This article describes the features of a training program called "The First 12 Minutes," which was developed by the City of Falls Church, Va. to train school personnel in what to do in the first 12 minutes of a school active-shooter crisis.
The training addresses responses by school administrators, teachers, and school staff. The 3-hour training is free to participating schools. The training consists of a 11/2 - hour lecture and a 11/2 - hour session of hands-on training. During the lecture, representatives from the city's emergency services provide historical background on active-shooter incidents in the United States and discuss response options, such as improved lockdown, evacuation, and confronting the shooter. The hands-on portion divides participants into three rotating groups. One group practices barricading doors with anything and everything within reach. A second group learns "stop-the-bleed" techniques that include the use of tourniquets and packing wounds; and the third group practices two lockdown scenarios; i.e., the traditional lockdown in which everyone moves to a corner and another procedure in which group members cooperate in planning, swarming, and attempting to stop the shooter. The training emphasizes the importance of clear and accurate messaging during a school emergency, so that responses will be based on as much information as possible. The training team uses feedback obtained during the training to refine and improve the training content and methods. This article provides online access to a short video on the "First 12 Minutes."
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