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First responders offer safety training for schools and local communities

Police and fire departments are getting schools ready to respond if they ever face an active shooter situation or a student is seriously injured.

SAN ANTONIO — For several years, the New Braunfels Fire Department has helped to provide "Stop the Bleed" training to local schools.

"School employees, staff, everyone from the principal down have gone through Stop the Bleed training and Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, and now we’re reaching out to anyone in New Braunfels, Comal Counties to get them that training as well," said James Sellers, an NBFD Engineer and Arson Investigator.

Sellers said that in addition to staff, they'll be training 6th-12th grade students at many schools on how to "Stop the Bleed," and providing active shooter response training in high schools.

But it isn't just New Braunfels holding these training sessions. Bryce Houlton, Assistant Fire Marshal for Guadalupe County, said they've also been getting the community involved - and prepared.

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The Alamo Area Council of Governments is coordinating funding and creating a framework for training across the region.

"With recent events in the region, in the country, in the state- everyone needs to be alert and pay attention their surroundings," said James Minze, the Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Coordinator for AACOG. "You never know where this could happen. It’s sporadic, and it’s the world we live in."

The initial focus is on schools, with a goal of making sure that students have every resource possible to promote safety and respond to any potential injuries. But first responders hope to train anyone they can, making more community members what they call "immediate responders." The faster someone can get medical care, Sellers said, the better chance they have for positive medical outcomes.

Sellers said a community training is planned for September 25 in New Braunfels. To learn more about AACOG training opportunities, or to get involved, visit the AACOG website.