Learning still going on at the Rippey school

Rippey school 2Classes haven’t been held in the Rippey school since 2010, and the classroom portion of the building will be razed before a new school year starts, but there’s still learning going on in the 1921 building.

The building was the site for training for the Greene County sheriff’s office and the state fire marshals last Tuesday, June 17.

Greene County chief deputy Jack Williams conducted the training, a refresher to ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Team) training the deputies and the sheriff have already completed.

Williams explained that law enforcement officers have done ALERRT training in about half of Iowa’s counties. In Greene County, the entire sheriff’s office has completed both Level I and Level II of the training. Level I focuses on an indoor, active shooter, such as a school shooter. Level II takes the training outdoors in scenarios in timber and in parking lots. Officers learn how to search for bombs, track or search for shooters, and how to rescue a wounded officer or citizen. The Rippey training was refresher for the Level I training.

Iowa Central Community College received a grant in 2008 from the Department of Homeland Security to offer the training in Iowa. Williams is a certified trainer. He trains not only local law enforcement, but agencies all over the central Midwest. He has done training for more than 7,000 officers and deputies in Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

At the Rippey training, several scenarios were reviewed, including some with active shooters and two in which improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been placed. Deputies took turns playing the roles of students or teachers as needed. Six fire marshals were on hand. They donned bomb suits and used robots to located the IEDs.

Shawn DeMoss, building and grounds supervisor at East Greene, spoke with the EG board last Wednesday about the training. “They were very gracious, very respectful of the building,” DeMoss said. “They were very happy to be able to get the experience in a building like that.”

The training has been done other times in Jefferson and in the former Scranton school, Williams said.

Williams hopes to have another training session in Rippey in July before the building is demolished.

The future of the ALERRT training for local agencies is doubtful. The FBI has taken over the training with federal agencies as a priority. It is unlikely there will be future funding for ammunition for the simunition  guns used in the training, Williams said.

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