Safety plans are updated annually and shared with every school staff member.

Mike Webb, public educator and accreditation manager for the LaGrange Fire Department, facilitated the fire extinguisher training for administrators. The training was completely digital with a screen simulating a fire and a fire extinguisher with a laser. This allowed administrators to practice putting out a fire.

“They were really open to getting fire extinguisher training and it just enhanced their work to make the kids safer,” Webb said.

Webb and his team visit every school in the school system every year to ensure that all schools are up to code in the event of an emergency.

This is the first year that administrators also had an active shooting simulation. The Troup County Sheriff’s Department and LaGrange Police and Fire Department simulated an active shooting at a school. Staff were placed in locked classrooms and escorted out of the building after blanks were fired.

Eric Lohr, the LaGrange Police Department’s patrol lieutenant, said it gave school personnel the opportunity to see, hear and smell an active shooter situation.

“We want them to get a sense of what the event is like, we want them to experience it, and we want to cover the aftermath with them as well,” Lohr said.

Lohr said the police department hopes administrators will take what they learned during the active shooter simulation and apply it to their security plans for each facility.

Tiffany Pitts, a counselor at Hope Academy, said she thought all of the training had benefited her. She also said she thinks being exposed to active shooter simulation is a very good proactive approach for the system.

“I just think it’s good so we can help better and keep our students safe. The more we know, the more we can help them,” Pitts said.