FASTER Training & Armed School Staff

Warning: long post.

Note: I did not confirm that all of my links still work. So if something is broken, I apologize.

Several threads here reference arming school staff. The need for training has been emphasized. Below is a summary of training notes from FASTER Level I. These notes will be in summary form. The instructors who lead this training emphasize the necessity of keeping information confidential inasmuch as assailants often do their homework.

Prior to taking FASTER Level I, the student must meet two main criteria. #1. They must have their concealed weapons permit. (In Ohio, where FASTER was founded, there is a training requirement.) #2. They must take a Primer course offered by FASTER. There are no notes on the Primer class below as it is all range time with little opportunity to take detailed notes. But you learn the basics: dominant eye, loading, unloading, sight alignment, trigger press, etc. Primer ends up with taking the FASTER version of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy qualification. Primer is a one-day course of approximately 8 hours.

Below is a summary of the FASTER Level 1 class.

Videos of the Class

The links below will take you to news clips that show video of the facilities, instructors and training.

Local 12 news video (time 2:06). Most of this video is class video.

PBS news video of class as well as those opposed to arming teachers (time 8:41). This shows a decent amount of footage of the class.

The Daily Signal (time 3:14). This is a discussion of the rationale for the class by a group in Colorado.

Overview of Instructors

FASTER stands for Faculty Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response. This is a non-profit organization overseen by the Buckeye Firearms Association. Cost of the course and lodging is $1,500. Buckeye provides grants to certain participants under certain circumstances.

FASTER outsources their training to two trainers: Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) and Chris Cerino. I trained with TDI. (I don’t believe Cerino trains anymore, but his partner has taken over, I believe.)

Tactical Defense Institute is owned and operated by John Benner. I can no longer find the bio page on their website. In summary, the trainers oincluded retired/former SWAT, two doctorate degrees (one of whom is a retired school administrator the other a college economics professor), a retired Air Force airman, EMT’s, and at least one active member of the law enforcement community. The two primary instructors were John Benner and Forest Sonewald. John has 25 years of SWAT experience with most of those as commander. Forest spent 7 years on a SWAT team, has a 23 year LEO career, and an extensive background in martial arts.

Some might assert that only those with law enforcement or military experience should be allowed to be armed at schools. The response is that the individuals leading this class (several of whom have military and/or LEO experience) believe that civilians can be sufficiently trained to respond to active killer scenarios. Additionally, class participants include former and active members of the law enforcement and military community. They apparently felt it necessary to receive this training even with their law enforcement background and did not seem opposed to interact with those outside of the military and law enforcement community. Futhermore, the goal of FASTER training is to have multiple staff members armed in each school. Their belief is that one armed school resource officer (SRO) is insufficient. They are in favor of arming staff in addition to SRO’s.

There were approximately 22 students and 10 instructors. Each instructor addressed each student multiple times over the course of the three days giving each student multiple perspectives over the duration of the course. Each student received an enormous amount of individualized coaching, instruction, and critique.

Overview of Participants

Participants in the class included two principals, two school resource officers, one law enforcement officer, an Air National Guard chaplain, a non-school civilian, a facilities and transportation director, and teachers across multiple grade levels and subject areas. At least two school personnel had military and/or law enforcement experience in their background (one school administrator spent 10 years in the Navy and served as a K-9 handler in a law enforcement agency).

These participants ranged in ability levels from one gentlemen who did not pass the qualification at the end of the class to many who shot a perfect score on their first attempt. Several individuals were very proficient at the beginning of the class, others less so.

Summary of Each Day of the Class

Monday 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday morning began with an overview and history of active assailant/active shooter incidents. This included short case studies of Columbine, VA Tech, Sandy Hook, Parkland, etc. It also included the threat of terrorism. A “Cubs of the Caliphate” ISIS video was shown. This video surpasses any level of disturbing content I have ever viewed. In this video, children as young as early teens are shown utilizing “tactics” moving through an abandoned building executing men whose hands are tied. The gore of the executions are fully displayed as is the desperation of the captives as they plead for their lives and are mercilessly killed. The trainer returned to the front of the class and asked, “When will one of these teenagers slip across the border and enroll in your school?” One student decided that this wasn’t for him and quit the class on the first day.

The balance of Monday morning was spent dry firing. The basics of proper grip, stance, sight picture, follow through, etc. were taught. Throughout the week topics were introduced via dry fire before live ammo was used.

