Some educators in Colorado are not spending their summers lazing by the pool. They’re actively learning how to be armed first responders.
A group in Weld County in Colorado calls themselves “FASTER.” It stands for the “Faculty Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response” group. The group formed after the Sandy Hook school shooting that targeted elementary students in classrooms where teachers were unarmed and had no defenses.
17 school personnel in the FASTER group spent three days at the gun range learning how to protect themselves and their students by being armed first responders in the event that there is a shooting at their schools. After the administrators completed the training, they were legally allowed to enter their schools with concealed guns.
The Denver Post reported that football coach and bus driver Scott Muller of Fleming K-12 School in northeast Colorado had this to say about the training: “Something like this is nothing you want to do. But anybody who wants to protect kids, they will take something like this on.” If an active shooter event does take place at the school, he said, “It will be pretty much left up to someone at the school to do something.”
The local sheriffs in this remote corner of the state are too far away to help in the event that an active shooter event was called in to the school. By the time any law enforcement help could arrive the incident would be over and the damage would be done. This way, the teachers know that they won’t replace the sheriff or other law enforcement, but they will be first in line if something goes wrong and they will have a better chance to deal with an incident.
As many as 20 Colorado school districts have now designated teachers, administrators and other personnel as armed security. Ohio also has a FASTER training group. The tuition is $1000 and some scholarships and funding is available in case budget is a barrier.
On the second day of the training, the Colorado participants learned how to apply a tourniquet to arms and legs. At the firing range, they learned how to unholster a gun, approach an attacker and prepare to shoot. Then, they are trained in how to safely reholster their weapon and contact law enforcement.
Students, who are teachers and school administrators, learn how to handle their guns correctly and safely with instructors from FasterColorado at the Wilbur B. Ross Memorial Police Training Center on June 20, 2017 in Greeley, Colorado. FasterColorado is sponsoring gun loading and training for Colorado teachers and administrators. The 3 day course helps familiarize teachers with their arms as well as learning how to deal with a shooter at a school. Faster stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response. It was created in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy and developed to enable teachers, administrators and other school employees to stop school violence quickly and administer medical aid immediately. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)
Image from denverpost.com