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Monday, November 30, 2015

“They Got It”: The Georgia Training Safety Officer Workshops

Workshops were recently held in Georgia.
The veteran firearms instructor spoke up at a recent Training Safety Officer (TSO) workshop that was held in Dublin, Georgia. The class was discussing how the risk factors contributing to an accident come together. The instructor explained that his department was one of two departments training on a firearms range and described how the ranges were parallel and separated by a large earth berm. The department on the other range was using a metal target, and the instructor said, “That should have been a red flag.”

He described how he was working with his officers on the five-yard line while the other department was working farther back on their range, near the 25-yard line. He could hear the metal target in the next range ring every time a bullet hit it. Their post-accident investigation discovered that one of the bullets hitting the metal target caused a sharp jagged piece of metal to break off from the target, fly up and over the earth berm, striking one of his officers in the neck. His officer, an Army veteran, immediately dropped to the ground and began applying direct pressure. The metal shrapnel missed his jugular vein by fractions of an inch, and he survived.
New Georgia TSOs try on their vests.

The Georgia Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS) sponsored the TSO workshops during the last week of October. The classes were filled with deputies and officers from the cities and counties that make up the LGRMS membership. The workshops concluded with the officers presenting safety briefings to the entire class, and they “got it”.

I thank LGRMS staff and particularly Dennis Watts and Natalie Sellers for the opportunity to work with their deputies and officers. Their level of engagement and their willingness to open up and embrace a new program was impressive. And, by the end of the last workshop, they had convinced me that I was one with the accent.

There is an article in the current IACP Police Chief magazine about medical preparedness for firearms ranges. One of their recommendations is: “When steel targets are used, frangible ammo is required.” The article is spot-on. Here is the link.

Up Next: More Dividends for Members!

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


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