Participants enter a shoot house, as shown in this still from a Kontek Industries YouTube video.

State of Ohio buying shoot houses to train armed school staff

The Ohio Department of Public Safety plans to spend about $78,000 on two shoot houses to train armed school staff, law enforcement, and other first responders on active-threat response.

The Ohio Controlling Board gave unanimous approval March 25 to the department to waive bids and spend $78,028.75 on the two custom mobile modular shoot houses.

The plan is to provide live fire and scenario-based training as part of the department's advanced initial and annual requalification trainings on active-threat response, according to the department's bid-waiver request.

The Ohio Mobile Training Team (OMTT) was created under Ohio law, under the Ohio School Safety and Crisis Center umbrella, and the team is required to provide initial and annual requalification training for armed school staff.

OMTT's model curriculum, called Armed School Staff Essential Training (ASSET), comprises two core training programs, according to its submitted request. One is the initial 24-hour certification program; the other is an annual eight-hour requalification program.

Gov. Mike DeWine and state public safety director Andy Wilson also asked that the OMTT create advanced training for school personnel, according to the request.

"Besides school personnel, OMTT also trains law enforcement and other first responders on active threat response," the request said. "These trainings include live fire and scenario-based training that utilize simulation. These trainings are held outdoors on live fire ranges and indoors utilizing simulation."

The purchase of the two shoot houses from North Carolina-based Kontek Industries will allow OMTT to provide realistic training inside a building or outdoors, according to the request.

The MMSH features an easy-to-set-up design, allowing for realistic-based training, rapid deployment, reconfigurable rooms, hallways and doors, and weatherproof design, and can build exact replicas of buildings, according to the request.

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"Since the mission of the OSSC, OMTT team is to provide active threat response training throughout Ohio, the MMSH will allow OMTT to conduct trainings outdoors, regardless of the weather (cold, rain, and especially the wind)," according to the request.

Training can be done anywhere that has the space to hold the MMSH, regardless of weather, according to the request.

The seven-member state controlling board is responsible for handling necessary adjustments to the state budget, and it provides legislative oversight over certain capital and operating expenditures by state agencies. The board also has approval authority over various other state fiscal activities, including competitive bid waivers.

DPS is seeking a waiver because no competitors offer the MMSH products.

"Kontek Industries owns all distribution and marketing rights of the MMSH products and designates how the MMSH products may be marketed and sold, which includes installation and training," according to the waiver request.

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