Monday afternoon began live fire exercises at five dot paper targets. Different drills were assigned for each of the five dots.

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Later in the afternoon we transitioned to steel targets.

Tuesday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday began with each student shooting with an instructor in front of the group. You were instructed to shoot one round from any distance on the range you liked, but you must guarantee that you can hit the target. This was done in front of the entire class and all of the instructors in order to place heightened pressure on the participant. Often times the instructors would tell you things such as, “My grandaughter is behind those targets. If you miss, you kill her.” Instructors strove to instil a level of sobriety in the students regarding hitting innocent students if you miss your shot.

Topics covered on Tuesday included clearing malfunctions, moving while shooting (walking forward, sideways, and backwards), and “dipping” the gun while moving through crowds (so as to not “muzzle” other people). Tuesday afternoon was spent in two live fire houses. In the live fire houses we were taught how to move through a building quickly, yet carefully in order to seek out an active shooter. We were taught how to move and/or push through crowds while retaining our firearm. The reality is that you may not be able to move through the crowd and that you might have to wait until the masses have exited a certain area before you can respond to an active assailant. This may result in additional victims being shot. But you cannot respond if you get trampled to death by stampeeding students on the way to the threat.

Three different scenarios were set up inside the live fire houses where we had to move through the building with two instructors and live ammo shooting paper targets with both assailants and innocents pictured. We had to seek out the threat, not shoot innocents, and use the tactics we were taught to move through doorways, etc. We were taught that you cannot move faster than you can process the information that you see (i.e. don’t shoot the wrong person and don’t run past the bad guy with the gun). The instructors then debriefed with us after we ran the scenario and critiqued our technique. Mistakes were corrected and parts of the course were re-run as necessary.

Tuseday 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday evening was three hours of medical training taught by two EMT’s. (This part of the course was written/reviewed by a doctor.) Topics covered included application of tourniquets, wound packing, chest seals, and nasopharyngeal airways. We were taught why these worked and when and how to use them. We practiced applying the two tourniquets approved for use by the military. We also used improvised tourniquets.

During this course we were issued a classroom trauma kit. This is an $80 value. The take away from this part of the course is the fact that medical care will come only after law enforcement has secured the building. At Sandy Hook the first EMT’s entered the building 45 minutes after the shooting started. Kids bleed to death in that amount of time from what would otherwise have been surviveable wounds.

Wednesday 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday’s training included weapon retention. That is, what to do if a student or an assailant grabs your gun. We used life-sized plastic guns and practiced these drills. I went one-on-one with one of the school resource officers.

Much of Wednesday was “Force on Force” scenarios using high end air soft guns. We ran multiple scenarios in two different facilities. (Please note that at least two of these scenarios are “no shoot” scenarios if played correctly. We were taught not to automatically assume you have to shoot.) Each scenario became increasingly more difficult. Each student was the responder in two scenarios. Students also played the role of the assailant, victims, and innocent bystanders. Responders were not told what they were walking into except in the vaguest of terms.

Scenario #1. Active shooter in the library. Students were milling around and a gunman opens fire. The responder has to enter the classroom and shoot the assaialant without hitting any innocents.

Scenario #2. Active shooter in the library has now committed suicide and is on the floor. A student picks up the gun and is holding it by the muzzle when the responder walks in. Responder has to a) realize the student is not threatening anyone and not shoot him and b) secure the weapon from the student.

Scenario #3. Non-custodial parent comes to school to pick up child. Receptionist refuses to dismiss the student due to court order. The “principal” hears the altercation from his office. Must discern that he needs to leave his office and respond. If he delays responding he arrives just as the receptionist is shot. He must shoot the assailant before he is shot himself and before the assailant moves to a group of students waiting between the receptionist and the principal’s office.

Scenario #4. Disturbance in an upstairs room. The responder must navigate the stairs and hallway and arrives to see a room full of people with two in particular in a heated argument. Everyone in the room is chaotically yelling. There is a handgun on the table. The respondent has to recognize the weapon, secure it and attempt to de-escalate the argument. Delaying entry into the room results in the assailant picking up the pistol and opening fire. The responder then has to shoot the assailant.

