NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — A man devoting his life to studying school shootings and preparing schools for mass shooters found himself in the very hell he prepared for.
Brink Fidler of Defend Systems in Nashville trained the staff of The Covenant School for a mass shooting.
Fidler walked the crime scene with Metro Police. He walked the same path the shooter did and beyond—every step of every hallway and room by room.
FOX 17 News went to a Defend Systems school training event in October.
It is intense, detailed, and all-encompassing, looking at every weakness in every building, and training teachers and staff on what to do and what not to do.
Fiddler says the weakness of Covenant was the glass and ballistic film that would have potentially stopped the shooter.
He talks about the reaction of the staff and how those teachers saved lives by quick action.
"Yes, I conducted training with his faculty and staff last January, but I was not here on Monday," said Fidler. "Okay, they are the ones that executed flawlessly in the moment, right. It's a very heavy topic, it's a very tough thing for teachers to take on even talk about this. This group was so bought in they took it seriously. And I know every detail now of exactly what happened in every single room and everything. And I can tell you that the teachers are the story here, they executed flawlessly when somebody's trying to murder them and their children, which is very difficult to do under that amount of stress."
Fiddler says that the six people killed were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He says the shooter entered during class change and ran into those six people.
No one made any mistakes and lives were spared because of it.
Fiddler and his partner, former police officer and paramedic Tracey Mendenhall, instructed the teachers on how to use tourniquets and stop bleeding.
She couldn’t believe how many classrooms were ready to stop the bleed.
When we were able to do the walkthrough yesterday with homicide, we did get to notice that the medical kits that we would give one to each school that we teach, but that they, this school, bought many more of those, they saw the value in that and we saw those medical kits on tables in these classrooms that they were prepared to do what they needed to do, which it just proves that they went to to the training that they and we’re just very proud of all of them that were in there on Monday,” said Mendenhall.
The training is often not mentioned in stories on school shooters.
Defend Systems has been in dozens of schools, but only one Metro school ever, and that was at the invitation of the PTO not MNPS.
Even though Metro Public Schools claim to provide training for teachers and staff every year, Fidler says it was the most unprepared group of people he had ever seen.
The most surprising thing was none of them knew what to do,” said Fidler.
Fidler comments on Nashville public schools regarding school security.
“...no training, no SROs in elementary, no trauma kits, no ballistic glass, no security cameras," asked FOX 17 News. "Does that not add up to negligence by Metro Nashville Public Schools?"
"A thousand percent it does," said Fidler. "I can guarantee you if something like this were to happen in a situation like that, then Metro is going to be basically asking how many zeros they want on that check."
“If I were a parent with Metro, I would be fired up, said Mendenhall. "I would be fired up. I would be beaten down the doors that I need to beat down to make sure that those teachers get the training that they need and the equipment that they need."
Fiddler and Mendenhall said Metro staff told them during training they were told to write down the names of everyone in the classroom during the shooting event. F
Fidler says that is not just a waste of time, but it takes away the time and opportunity to do the things that need to be done in those racing seconds.
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