I have, on numerous occasions, "preached" about what every officer should have immediately available to grap-and-go in the event of an active shooter incident occuring within his/her response area. I've written about what officers should have on any vest they wear or in any bag they can grab. To date I'd not yet found a pre-packed vest or bag - until now. Enter the Warrior Training Group and their Active Shooter Go Bag. Not being the type to simply read press information and write up something nice, I met with the primary designer of the bag - from selection of the actual bag to selection of all the contents - and discussed with him the whys and wherefors of what's in it. Then I got one of the bags and enjoyed (yeah, right) using it in various training scenarios that revolved around active shooter response. Here's what I learned...
Many trainers today, whether they are on the agency's payroll or contracted commercial trainers, excel at teaching what you should do when you get to the scene of an active shooter event. Courses normally include training on how to:
- form teams
- move through structures
- identify IEDs
- pass casualties
- provide self-trauma-care
- provide buddy trauma care
Somewhere along the way discussion is held about the tactics used by various agencies in attendance in how to secure doors as the team moves through the structure; how teachers will identify which rooms have students in them under lock down; how team members can mark rooms that have been cleared, etc. What we sometimes fail to clearly identify is when the dynamic entry, search and neutralization activity ceases and the slower, more thorough, building clearing begins. This is an important dividing line in the activity that we need to identify and be aware of. Why does it matter to this review? Because the equipment you need for the dynamic activity is different from what you need during the slow-and-deliberate activity but you don't want to have to exit the building to get a different kit as you transition from one to the other. So the best Active Shooter / Immediate Response Kit you can have will include items for both portions of the response activity.
This is where the Active Shooter Go Bag from Warrior Training Group comes in. When they designed their Go Bag they took into consideration the immedaite needs of the officer during the hunting phase:
- trauma supplies
- window punch
However, for the slow-and-deliberate search and clearance of the structure, some or all of the following items are good to have:
- 550 cord
- 10 feet of 1" tubular webbing w/ carabineers
- 4 rubber door chocks
- 1 roll of blue flagging tape
- 1 wide tip surface marker
Anyone who has read my writing for very long knows that I'd add a quality flashlight and extra batteries to that list. Of course, you also have to have something to carry it all in. Take a look.
Provided in the 14"x10"x6" ballistic nylon bag are all of the above listed items except the ammo and flashlight / batteries. That's okay though because there is extra room in the bag for you to add your own. As I used this kit for my most recent training experience I added four 30-round magazines for my AR-style weapon, two extra magazines for my pistol, my flashlight, spare battery case and a couple of granola bars (hey, I like to not be hungry). The bag is fitted with an adjustable shoulder strap and two sturdy wrap-together handles.
The ONLY challenge this bag has is the same challenge nearly every other shoulder bag has: it's going to move when you do. Cross-sling it on your body and then go run with it while you hold a rifle or shotgun. The bag is going to move around. What's that mean in your world? You'd better pack it right and know it by touch. Know which way you want to pull it onto your body (over your left shoulder and head as an example) and which side you want facing away from your body. Position it appropriately in your trunk or back seat. DO NOT let it become another missile sailing around the inside of your patrol vehicle if you get into an accident.
The Warrior Training Group also produces a version of this kit without the trauma care supplies (the Generation 2 kit; I tested the Gen 3). On their website the Gen 2 kit retails for $115; the Gen 3 kit is priced at $210. They also have other individual pieces of kit / gear and supplies available for purchase. Their prices are more than reasonable so check them out.
Remember: It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!