Midland ISD, Community Members Take Part in Critical Incident Training

Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND -  It has been 33 days since the Sandy Hook massacre. Now the Basin is preparing on how to help students cope, should such a tragedy strike here.

Wednesday was the first of a two day workshop in critical incident stress management, a process aimed at helping survivors cope with the trauma.

"It's hard to focus on education, whenever children have other things going on," Betsy Faris, a counselor at Lee Freshman, said.

About 30 counselors from Midland ISD, along with the Crisis Intervention Unit, filled the Palmer Drug Abuse Program's Hyde Family Auditorium to participate in role playing, in order to learn how to communicate efficiently, not only with students, but with anyone who is affected.

Vaughn Donaldson, who is the Director of Training, says, "It's realistic as possible, it gets pretty heavy duty. It gets pretty emotional."

And the training doesn't solely focus on school shootings.

"The schools are getting hit with these critical incidents on a regular basis, granted you don't have someone coming into the school shooting up 20 students," he said.

They focused on death of a teacher/student, suicides, car crashes, threats, terrorist attacks and any events involving children.

"I think it's appropriate that we're addressing these crises, if we don't, then they can fester and lead to more problems," Donaldson said.

Donaldson also told NewsWest 9, this is the same training process used by Midland police, Midland Fire Department, DPS, FBI and the hospital.

Therefore, if anything big were to ever happen, it would be easier to manage with everyone on the same page.