The second set of scenarios ratcheted up the response by forcing the responder to not only deal with the threat, but also deal with the aftermath. We were taught ESNP: Eliminate the threat; Secure the weapon, students, and area; Notify law enforcement; and Provide medical attention. At each stage the trainers would ask “how?” How are you going to secure the weapon? What are you going to tell law enforcement? How are you going to treat these particular wounds” This lasts step was meant to incorporate the medical training from the night before. At times the instructors would refuse your answer. For example, you would say, “I’m going to apply a tourniquet.” The instructor would respond with, “You don’t have a tourniquet. How are you going to improvise one?” In one scenario a plastic bag of gummy bears and duct tape was used to improvise a chest seal. Later scenarios had more than one victim that needed medical treatment. You had to prioritize which victim to treat first and you had to get student role players from the class to aid you in rendering treatment. If you took too long to treat, instructors shouted at you that people were bleeding to death.

These scenarios provided stress inoculation.

Scenario #5. The responder is told there is an outdoor athletic event at the school. He arrives to see a crowd of people excitedly cheering on a sports team. Someone within the crowd begins shooting. The responder has to shoot the assailant without hitting any innocents. He then has to secure the weapon, talk through the 911 call, and treat an arterial leg bleed and an oozing arm wound.

Scenario #6. Someone begins shouting and shooting a class full of students. Three students escape the classroom and rush down the hallway. Two students are injured in two different ways each: artierial bleeds, sucking chest wounds, junctional bleeding and oozing wounds. The responder has to work his way past students running down the hallway, use appropriate tactics to move through the doorway into the classroom, shoot the assialant, secure the weapon, notify law enforcement, and “treat” (verbally explain how to treat) four different types of wounds on two victims.

Scenario #7. A group of students are in the hallway yelling “fight, fight, fight.” A shoving match turns into a stabbing. Students flee the area and the assailant pursues. The responder has to navigate a crowd of rushing students, percieve which student is the assailant, shoot the assailant without striking innocents, and treat knife wounds.

Scenario #8. A classroom full of students is facing away from the only entrance into the classroom. The teacher is the responder. He is facing his students and doorway. The students fill the room with minimal space between students and the walls. The assailant comes down the hallway yelling and screaming, threatening and firing his weapon. He ultimately strikes one of the students in the class. The teacher has to instruct the students to get down and seek cover. He then has to navigate past students, through a doorway, and respond to the assailant. He then secures the weapon, notifies law enforcement, and treats the wounded.

Wednesday wrapped up with each participant shooting a modified OPOTA qualification. The OPOTA qualification is the Ohio-wide qualification standard for law enforcement. The OPOTA pistol qualification course of fire can be found here. Officers are required to shoot 25 rounds and score a minimum of 80% (20 out of 25 hits).

FASTER requires 28 rounds and a score of 92% (26 out of 28 hits). Shooting stations include the following (this is not an exhaustive list): drawing and firing two rounds to the chest and one to the head; right hand only; left hand only; one handed from a retention position (high rib cage and shot without the use of your sights); shooting two rounds, reloading, and shooting two more rounds; and shoot three rounds while walking towards the target. Distance to the target ranged from 4 feet to 50 feet. In fairness, there are two differences from the standard OPOTA that are less rigorous. First, the OPOTA is timed. Second, the OPOTA requires a sidestep with each shot. During the Foundations Primer class, we were timed. All shots had to be in the light gray to count, dark gray counted 0, hits outside of the silhouette were -1.

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Level II notes to follow…

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Level II Notes:

Overview

  • Training was again taken at Tactical Defense Institute. TDI has been training the West Point military academy’s pistol team for the last 15 years.
  • If one of TDI’s students are involved in a self-defense shooting, the instructor(s) will testify at your trial free of charge.
  • Class participants included a broad spectrum of school administration and staff including a school superintendent (who served six tours in Iraq in the military), school principals, maintenance director, and teachers across grade levels. Also present were a private firearms instructor as well as a leader from an Arizona firearms/political organization that is trying to bring this training to Arizona. There were 24 class participants: 20 men and 4 women.
  • This was an intense three days that incorporated mindset, tactics, shooting, medical triage/care, management of the emergency scene, and interaction with responding law enforcement.
  • The details below endeavor to keep things in the order in which they were presented. However, the amount of material thrown at the student was extensive and most of what was covered was taught by doing rather than a classroom environment where notes could easily be taken. Most of the following is recalled from memory rather than taken from notes.

Tuesday

Day one began with a session in the classroom and introduction of instructors and participants. We were encouraged to qualify with our local law enforcement agency and to document when we shoot.

