Civilian Response: SMA Stays ALERRT

Participants use piieces of pork tenderloin to practice their wound-packing skills at the Academy CRCC training.
Participants use piieces of pork tenderloin to practice their wound-packing skills at the Academy CRCC training.

Fifteen San Marcos Academy staff and faculty members participated in the country’s first Civilian Response and Casualty Care (CRCC) course during their Easter break April 22.

The four-hour course was created by the ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) Center at Texas State University. Regional ALERRT Manager Marty Adcock was the facilitator for the SMA training session, along with the SMA Resource Officer, Deputy Daniel Weber.

Civilian Response: Evidence-based Best Practices

Designed to teach evidence-based best practices when confronted with an active attack scenario, the brand-new course included two blocks of training followed by practical exercises. Topics included physiology and stress reactions during an incident, history and prevalence of mass attacks, and discussions of real-world events. Participants also learned basic trauma care and life-saving medical intervention techniques.

The course exceeds all requirements for “Stop the Bleed” instruction, so all participants were certified in both CRCC and Stop the Bleed.

“Coming out of the training, I’ve gained a new perspective on what each individual’s role is in the chance of an active attack,” said Amy Esmiol, Student Activities Director. “These can happen anywhere, any time, and it was good training to play through your own scenarios of how you might handle certain situations, and then learn, based on evidence, what has proven to have the best outcomes. Something Mr. Adcock said was that this is a tool that needs to be in every student’s toolbox when they go off to college, along with how to change a tire, do laundry and manage finances.”

Civilian Response: More Training on the Way

This course was the first of many that San Marcos Academy will be undertaking in the upcoming year in a new initiative to have 100 percent of full-time employees both CRCC and Stop the Bleed certified. Beginning in the fall semester, Deputy Weber will offer modified versions of the course to all Upper School and Middle School students.

The lessons will provide all employees and students with the tools to remain confident and under control in case of an emergency situation. The basic trauma medicine training is an essential life skill applicable to many real-world scenarios, whether at school, at home, or even stopping to assist injured motorists after a vehicle accident.

Civilian Response: Taking Back Control

“I want to provide all of our students and teachers with the knowledge and ability to take back control of their lives if anybody tries to take that from them,” Deputy Weber said. “This is not a course designed to scare anybody and was, in fact, designed meticulously by ALERRT to mitigate fear of these events through education and confidence building exercises.

“The teachers and employees of SMA, as well as those at schools all across the country, work tirelessly to give our students the tools to succeed and become leaders,” Deputy Weber continued. “This course helps to fill in one more piece of that puzzle, ensuring our loved ones aren’t left helpless if tragedy strikes. Just like ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll’ is something we all know by heart, ‘Avoid, Deny, Defend’ will soon be thought of the same way.”

Civilian Response: Real-Life Scenarios

One of the participants was journalism instructor Cindy Rollins of Wimberley. “The Civilian Response and Casualty Care (CRCC) training was amazing,” Rollins said. “We were the first class of civilians to receive this training and it gave us real-life scenarios from which to learn. A bit unsettling because of the nature of the topic, but so important for being prepared should an attack of some sort happen. Having the “Stop the Bleed” training included was a plus. Unfortunately, this is a part of our world now. I’m more confident and should be better able to assess and respond to protect myself, my family and my students. I’m just prayerful that I never have to use this training. Thanks to Officers Weber and Adcock for doing a fantastic job.”

The ALERRT Center at Texas State University is a partnership between the University, the San Marcos Police Department and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office to provide active shooter response training for first responders. In 2013, the FBI named ALERRT at Texas State the National Standard in Active Shooter Response Training.