County employees trained for emergency situations

As more shootings and attacks in public places make the news, Auglaize County employees have been trained in what to do if such an event were to happen here.

While most of the details cannot be shared, county officials agree about the importance in being prepared for the worst case scenario.

Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon said with the reopening of the Auglaize County Courthouse this fall after renovations, additional security measures were put in place. As part of that, courthouse staff and other county employees were given training.

“We decided it would be a good idea,” said Solomon, whose office provided similar training to school districts and their employees in the past few years.

Referred to as “active shooter” training, Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Troy Anderson said it was well-needed.

The training in part addresses the emergency plans put in place at the county level — what the plan is and what type of protection would be provided.

“Issues at hand throughout the U.S. have brought a lot of things to light,” Anderson said. “Whoever would come in, these guys are well prepared to handle it.”

It was the first time such information and training was provided to county employees.

“We talked to them about what to do in general if something happens,” Solomon said.

He said the training focused on employees’ safety and how they should react to certain situations.

“There are no guarantees, but these are places where serious situations may arise and it is best to be prepared,” Solomon said.

He said they plan to continue to provide updates to this training, both to county and school employees, periodically as needed. Specifically, updates to school trainings are expected shortly after the first of the year.

All training exercises and seminars provided by the Sheriff’s Office are free to the other government agencies, Solomon said.

The sheriff said as employees change, it is particularly important to get new staff members trained as well.

“We talk to them about how we are going to enter, what to expect from us, what to do before we get there,” Solomon said. “Because of the happenings in the U.S. in recent history, we are glad we started this a few years ago.”

He said it is imperative to conduct the training in light of the recent shootings at schools.

“We aren’t totally ahead of the game,” Solomon said, “but in some ways we were.”