TDI encourages armed staff to qualify annually or semi-annually with the local sheriff’s office/police department for two reasons. First, this provides accountability for proficiency. Second, this provides opportunities for armed staff to collaborate with those most likely to respond to an incident at the school. In a real-life encounter, this is valuable. The lead instructor stated that the average armed staff member who has come through FASTER Level I and II will shoot better than the average law enforcement officer.

After introductions lead instructor Forrest Sonewald provided a review of the recent STEM school shooting in Colorado. Information provided to participants was taken from the arrest warrant for the juvenile shooter

Next we were shown two videos.

Video #1: Cubs of Allah/Caliphate

  • This video was also shown in Level I.
  • This is the most disturbing thing I have ever seen.
  • It shows young teenage (12-14 years old?) Islamic terrorist moving through a building hunting down and executing prisoners whose hands are tied. It is extremely graphic. Parts of it can be found online. I do not necessarily suggest you look it up.
  • These kids could easily be in the U.S. or enter at any time through loose immigration policies. [These notes are from 2019. Think of how much worse it is!]
  • If you use good tactics, even these killers would be easy to take down.

Video #2: New Zealand Mosque Shooting

  • The shooter mounted a go pro camera on his body and broadcasted the shooting live via Facebook. We were shown the portion of the video at the first mosque (several minutes long).
  • Based upon what we had just seen, we were then asked how we would solve this problem. The answer is that you would need to ambush this shooter as he rushed down a central hallway passing multiple doorways.

After time in the classroom we moved to the steel range. We began by each participant shooting one shot at a steel target with one instructor in front of the entire class and rest of the instructors. The idea is to start your range time cold with a high pressure, everybody-is-watching shot. This was repeated as the first drill each day of class.

The shooting instruction and drilling picked up with the most difficult material covered in Level I. We were expected to have retained and practiced the techniques from Level I. Shooting concepts were taught and demonstrated briefly. The class participant comes out of Level I with a strong foundation. Therefore, extensive instruction of shooting technique was rarely necessary.

Concept/Drill: Students positioned in front of steel targets. Engage the target while walking towards the target using heel to toe walking, proper stance, grip, and trigger control.

Concept/Drill: Same as above except adding cones to the course representing students/obstacles. You had to walk outside the cones and safely engage the target while advancing towards it. When you moved in front of a student/obstacle, you dip your gun so as to not muzzle the student, then sidestep past the student, bring your gun back up and shoot the target while continuing your forward advance. If you emptied your gun, you had to execute a tactical reload while moving. The idea is to shoot and continue to advance on the threat while making good hits.

Concept/Drill: Doorways, hard corners, drop out and multiple targets. A wall and barrels were set up between students and the steel range. This simulated a classroom and doorways with multiple students and potentially multiple shooters inside. Steel targets behind the walls were color-coded with letters and colors (a red “R” for red, etc.). At the call of the instructor, the student moves towards the doorway using space to view into the classroom. The instructor would then call a color and the student has to shoot the appropriately labelled target. Variations included the instructor calling several colors moments apart forcing you to quickly engage multiple targets. If you shot all of your rounds and emptied your gun, you were expected to move to cover and execute a tactical reload.

Concept/Drill: More doorways, hard corners, and “drop outs.” (See picture above.) Small walls were set up. The student stands a few steps away from the wall and executes a “drop out” to see around the wall and engage the target with arms locked out in a shooting stance. The technique was reversed to shoot around the left side of an obstacle either by shooting with the left hand and left eye, or using a roll over technique.

A variation of this drill was taught. This is taught for when you do not have room to extend your arms. We were taught to bend our arms into a “gooseneck” shape. Elbows were tightly bent into the centerline. The wrists are then bent in order to point the gun forward. Lining the sights of the gun with your eye, the shooter pops out around the edge of the doorway, dips the gun and head keeping the sights aligned and scans from the floor of the doorway to the back wall of the room being searched. You then fire the shot in this gooseneck position. Proper grip must be maintained or you will limp wrist the gun causing it to malfunction. We then switched positions using a rollover to shoot from the opposite side while maintaining the gooseneck.

Tuesday afternoon was spent mostly in the live fire houses. TDI has three live fire houses. The houses have hallways and rooms that you have to navigate in order to find the active killer. Inside the houses are multiple paper targets depicting people in various poses with various things in their hands. You must move through the houses using tactics, discern who is the attacker and who is not by looking at their hands, dip your gun so as to not muzzle an innocent, and engage the attacker. You are monitored by two instructors who ensure you are operating safely, critique your performance, and take notes. The instructors setting up the course seem to get pleasure from throwing every tricky angle at you. For example, while active shooter situations have one shooter 98% of the time, we were given scenarios with as many as three shooters. Targets that initially showed an active killer are modified, for example, by pasting a picture of a flashlight over the gun. One target had an individual with a yellow shirt on. The gun superimposed over the shirt in the original target is covered in yellow tape. While you can make out the outline of the gun, you have to discern that the target is set up to not be a threat.

