San Bernardino High students train for active-shooter crisis


SAN BERNARDINO - A girl with blood painted on her face lay in a San Bernardino High School hallway on Thursday as a bald man wearing a khaki trench coat fired blanks from an assault rifle.

Five students carrying blue plastic pistols advanced down the corridor — in a recently learned formation — to confront the “active shooter.”

“Don’t step on your ‘victims,’ ” a San Bernardino police officer yelled over the cries and screams blaring from speakers, prompting the group of five to hop over the girl on the floor.

The drill was part of a hands-on learning experience for the 400 or so students enrolled in the Public Safety and Business academies at SBHS. The academies were established to create a path for students to follow to a career.

By 2017, every San Bernardino City Unified student will be able to participate in a career pathway, according to SBHS Principal Sandra Rodriguez.

“We are trying to make kids see more real life on the job situations,” she said.

Thursday’s activity — which began with three hours of classroom instruction — was the first time police and firefighters taught the students.

Rodriguez hopes to have them back on a quarterly basis for other simulations, like a traffic stop or burglary investigation.

“They’re actually learning what it would be like if they really were a police officer,” Rodriguez said.

Outside a Academy Hall, a firefighter explained the next step in responding to an active-shooter situation — tending to the victims.

Paramedics take no more than 20 seconds to evaluate and assign one of four color codes to patients, based on the severity of their injuries. With example vests and tarps at his feet, he said green is for minor injuries. Yellow is given to people with non-life threatening injuries, like a broken bone or laceration. Red is for victims who need potential life-saving surgery within an hour. Those wrapped in black are transported directly to the morgue.

The colors are universal, he told the students, whether it be in response to a mass shooting or highway pileup.

The day ended with a question-and-answer session where San Bernardino police, one an SBHS graduate, explained the yearlong hiring process.

Originally posted January 29, 2015 by San Bernardino County Sun