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Valley educators learn new techniques for responding to school shooting scenarios

The Phoenix Firefighters Union recently sponsored specialized training for teachers who find themselves in dangerous situations.

PHOENIX — In the wake of an increase in school shootings, the Phoenix Firefighters Union is sponsoring specialized training for school employees.

The ALICE Training bills itself as a flexible, options-based training program for students and teachers.

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, counter, and evacuate. The training teaches educators to quickly assess a threat and react in the most appropriate way to create the safest possible space for their students.

“It becomes very helpful when you know what to do, in the event that something happens,” said Ibi Davila Haghighat, superintendent of Phoenix Elementary School District.

The city's leaders say this type of training is valuable considering the amount of violence that's been happening on campuses across the country. 

“We know we have to prepare for this,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego after she sat in on a new training program for educators. "The training helps our educators decide how would you respond. Is it better to evacuate? Should you secure the classroom?"

United Phoenix Firefighter Charities sponsored the two-day class.

“Whatever alert it is that they are able to recognize and accept it and respond to it to increase their survivability in a small window of time before the emergency responders arrive,” explained Brandon Rhone, the director of training for Navigator360- the company that teaches ALICE Training.

Rhone believes the ALICE Training can go beyond the walls of the classroom.

“They learn it here, at their school, at their professional realm, but it really is a life skill that can be used anywhere.” Rhone said.

Thanks to a donation by Phoenix Suns Charities to United Phoenix Firefighters on Friday, more training classes will be held during the school year.

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