A couple scenarios were first ran with SIRT laser training pistols with the students in the course acting as the students in a school and one acting as a shooter (all guns were unloaded and roped to ensure they are empty). Your fellow course participants yell and scream simulating the distractions you are likely to face in a real event. The presence of the other students adds peer pressure if you mess up. All of this helps develop the proper mindset and attempts to provide inoculation from the stress of a real event.

After running the live fire houses with paper targets and live rounds, the targets are moved around inside the house and doorways are opened or closed to change the layout of the structure you have to navigate. You run the scenario ignorant of the specific layout of the house. Additional targets are added to the scenario and each scenario gets more difficult. In one instance they hang a sign that says “armed teacher” over what would otherwise be an active killer. You have to read the sign, understand what it is communicating, and not shoot the picture of your “fellow staff member.” In another instance an active killer is in front of a student with portions of their bodies overlapping. The idea is that you take a head shot (which does not overlap with the student) so there is less chance of the bullet penetrating through the killer’s body and hitting the student behind him. Some rooms have many targets positioned at different angles and partially obscured by other targets. The student walks into a visually chaotic scene (which is part of the idea and likely to be reality).

Students are brought into the house and told, “There’s an active killer. Go find him.” You are expected to move only as fast as you can process the visual information coming to you and only as fast as you can accurately shoot the bad guy. Students mess up in many ways including missing the bad guy, shooting a good guy, muzzling a good guy, entering a room without proper drop out and tactical techniques. At times the instructor simply tells you, “You’re dead” because you didn’t see the active killer before you exposed your body around a corner where he or she could have shot you.

Live fire houses were also used on Wednesday. Students alternated between the two houses. Over the course of two days, each student ran both houses and multiple scenarios (if I recall correctly, we ran a total of 8 scenarios). In one house after you completed the scenario, you were allowed to follow the next student through and observe his or her movements and techniques. Watching what other students do and the feedback they get from the instructor is a helpful training technique.

Tuesday Evening

Tuesday evening was spent on medical training that built upon what was taught in Level I. This was taught by a firefighter/tactical paramedic with 20 years experience. He has been training with SWAT for several years. Another EMT/paramedic assisted him.

Students were taught the MARCH assessment and priority of care of the patients. (I.e. you treat “M” before you treat “A.”)

  • Massive Hemorrhage.
  • Airway.
  • Respiration
  • Circulation
  • Head Injury/Hypothermia

Students paired up with a partner and practiced giving each other the above assessment (details of the assessment removed due to space.)

We were also taught pressure points to control bleeding until tourniquets or pressure dressings can be applied. These pressure points can be applied with knees while completing the MARCH assessment with your hands. Three pressure points were discussed.

We also practiced applying tourniquets and pressure dressings.

Wednesday

Concept/Drill: Wednesday began with the one shot drill in front of the group. We had several who missed and the entire group was warned.

Concept/Drill: Some of the drills from yesterday were repeated for reinforcement and warm up.

Concept/Drill: The modified SIG drill was demonstrated and then practiced. Load gun. Put one round in the chamber. Remove magazine. Take a head shot. Slides does not lock back, but cycles completely due to no magazine in the gun. Dry fire second shot without moving the sights (simulates a malfunction). Execute a tap rack to clear the “malfunction” and dry fire again without moving sights. Execute a tactical reload and take one final live fire shot. All shots are head shots on steel plates from about 20-30 feet.

Empty handed techniques

A significant portion of Wednesday was spent on empty handed techniques. These require pictures or videos to fully describe. (Details redacted for space and confidentiality.)

Partner assist taught the student what to do if your partner is grappling with an assailant who has their hand(s) on your partner’s firearm.

Stuffing the draw and preventing your draw from being stuffed was taught.

Weapons familiarization training.

A significant number of mass shooters use a long gun (shotgun, rifle, or carbine). There may be situations in which it is advantageous to gain access to the attacker’s weapon. An example of this would be a terrorist attack carried out with AK-47’s. Another example would simply be recovering a weapon and needing the ability to control that weapon. You do not want your first exposure to an assailant’s weapon to be in the heat of the moment.

