Home Top Stories SWAT Demonstration at STN EXPO a Success
SWAT Demonstration at STN EXPO a Success PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeanette Reveles   
Monday, 28 July 2014 21:01

swat-expo2 At the STN EXPO on Sunday, attendees had the opportunity to watch a live demonstration with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and SWAT deputies showing effective responses to high-risk situations involving school buses, such as hijacking.

The unprecedented event was highly successful with rave reviews on STN’s social media sites from attendees.

The EXPO session began Sunday indoors with opening remarks from Nevada State Director Diana Hollander and School Transportation News Editor-in-Chief Ryan Gray.

“This is something that has literally been a year in the making just for you guys,” Gray said. “I think that in today’s heightened environment of security awareness, something that hopefully you have not had to deal with, but we all need to be prepared for it because it’s just the world that we live in,” said Gray.

Next, Gray introduced the presenters, Denny Coughlin of School Bus Training Company and Bret Brooks of Gray Ram Tactical LLC, who gave attendees a brief overview of what to expect during the demonstration and laid down some important rules for attending the event. Brooks and Coughlin led a closed, full-day tactical training exercise at the Reno Emergency Operations Center on Saturday to prepare deputies from the Washoe County Sheriff's Office SWAT team in preparation for the EXPO live event. 

The Washoe County School District donated two retired 1990s-model AmTran school buses for the training.

Following Brooks' and Coughlins' opening comments, attendees moved outdoors for the Sunday event, where various dangerous situations were demonstrated. Presenters noted the first incident was the most common threat bus drivers face: an angry parent attempting to enter a school bus.

Presenters reminded attendees to never let anyone inside the bus who is not permitted to be there, including parents. They suggested redirecting parents to the side window of the bus instead of allowing them inside, to ask their name and concern, and continue to address them by their name to build rapport, which may potentially calm the parent and deescalate the situation. Coughlin  emphasized that if this does not work and the parent continues to be hostile, drivers should not hesitate to contact their supervisors or law enforcement for help.

The next scenario involved individuals with road rage becoming hostile with the bus driver. Coughlin stated that if a motorist cuts in front of the school bus and exits the vehicle, it is very important that bus drivers contact law enforcement immediately, because if the motorist cannot take their rage out on the driver, he or she may target the students.

The following three scenarios involved responses to very high-risk situations. The first situation involved a police and SWAT response to a student bringing weapons on the bus. After that, the SWAT demonstrated how to respond to a situation involving the bus being taken hostage. The final scenario presented a response to armed terrorists or criminals overtaking the bus.

Brooks told STN he hoped that attendees would walk away from the demonstration with information that is helpful to them, as well as with the understanding that high-risk situations can happen anywhere to anyone.

“Hopefully, the end result is that people can take this information back to their district to save somebody’s life. That’s our main goal — to save lives.” he concluded. “People should understand that hijackings can happen everywhere. No community is exempt. Training is very important."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 10:46