I spent my afternoon yesterday taking a online active shooter training course, required by my employer. Growing up, I never even fathomed that would be the reality of my adult life, but after the events that took place over 20 years ago at a Columbine High School, everything changed. What was once a shocking event, today, mass shootings barely make front page news.

The more these tragedies become normalized in society, the more important it is to remember that this is not normal, and it's not okay. I don't think anyone can even imagine the aftermath, trauma and devastation these events cause a community, unless you've lived it first hand. That first hand insight it exactly what former principal of Columbine High School, Frank DeAngelis will bring to Bekrshire County.

According to The Berkshire Edge, Fairview Hospital and the Southern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee will host DeAngelis, a leading figure in the national conversation on school violence.  DeAngelis will present On Any Given Day: Leadership Lessons from Columbine and Beyond this Wednesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Monument Mountain Regional High School.

DeAngelis is now a consultant and speaker on recovery after a school tragedy.  He will share his story of the events through the aftermath, sharing leadership lessons he learned in the focus of an international firestorm.  He has recently released a book, They Call Me Mr. De: The Story of Columbine's Heart, Resilience, and Recovery, which will be available for sale the night of the event.

The presentation is appropriate for representatives from emergency management, law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, public health, regional emergency planning committee members, education, houses of worship and municipalities.  The program is free and interested members of the public are welcome to attend.  Children under 18 will not be allowed.

For more information, please call Heather Barbieri, Director of Emergency Management at Fairview Hospital at (413) 854-9656.  Pre-registration is required and must be completed online. 

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