The trainers brought out an AK-47, two AR-15’s (one was a 9mm pistol caliber carbine), and an SKS. Each of these weapons platforms have been used in mass shootings. Instructors split us into groups, explained how the rifles function, had us manipulate the controls (safeties, bolts, magazine releases, etc.) and allowed us to fire several rounds of each weapon system.

Wednesday afternoon was spent in the live fire houses running additional scenarios similar to above. (It is not possible to describe the setup of these scenarios in detail.) After the live fire houses we ran one additional drill.

Concept/Drill: Stand 30 feet from your target. Stage a tourniquet on your person where you can reach it with either hand. From the low ready the instructor yells “threat!” Engage the threat/target with 2-3 rounds. Instructor then yells another command either “threat” causing you to re-engage the target or “injury” and then calls out which limb was hit. Holster your pistol. Reach for your tourniquet with the non-injured hand and self-apply it in less than 30 seconds. When the tourniquet has been applied, raise your hand. Instructor checks for a pulse in that limb. If you have a pulse, adjust tourniquet until no pulse. When your dominant hand is injured place the gun on the ground and on the next threat you have to engage the threat with your non-dominant hand only. Repeat four times until all limbs have been injured and treated.

Thursday

Concept/Drill: One shot drill to begin the day. Two students in the class missed. President of TDI confronted the entire group and said missing at this stage of training was “unacceptable.” This was a stern warning to all.

Concept/Drill: Modified SIG drill from Wednesday was repeated.

The rest of Thursday was spent running force on force scenarios with air soft pistols. Each student ran two scenarios. A perpetrator inside the scenario was given an airsoft pistol and the responder was given an airsoft pistol. The rest of the participants were acting as students. Responders were given very limited information on what they were walking into or what was about to happen.

The first three scenarios take place at the force on force house.

Scenario #1: Students are in an upstairs classroom of the force on force house. One participant is pulled out to be the active shooter. Students are sitting in chairs facing the teacher. Doorway into the classroom is in the back of the room behind the students and facing the teacher. The teacher is the respondent. The teacher stands in front of the classroom facing the students and the doorway. Students often do distracting/goofy things like asking the teacher if he or she can go to the bathroom or complain about another student. The active shooter comes through the doorway and fires shots into the classroom. The teacher must move to his/her right side to move around the students and get a clear entrance/exit. (A clear entrance is a clear shot to the target. A clear exit means there are no students behind the shooter where an over penetration could hit an innocent individual.)

Two role players are chosen to be wounded victims of the shooting before the scenario starts. The teacher must eliminate the threat, secure the weapon, notify law enforcement (by simulating a 911 call) and treat the wounded. Priority of care must be discerned when choosing which victim to treat first.

Scenario #2: Students are in a downstairs classroom. The responder walks in from outside the classroom while the shooter is actively shooting students. The responder must get a clean shot from outside the classroom and engage the shooter at distance without hitting innocent students. If the responder takes too much time, the shooter engages the responder. After being shot, the shooter falls to the floor, but maintains a hold on the gun with his finger on the trigger. The responder must secure the weapon by putting something behind the trigger to ensure the trigger cannot be pressed rearward. If the responder fails to do this properly, the shooter will fire the gun again and another student in the class becomes a victim that now has to be treated. After disarming the perpetrator, the gun has to be secured out of students’ reach. If not, a student picks up the gun and accidentally shoots another student. The rest of the ESNP sequence must be completed with up to four or five victims depending on the responder’s actions.

Scenario #3: Similar to the above. However, in this instance the layout of the classroom area changes with two additional rooms beyond the classroom. The shooter comes from one of those other rooms and is hidden in a hard corner of the classroom. The responder has to enter the classroom. When the shooting starts he has to safely engage the shooter using good tactics and only revealing as much of himself to the shooter as necessary to engage the shooter. He then has to clear the other two rooms to ensure there are no other shooters. Then disarm the attacker keeping the trigger safe, and complete the rest of the ESNP sequence. Again, if the responder fails to disarm the shooter, he will shoot another victim or will shoot another student as he is being disarmed if he fails to secure the trigger.

The final three scenarios take place at the upper range. The upper range has a parking lot with several vehicles and a rudimentary mockup of a school building consisting of a long hallway with several doorways.

