Merced teachers train for active shooter situation

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The Merced Union High School district is helping teachers prepare for a possible active shooter on campus. (KFSN)

An up close look at an intense training that is designed to save lives in the crucial moments before officers arrive.
The sound of gunfire rang out in the auditorium of Merced's El Capitan High School on Saturday -- a disturbing drill based on a tragic reality. "Unfortunately the world we live in now, violence has become part of the norm," said Paul Llanez, Knowledge Saves Lives, Incorporated.

The non-profit Knowledge Saves Lives has been putting on events like this one across the state. The group is made up of former law enforcement officers who want schools to be more prepared. "Most of our guys including myself, we're all parents, so as parents we have this concern of how can we make this better."

Teachers were put through several scenarios, including a lockdown inside their classrooms. They even learned to use improvised weapons, such as a fire extinguisher.

"God forbid this happens, but we need to keep our kids safe," said Salvador Rosas, El Capitan High School Teacher.

Salvador Rosas says he could feel the adrenaline pumping as a mock shooter strolled through campus, looking for possible victims. "Throughout the whole training I had that in the back of my head that I don't want to that to happen for real here for our kids and campus and staff."

This drill was planned before the deadly mass shooting in Oregon, but those who participated, and came to observe, say that tragedy stresses the importance of being ready for anything.

"Knowing that there is always a possibility not if but when something like this may take place in our district so we're always looking for a better way to prepare ourselves," said Armand Chavez, Emergency Planning Crisis Response Manger for Fresno Unified.
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