FITCHBURG — In an effort to provide a safe educational environment, all staff members at Sizer School participated in the Recognize. Respond. Survive. Active Shooter Response Training program on Aug. 23.
The training was conducted by the ProActive Response Group (PRG), an organization that provides on-site active shooter training and emergency medical response training to offices, schools, and other organizations. PRG’s leadership team is made up of veteran SWAT team leaders with first-hand experience in hostage rescues and high-risk dignitary protection.
The skills offered in each course have been specifically developed to provide individuals and groups with effective courses of action for actual critical situations, according to their website.
The purpose of Sizer’s training in August was to ensure that staff members are prepared to recognize early signs of violence, effectively respond if an act of violence were to take place on our campus, treat common survivable life-threatening injuries, and ultimately increase the chances of survival during a violent encounter.
Following the training, Sizer met and discussed the training and to give feedback.
“My biggest takeaway is that I can take action, even when I feel out of control in a situation. I have been given new tools for my toolbox that can help keep me and my students safe, as well as transfer to other situations,” said 10th Grade ELA Teacher Laurel Kelly. “I feel more prepared and less afraid.”
She added, “When I hear about different tragedies that occur in schools in the US, I immediately connect them to my experience as a teacher and imagine what it would be like to go through these traumatic events. With this training, I feel like I now have more options as to how to face potential threats.”
Div. III Math Teacher Kelly Monaghan said she felt empowered by the training.
“I greatly appreciated and feel empowered by the first response training we received on how to control bleeding and help students/staff in immediate need of help,” Monaghan said. “The way all three presenters discussed an intense topic such as active shooters with reality and even a little humor, made this the best and most helpful training I have attended in my ten years of teaching.”
“The presenters carried a conversational tone, integrated participant feedback, and infused comic relief [during the training]. Their approach fostered multiple entry points for our team to tackle this difficult subject,” said Kristin Capezio, Assistant Principal for Student Accountability.
“My biggest takeaway is that if a situation should arise, I have more ability than I thought to protect my students and myself, and I can feel empowered to take as much control of the situation as possible with the knowledge we were given,” said Learning Access Interventionist Mary Egan.
Reading Specialist Kendra Sheldon said she felt the training gave her skills that would be useful in any emergency medical situation.
“This [training] can be used anywhere at any time there is an active shooter situation. You can save countless lives when done as you have been trained,” she said.
ACT Teacher Michele Egerton noted, “What’s the old adage? Forewarned is forearmed? That is especially true about our ProActive Training.”
(Courtesy Sizer School)