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School nurses receive active shooter training

When you think of a school nurse, you think of the person you go to for cuts and scrapes, or the one who calls Mom from school to say you’re sick.

What you don’t think of is the role the school nurse may play in an active shooter situation.

School nurses from around the Magnolia state gathered in Jackson this week for an active shooter training course.

“We think about little Johnny’s bo-bos and things like that when we think about the school nurse,” said Michael Street, Director of Operations for Specialized Emergency Response Training. “But we have to think about if a traumatic incident happens at a school, who is there already on the scene to render aid.”

News Mississippi spoke with some of the nurses at the training session about what they learned.

“My main thing I learned is to be prepared, and to know how I would move about my school,” said Diane Chaney, lead nurse for the Pascagoula Gautier School District. “My mind would be on protecting my kids, and he helped me to focus on what I need to do to do the best job that I can.”

Some of the nurses said that some of the information was counterintuitive, but necessary for survival.

“I think the biggest takeaway was to protect myself first.. I have to take care of myself so that I can take care of others, after they (law enforcement) have secured the scene,” said Shawn Smith, Lead Nurse for the Jones County School District.

Smith said that as a nurse, putting herself first seemed counterintuitive to her typical personality.

“I would be the first one out there trying to tackle him or grab his foot, just to protect those kids,” said Smith. “But I’ve got to protect me and who is with me first.”

Street said one of the biggest items he tried to push during the active shooter training was prevention.

“Know what the pre-indicators are,” said Street. “So they can know what to tell the other faculty ‘this is what we need to watch out for.”

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