Active Shooter / Rapid Response Kit

Since the attack that occurred in Columbine, "Active Shooter" response training has been a primary focus in law enforcement agencies nationwide. Part of that training always includes information on what type of gear an officer should have available and ready to go when the fit hits the shan. From Specter Gear comes a simple, modular "kit" that provides an officer the ability to prepare what should be considered bare minimums in equipment needs for such response. I got one; assembled it; packed it and tried it out in a few training exercises. Here's what I found out.

Shown in the top picture, the "kit" is made up of four components:

  1. The chest harness w/ adjustable padded neck strap and adjustable waist strap
  2. A triple rifle magazine pouch w/ elastic pull tab closures
  3. A triple pistol magazine pouch w/ full flap hook-n-loop closures
  4. A blow out kit pouch

I'm right handed, so all my reloads (unless I get injured) will be done with my left hand. So I set my test kit up with my pistol mag pouches on the left side and the blow-out kit on the right. The rifle mag pouch attachment fills the chest harness platform from left to right and has just enough room on its "face" to mount the pistol pouch and blow out kit pouch.

Now, setting aside the argument about augmented body armor for response to such events, no one ever debates that an officer needs more than just his (or her) handgun. Shotguns are better, as are carbines, but true fighting rifles are best. Speaking in general, the AR-style rifles dominate the law enforcement patrol rifle market (although other rifles would also serve the purpose equally well). The Specter Gear triple rifle magazine pouch holds three 30-round .223/5.56mm magazines. That is, in my opinion, the bare minimum that should be considered acceptable for active shooter / rapid response.

Working on the assumption that - in such situations - there's no such thing as too much ammo, I'd recommend you think about putting TWO of these 3-magazine pouches on the chest harness. That would give you six magazines for reload - and that's what I was taught (long ago) was an accepted minimum.

On the face of the rifle magazine pouches is room for the pistol pouches and blow out kit pouch. Adding three pistol magazines means that - most commonly - instead of 45 rounds for your pistol (one in it plus two extra) you have 90+ pistol rounds. Now I know people who think this is a bit much, but to those folks I'd make two observations:

  1. If the battle is prolonged and you run out of rifle ammo, you can't just leave the fight. You'd better have all the pistol ammo you can carry.
  2. The most important bullet in your world is the one you don't have when you need it most.

So, with (as shown) 90 rounds of rifle ammo and 45 rounds of pistol ammo, we must also prepare to treat ourselves or - as circumstances permit / mandate - victims. In that blow out kit pouch you should have at least two tourniquets and as many pressure bandages as you can fit. I'd recommend the QuikClot gauze bandages - as many as you can fit. In any conflict situation where we discuss supplies, it's always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

In response testing situations, having stored the pre-packed kit in a cruiser trunk with a rifle, I was able to leave the driver's seat, go to the open trunk, put on the kit (Pull it over my neck and clip the waist band around) and grab my rifle, close the trunk and go in as little as four seconds. While four seconds sounds fast, I'd guess that in a real life active shooter or terrorist attack event that four seconds will seem like an eternity of not being in the fight.

As with many other manufacturer pouches, I'm still waiting for someone to make a blow out kit pouch that has a pull tab opening like was found (and still is) on many "fanny packs". A single pull tab that allows the user to grab and yank and have access to the supplies inside seems a good idea to me. As an additional thought, I liked the way Specter Gear has their MOLLE attachment straps as snap together but totally removable from the pouches - not sewn on. That made attachment ot the MOLLE webbing easier.

For more information about Specter Gear and their equipment, check them out online.

Stay Safe!