About 50 Missoula area schoolteachers received training from Missoula law enforcement officers on how to handle an 'active shooter' scenario in their school.

On Saturday, February 22 at Meadow Hill School, the teachers received several hours of classroom teaching from Captains Brad Giffin and Rob Taylor from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, Ben Gladwin with the University of Montana Police Department and other officials.

Giffin described the concept of Active Resistance Training

"We have three different modules the teachers will be going through today," Giffin said. "First, there's a facilities module, where they survey their facility to see if there are any items they might be able to use as improvised weapons, or things they can use to barricade their classrooms. We put them through a defensive tactics module for gross motor skills stuff, like knee strikes, palm strikes, elbow strikes and a little bit of weapon work, learning the lethality of a weapon and how to try to control that. Following that, we do a medical module, where, when you have an active shooter situation, you need medical supplies that can stop bleeding, things like a tourniquet, gauze, and something to stop a sucking chest wound."

Captain Brad Giffin

The schoolteachers were subjected to the sound of firearms going off in the gymnasium, and the stress levels involved in a real-life situation.

Regional Director of Missoula School District One Heather Davis Schmidt participated in Saturday's training. She said the district has been reexamining their safety procedures since the mass shooting in Sandy Hook.

"We realized that our lockdown procedures were really ineffective, in that once we locked down the school, we didn't know what to do next, since law enforcement response could still be five to seven minutes away," Davis Schmidt said. "so, really, what this training means to us is to empower our staff to act in a proactive way to respond to these situations. They're really training us to think differently about how do deal with scenarios like these."

Regional Director for MCPS Heather Davis Schmidt

Giffin said over 500 Missoula area teachers and staff have gone through the Active Resistance Training


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