300th educator graduates F.A.S.T.E.R. class in Ohio

Last week, Buckeye Firearms Foundation held the 13th F.A.S.T.E.R. (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) class in Ohio.

Created by Buckeye Firearms Foundation in partnership with Tactical Defense Institute, the class is designed specifically for school staff to enable them to quickly, safely, and appropriately respond to an active killer in a school setting and offer immediate life-saving medical treatment to victims.

With roughly 24 per class, over 300 teachers, administrators, and staff have now completed the training. In addition to Ohio, educators from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado have attended the training. In addition, educators in other states are looking at what is going on in Ohio and asking the Foundation if it can help them make their schools safer as well.

One of the most frequent comments from attendees is, "I’m a different person." Different because they have a new awareness of active killer events and how they are successfully stopped. Different because they now understand why current policies don’t work, and are committed to making needed changes for the safety of their students.

It has been an honor to work and train with such a dedicated group of people. They love our kids and will do anything - even die - to protect them. We owe them the tools and skills to keep our children safe at school.

We continue to get calls on a regular basis from schools who know they need to do more about safety, but just don’t understand active killer events, are not familiar with firearms, and don’t know where to turn for the knowledge they seek. After talking with so many individuals over the last year and a half, it is clear that this is the future for school security. Like Israel, we are growing tired of having our kids murdered at school, and, like it or not, armed security is the best viable solution to our problem.

The idea of armed staff in schools is not new. Schools in Idaho, Texas, and Alabama have been doing it for a decade. It has worked exceptionally well. None of the terrible “What if…” scenarios have ever happened. Instead, what these states have seen are safer schools where children learn and play, and killers know they need to pick a different location to rack up a record body count.

After the success of the original class, more than 1,700 educators from counties across Ohio have applied for the training, which has now expanded to 3 separate locations in the state in order to accommodate more more people.

Following are excerpts from just a few of the many letters we have received from F.A.S.T.E.R. graduates:

All of your instructions were precise, thus avoiding confusion, especially important in the risk environment with live fire courses. Your follow-up with the constructive criticism was effective and well presented. With obviously good results! There was improvement in the shooting and understanding of all participants, with the goal of accuracy at distance--- precise shot placement was increased.


I found debriefs on the scenarios especially helpful, along with the actual experience of action and stress.


The interest created by Buckeye Firearms Foundation in these programs is, as you know, receiving national attention. I am sure it will continue to grow and the children and students in our schools will be safer because of the involvement of professionals such as yourselves and the dedicated teachers who avail themselves of the courses.


I want to say thanks for the opportunity to attend the recent FASTER training at TDI. I was a fairly accomplished shooter before the training. However, through the training, I have achieved a whole new level of skill in marksmanship and I know that if the needs arises I can step up and perform in any situation. Thanks


I just wanted to say thank you for that wonderful class. I can't say enough great things to do it justice! I find myself thinking through different aspects of it frequently, and mulling over the different scenarios that could arise in my particular situation. I have always felt pretty competent with my gun and level of situational awareness, but that class took it to a whole other level--and then some!! I'm hoping to get in on the new, level 2 class...

You're doing great and vital work there at Buckeye Firearms Foundation!

...I HAVE had quite a bit of professional, tactical firearms training, and I STILL came away with a huge amount of improved skill and knowledge. This class does not only revolutionize the previously untrained. Don't sell yourselves short on that count!


I want to extend my sincere appreciation for your assistance in accepting me in the class. It was a fantastic experience. The confidence gained in the last three days has made a night and day difference in my mindset. Thanks for all you are doing to help us be prepared.

And finally, the following feedback is from firearms instructor Dave Spaulding, 2010 Law Officer Trainer of the Year:

Just finished a two day fund raiser for the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. Bucky Buchanan and I had 27 students on day one and 28 on day two which made for a busy time, but most gratifying in student feedback! Seldom do I get a group of students that are so eager to learn...they were like sponges! The questions were excellent as were the shooters.

Day two was made up mostly of armed teachers who had graduated from the BFF Armed Teacher Program, a training course that is paid for completely by BFF. The course instructors are John Benner and Chris Cerino and the quality of their instruction was readily apparent! These were a group of exceptional shooters! Bucky and I discussed how gratified we were that these dedicated professionals have decided to volunteer to protect out children from criminal attack and you can tell they take this responsibility seriously. These folks possessed a high level of skill which is certainly necessary for the task(s) they have taken on.

If you are an Ohio teacher and are interested in this program, check out the Buckeye Firearms Foundation web site.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award." Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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