Scenario #4: The responder enters the parking lot and is told to be seated in a car. He is told this is the parking lot of his school and he is just arriving in the morning. To his right is the entrance to the school that he will use to enter the building. Students are milling about in the parking lot. The instructor shouts “scenario start.” A shooter enters the scene from behind a parked vehicle and begins to shoot students. The responder has to eliminate the threat by shooting the killer. Next, the responder is to safely disarm the shooter and secure the weapon. Recognizing that each scenario gets trickier, many responders begin looking for a second shooter while calling 911 and assessing victims. Most responders asked the students if there is a second shooter. Responses varied based upon how ornery the students wanted to be. While the responder is in process of treating victims, two people with guns exit the school building and enter the parking lot. Their guns are dipped down as we were taught to avoid muzzling innocent people. The responder has to confront these individuals and determine that they are friend, not foe. When approached by the responder, the two individuals with guns identify themselves as other members of the armed security team. One of them responds that he has medical training and is carrying the medical kit. The responder is expected to discern that these are friendlies and not shoot them and then enlist their help to manage the aftermath of the shooting, treat victims, etc.

Scenario #5: This scenario takes place in the classroom on the south/southwest side of the hallway below the tip of the arrow in the picture above. A student has just shot two classmates. Three students rush out of the classroom as the responder is entering the area. This simulates a rush of students that a responder will need to avoid on his way to responding. If asked, these students can provide some intelligence on the scene. The responder is expected to use tactical movements to view as much of the inside of this classroom as possible. When he does, he sees the shooter with the gun in hand, both hands extended above his head with the gun pointed at the ceiling. Two students are attempting to get the gun, one hanging onto each arm. They are fighting over the gun and slowly spinning. This complicates the ability of the responder to shoot the shooter. If possible, the responder engages the student from outside the classroom shooting the killer either in the back or the chest (shooting an active killer in the back if possible is legally and tactically sound). If not possible (what most responders did) the responder enters the classroom, presses the gun against the killer, backs it off a few inches and shoots the killer (similar to partner assist tactic discussed above). Several responders shot the killer from above shooting around the collar bone into the chest cavity. After shooting the killer, the responder has to secure the weapon, call 911 and treat the wounded in order of priority. In this scenario there were two or three victims. The instructor added pressure to this scenario by having students tap the responder on the shoulder urging him to help his wounded friend. Often the wounded would beg for help as well. There was a medical kit in a classroom across the hall. If the item you needed to treat the particular wound was not physically in the kit, you could not pretend it was there. You had to work with what you had or improvise with supplies you could get from students. After the wounded were treated, the instructor would ask the responder if there was anything else they needed to do. This caused most students to second guess themselves and run through the ESNP assessment again. If the responder hesitated in affirming that they had done everything, the instructor asked the question again. This caused considerable stress for some responders. (I.e. what did I miss?)

Scenario #6: This was similar to a scenario from FASTER Level I with several additional complications. There is an athletic event in the gravel bed behind the school. Students are cheering on the game when shots ring out. After the shots, several victims fall to the ground. A red cloth is used to indicate where the student is wounded and a printed 3x5 card describes the injuries (this was used on all scenarios). The responder enters the area from the long hallway. When he or she is able, he engages the killer and proceeds to disarm. While in the process of disarming, one of the instructors (whose day job is an active SWAT team sniper) enters the scene. If the responder responds incorrectly, the officer shoots the responder. If the responder responds appropriately to the officer, the officer orders the responder to drop the gun, turn around and face away from the officer, raise his hands and don’t move. The officer shouts at the responder and tells him things like, “don’t move or I’ll shoot you in the face!” After quickly discerning who the active shooter is and disarming both the attacker and the responder, the officer radios for help and turns the scene back over to the responder. The responder then skips the “S” for secure the weapon as well as “N” for notify law enforcement and moves to “P” for provide medical attention. The same shenanigans of tapping the responder on the shoulder to hurry him up play out in this scenario as well.

Closing Meeting

The president of TDI prioritized the training as #1 Mindset, #2 Tactics, and #3 Shooting. This is also TDI’s motto. (From my perspective, shooting is the easiest of the three.) He encouraged us that now that we are trained, we should carry anywhere we are legally able to do so. He told us that there was a federal agent on Flight 93 on 9/11 who chose not to carry his firearm that day. What would have been the outcome on that flight had he been armed?

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Note: there is a Level III class that takes place at an actual school with multiple instructors and staff training at your actual school facility.

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Thanks for sharing. I’ll read when I get home.

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Thanks so much for posting this info! This will be my late night reading tonight.

