Local responders complete training challenge

Pictured are BRSOT/DC Team members, from left, Officer Josh Lake, Paramedic Derrick Hall, Officer Derek Dekar, Officer Tony Emanuele and Detective Travis Collins.

Recently, area emergency responders attended the Second Annual Tactical Rescue Challenge in Hartford, Connecticut.

Three members of the Bradford Regional Special Operations Team participated in the hybrid training event/team competition. The BRSOT/DC team was comprised of Officer Derek Dekar (Athens Borough Police Department), Officer Josh Lake (Towanda Police Department), Paramedic Derrick Hall (Greater Valley EMS), Detective Travis Collins (Metropolitan D.C. Police) and Tony Emanuele (U.S. Park Police and co-owner of Medicine in Bad Places training group, the team’s sponsor). The BRSOT/DC team placed fourth in the competition of nine teams, which included teams from the U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Department of Energy Special Operations Group, Indiana State Police, and several Military Police teams and other Connecticut regional special operations teams.

The day-long event was a timed team challenge and consisted of five different scenarios, ranging from active shooter response, to an armored vehicle being disabled by an Improvised Explosive Device. Team members were tested under stressful conditions, such as limited visibility, limited access, and exposure to chemical agents. The scenarios required teamwork; threat assessment; marksmanship; physical agility and endurance; and treatment and rescue of civilians, police casualties, and police K9 casualties.

“Events like this are a great training opportunity for our personnel,” stated Chief Dan Reynolds of the Sayre Police Department and team commander for BRSOT. “This training experience allows our members to learn and perform under conditions that are as stressful and realistic as possible,” Reynolds continued.

The Bradford Regional Special Operations Team is a multi-agency collaborative response group made up of officers from the Athens Borough Police Department, Sayre Police Department, Towanda Police Department, Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, and tactical emergency medical support provided through Greater Valley EMS. The team trains to standards established by the National Tactical Officers Association and members must meet strict monthly and annual training requirements. The team is available to assist law enforcement agencies throughout Bradford County and is also supported by the North Central Task Force.