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Central Ohio Teachers Train to be First Responders
PATASKALA (Tom Bosco/Kate Liebers) -- Pamela Buechner is a special education instructor, a student teacher and -- as of Wednesday -- also a first responder.
This new title is part of an approach to protect students from dangerous intruders -- a concern that escalated after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre shocked the nation.
Yet this new program has some teachers concerned.
"I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl," said Buechner, a teacher at Watkins Memorial High School. "This side of it was something I never thought about."
"It's something I don't think a lot of us were prepared to do when we wanted to go into teaching," she said.
Licking County deputy Gus Moore said it makes sense to train the teachers because they are the ones who will be on the scene.
"They're there long before law enforcement is going to arrive," Moore said.
At Watkins High, staff learned how to disable a shooter and practiced on the deputies. This is in contract to the previous emergency tactic of hiding in classrooms. In that scenario, 70 percent of the teachers were hit.
"We were just proven that what we've been taught isn't the right thing to do," Buechner said.
Teachers also learned how to stop a bleeding gunshot wound and the proper way to carry the wounded. Officers encouraged teachers to bring in items from home in case they need to create a barricade in their rooms. They also taught staffhow to make bandages and tourniquets out of t-shirts and bicycle inner tubes.