September 29, 2006, 12:54 PM
The SWAT team is called to very dangerous situations. Which is why members of the team want to stay sharp, and train for the disasters whenever they have the chance.
It looks and sounds like the SWAT team is serving a warrant, and they never know what they could face inside the house.
But today it's just a drill, to make sure they're ready for any dangerous situation.
Pete Jaros, a SWAT team member says, “If we know there's a house that's going to be demolished, we'll try to get in there and practice on it before it gets torn up.”
Fourteen homes near Sioux Valley hospital will soon be demolished, but until then they'll be used for training.
Having different homes means they see different floor plans. And that can be very important to them when the real situations arises.
“Each house is different and we can go through and the training stays fresh. If we had one house we were training on all day, it wouldn't take long and it would get awful redundant,” says Jaros.
Each home has different obstacles. When they enter, one armed deputy plays the bad guy.
Jaros explains, “If you want to put a gun in the same room and see how we react, that is one thing. Sometimes it's in a waste band, sometimes they have it pointed at us. We just see how everybody reacts.”
The training is as real as possible, complete with full gear and guns, minus ammunition.
Jaros says they check to make sure they’re safe. “Not just ourselves, but the guy next to you. And double check. Nobody's got any live ammo in their guns or even on their person. We make sure it all stays back at the vehicles.”
The procedure keeps them safe today, and the next time when the situation is real.
The SWAT team isn’t the only group to benefit from the homes donated by Sioux Valley. Sioux Falls Police and Fire Rescue will be using the homes for training during the next week. Habitat for humanity is also benefiting. They are removing everything from doors and windows to cabinets and appliances from the homes. They will then sell what they remove, and use those funds to build new homes.
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