We put officers through basic room entry and rescue operations skill development in a recent Ballistic Shield Instructor program we conducted During this exercise, we teach the officers the importance of staying with the basic entry skills needed to perform any rescue operations, including HRT rescue operations. The main goal is to show the officer the importance of using the ballistic shield in downed officer/civilian hostage rescue training and the advantages of always having ballistic shields available for rescue operations and all the while learning rapid entry methods and dealing with multiple static and moving threats.
“Realistic style training must be the “constant” and the “norm” over “qualifications.” Through quality yet simple training, officers will get better at their “real-time” response methods.“
Officers set up for a downed officer rescue operation where the officer is pinned down just passed the doorway threshold of the residence. Officers conduct their safety briefing which includes the situation, location of the officer, the number of subjects in the home, and their plan of entry. The rescue team consists of two ballistic shield operators, two additional weapon entry operators, and two rescue team hands-on members. Once briefed, the officers practice all movements with dry and SAFE weapons ensuring that assignments are met with the utmost safety. Once prepped and ready to go live fire, the team stacks at the door and makes an entry. Once inside they are met by simple spray-colored targets where a color is called out as the stimulus to fire at the indicated colored target. While that is being performed, the rescue team hands-on officers make entry and quickly assess and begin to move the downed officer from the room. While this is going on, the initial entry officers deal with the multiple threats inside. During one moment of the exercise, the MotoShot subject mover moves in various directions turning towards the officers.
Critical Teaching Point:
When the MotoShot Elite Target System turns towards the officers, the mover has a large-sized sharpie marker with a black cap and a silver body positioned in the hands of the 3D Target subject. Suddenly at one point, an officer fires a round at the mover thinking the object is a weapon in hand. Once the downed officer is removed from the scene and officers safely back out, all firearms are holstered (handguns) or in safe and low-ready positions (rifles). We then debrief the entire scenario from start to finish. We eventually get to the area where the officer fired the round at the mover subject. The officer’s take on the situation was: “there was so much going on and when the mover turned suddenly towards my angle quickly it looked like the subject had a weapon in hand.”
Debrief and Tips: We explained the importance of:
1. Contagious gunfire and knowing when and where to shoot.
2. Angles of opportunities and how it can really make or break the operations just from simple visuals and what the officer sees in a blink.
3. Realistic style training must be the constant and the norm over qualifications. This is the only way officers will get better at their real-time response methods is through quality yet simple training.
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