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I tried to cut a lot of details out to make it shorter. Not sure how successful I was. Hope it’s not too long to be worth reading.

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Thanks for sharing-Will read tomorrow when have more time. Great subject.

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Definitely worth the read! Sounds like this is significantly more active killer training than a typical LEO would go through.

Thanks for taking the time to share this with us. I will definitely be using this info when looking at my own training needs as well as trying to get my son’s school to consider this program or something similar.

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This is some of the best info I have ever read on this subject. Any school would be significantly enhanced with even one staff member being certified with this training. Bravo!

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I communicated with our school Superintendent again. They are doing CRASE training in the future that was recomended by the Sherriffs department. Sounds like just a fancy couple hour Run, Hide, Fight class.

I think it is useful for unarmed and untrained teachers to have. Slowing down attackers is better than nothing. At least you might reduce the body count with the delay tactics until LEOs finally arrive and maybe do act:( But it is miles away from the kind of skill set needed to deal with these kind of events. Having just a couple people with the right tools and training on sight could make a huge difference. Especially since a lot of these sick people take themselves out the second they face a capable, armed defender.

He was going to discuss the info I gave him with the CRASE trainer. Though I am worried that they are likely funded by or affiliated with some anti self defense groups and will try to paint the idea of trained armed staff as “dangerous”.

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CRASE is taught to law enforcement around here. Many LEOs I have interacted with are open minded to armed school staff. Hopefully, the folks your school is talking to will be as well. Good work!

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Found this interesting:

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This probably relates to the “Incel” trend where some young males often spend all their time in their bedrooms playing video games and complaining online about how there aren’t any women who want to spend time with them.

Instead of focusing on making themselves more interesting to hang out with they fixate all their anger against all the women who aren’t interested in spending any time with them. Some then work their anger and resentment up to the point where they commit violent assaults against specific women who “mistreated” them or more often against random women since all women are responsible for their loneliness.

While there may be a couple women in the world that get turned on by people who are great at video games and spend all their time in a dark room starring at screen while their skin turns pale and their muscles rot away, I suspect there are a lot more women that prefer men who get out of their homes to do something interesting every once in awhile. Maybe some of the lonely keyboard warriors might want to think about that before blaming others for their woes.

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Great connection that I didn’t make between assaults on women and the incel trend.

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I do wonder how much modern society trends, where many people don’t interact directly with their neighbors or sometimes even their own families, contribute to increases in sociopathic and other aberrant behaviors.

Based on what I see on the internet and on the roads these days it sure seems to lead to an increase in treating others in less civil ways. It also allows people the anonymity to behave poorly and find venues where that behavior is accepted and even applauded.

We may or may not have more sociopaths and psychopaths amongst us. But a world where these people no longer have to engage in meaningful ways with those around them likely makes it a lot easier for them to normalize their aberrant behavior and more easily justify it, at least to themselves.

I’m a fairly introverted person myself but still find it important to engage with my family and neighbors in face to face ways. It s harder to get away with cutting others off in traffic, or worse, if those others actually know who you are and where you live.

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If anyone is interested in a deep dive and depressing read, here is the Parkland commission report. I read it not too long after it came out. While there is technically no profile of an active killer, among other things, this report gets you inside this guy’s mind (or at least his behaviors). It’s not a happy place to be.

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And the Uvalde report. I have not read this one.

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Lots of good information at the US Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center. I am not sure I am completely up to date on these reports. I did attend an in-person seminar a few years ago by the US Secret service covering some of this material.

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Received in my email inbox today. Seemed relevant.

We had another run, hide, fight discussion somewhere on another thread.

@Shamrock the article does make a reference to CRASE (since you mentioned it in an earlier post.)

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Very timely.

While run, hide, fight training (or the more politically correct these days avoid, deny, defend) is better than nothing; it is very unlikely to do more than slow the attacker down for a few moments. Especially if it is an unarmed and barely trained school staff member forced to do the fighting.

I have been doing some weapon disarm training for the past couple of years. Even with my training, under ideal conditions without a room full of terrified students to worry about, it is at best a 50/50 chance to get the gun away without being shot. And that only works if you can get close enough to the attacker to get hands on the gun before they put several holes into you. Very unlikely in an active murderer situation.

I strongly feel that the ideal is to have at least a couple of well trained and armed responders on site to confront the attacker ASAP while the other staff are preferably getting the kids to safety or at least doing the best they can to slow down the attackers progress.

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