Week 14--Recruit Fratto

Everyone in the state of Colorado, and across America, remembers the horrific day at Columbine High School 16 years ago.

On Monday, we learned about law enforcement's response to such incidents. It started with a lecture on vehicle contacts and Rapid Emergency Deployment (RAID), which helps prepare us as First Responders get into buildings and effectively stop active threats. SWAT teams cannot always be right around the corner, so we as the First Responders have to be able to get in and save lives.

Wednesday for my squad was spent at the Colorado Mills parking structure for our vehicle contact practical. This day was a lot of fun. A lot of our days’ work progresses from traffic stops. One thing to always remember is that there is never a routine traffic stop.

Our role players did a phenomenal job playing different roles, and I don’t think they get enough credit for how well they really push us to learn. Traffic stops are very dangerous in nature, and our day’s point of emphasis was safety: the safety of innocent bystanders and ourselves.

Thursday we were at the firearms range for the entire day. This time we were up there as a whole class, and not in our respective squads. I’m starting to get a bit depressed, as we only have two more class days at the range! We continued to do qualification courses, and compete against each other on the tactical range.

Next week we are having our Top Gun Competition to see who is the best shot in the class. Our class has a lot of good shooters, and I think on any given day each one could win. Well that day is Tuesday, and should be interesting to see how it plays out! I’ll make sure to report the winner in next week’s blog!

Friday ended with our RAID practical at the Flatirons Community Church.

The JeffCo Regional SWAT Team taught our practical, and started off by showing us the proper way to search a building for an active threat. They are truly awesome to watch. They move so fluidly and have great communication, which is key in effectively finding and stopping active threats. RAID is a lot like building searches, except time is now not on our side. We have to move a lot faster, and be a lot more versatile. We have to be able to be flexible, and adjust when presented with new challenges. I think we all did a great job in responding to what our instructors taught us.

Week 14 is done. I tried to jump the gun last week in saying 8 weeks left, but now there is truly 8 weeks left!

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