What's in your go bag?

A good go bag is all about having life-saving tools readily available, without being weighed down. Cpl. Doug Rickard of the Southwest Washington Regional TEMS Team (pictured) recalls packing his own bag to respond at a Seattle-area mall shooting two years ago. It took SWAT 8 to 10 hours to clear the mall. He cautions against carrying more than 10 or 15 pounds of stuff, and advises to focus on the essentials.

“Many times the officer has to set up his or her own go bag and make a lot of purchases on their own. When I was in the training unit I did a lot of research on ‘What would an officer need?’” Rickard says.

“Each officer has their own bag based on training and experience.”

On Rickard:

Rickard’s Gentex refurbished military helmet sits next to his go bag or is attached to it. It came in handy on one call that started as a disturbance and ended in a shooting. “All of our officers have them. If you’re going into a situation where you suspect there might be gunfire, and you have that protection available to you, it’s best to don that helmet along with the go bag and then respond.”

“You want something that’s … going to carry ammo for whatever weapons you’re carrying,” Rickard says. He carries loaded rifle and handgun magazines, as well as breaching rounds for shotguns.

The Maxpedition Fatboy Versipak hangs on the left side of Rickard’s body and doesn’t interfere when he draws his weapon.

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