Alameda County Experience
Alameda County Urban Shield: A Volunteer's Perspective
I’ve participated in the Urban Shield Training program as a volunteer/role player for the past three years and each year I’ve been overwhelmingly amazed and impressed with what Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has put together. Urban Shield is a 48 hour tactical training even designed for first responders to respond to critical events which require SWAT, EMS and Fire to respond. I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in an active shooter event for my third year straight, this year playing the role of an active shooter. Previously I played the role of innocent bystander and shooting casualty taken down by a terrorist bomb. This past event was orchestrated perfectly with simunition rounds strategically placed, realistic blood splattered with brain matter and Hollywood style makeup and props to make the scene REAL. It was interesting to see how the various SWAT teams approached the scene, playing multiple hats-first to secure scene, second to control, and lastly to protect to allow for EMS to arrive and administer trauma care to those in need.
Aside from the incident, the debriefing sessions were equally impressive as teams were able to review and evaluate their response to the situation to identify training and equipment gaps to better prepare for similar situations. The event could not be more realistic to evaluate real life scenarios and the associated competencies and resources of the various agencies. An exercise like this is as close as it gets. This was a great opportunity to have participated and I look forward to participating in the years to come.
By Sam Gee
Personnel Service Manager
Alameda County Human Resource Services