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'We have to be prepared' | First responders host active shooting training in Clinton County

According to the Gun Violence Archive, 40 mass shootings have occurred in the US this year so far. Clinton County is preparing in case tragedy strikes.

CLINTON, Iowa — Throughout the week, Clinton County and first responders hosted an 'Active Shooter Incident Management" training course designed to teach the public what to do when they're in an active shooter incident. 

"One of the bigger challenges is all the chaos that occurs outside the school," Clinton County Sheriff Bill Greenwalt said. "This is teaching us how to manage that." 

Thursday's course taught participants the reunification plan — a strategy that, when implemented, is meant to help keep everyone calm and safe during an active shooting and reunite families afterward.

"To have a reunification plan is something that we never thought about many years ago," said Sterling Public School Superintendent, Dr. Tad Everett. "This is important, even in this world of school violence."

In the training, dice and chips were used to create metaphorical scenarios, giving participants an idea of what they should do and where they should go during an active shooting. Whittier Elementary School's principal Brian Kenney says the training was "eye-opening." 

"Sadly, we have to be prepared for things like this," Kenney said. "We have to embrace that and be as prepared as we can me." 

Principal Kenney also said keeping children safe is the number one priority.

"It's important that we fully understand the most effective process to not only keep our kids safe but to reunify them with their families as safely and as efficiently as possible," Kenney said. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive, 40 mass shootings have occurred in the US so far this year. There have been 1,331 deaths related to gun violence at the time of this publication, excluding suicides.

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