MILLIS (CBS) – More than ever before, schools are taking the initiative to protect students and make them aware of the steps to take in case of a shooting. It’s an alarming reality check to residents of all ages in Millis.

“I’m a parent of two teenagers,” said Steven Kohler. “The Florida event really hit me harder than some of the others.”

For years, the town’s first responders have been teaching its residents how to respond in an active shooter situation.

“Unfortunately, when tragic events happen, that’s when the call for more training or more informational sessions arise from the public,” said Millis Police Chief Chris Soffayer.

Ilene Hamm was among the dozens of people who are eager to learn.

“I didn’t realize the importance of barricading a room, and when to run and not to run,” Hamm said.

The town’s fire chief, Rick Barrett, says knowing what to do when a gunman strikes is a shared responsibility between first responders and the public.

“It goes above and beyond students,” Barrett said. “Anybody at a movie theater, somebody at a mall – just getting a good plan, having a good idea of where the exits are.”

Another tip: be aware of those around you and to always dial 911.

“Pay attention,” Barrett said. “Really make sure you see the environment you’re in.”

In the midst of chaos, these simple steps can go a long way to help save a life.

“You can’t just expect the professionals to stop it,” Kohler said. “We have to be prepared as parents and community members to step in if necessary.”


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