Skills and abilities whether tactical in nature or athletic, will diminish over time if not maintained. For many tactical operators or first responders, there is an intense learning curve during initial training and within the first few years of employment. Candidates and probationary first responders are repeatedly tested and sent to various courses to attain the necessary skills of their profession. After passing a basic proficiency in a host of different skills, emergency service/security/military personnel will suffer a drop in their capabilities if too much time passes before they are required to do more job related training. Budget and manpower needs are often the reasons why agencies don’t consistently send their personnel for training. Sometimes it is up to the individual to seek out training so they are optimally prepared to handle the hazards of their profession. For the armed law enforcement or security professional here is my list for the most important skill sets to maintain:
1. Firearm training- though the percentage is very low for security or police personnel to fire their weapons, the liability of carrying a weapon is extremely high, so practicing shooting skills at least once a month is essential. Every other month agencies or individuals should incorporate a reality based drill which will test team members abilities to work under stress. (Generally, SWAT team members have the opportunity to shoot and train more frequently)
2. Self Defense Skills – Basic moves that involve gross motor skills will be maintained longer than more intricate and technical moves. Self defense skills should be evaluated every 3-4 months but the tactical operator should train once a week in close quarter combat.
3. Fitness- physical fitness demands may vary profession to profession but the first responder/tactical operator should prepare themselves physically as if a “worst case scenario” is a routine occurrence. The fitness lifestyle is a daily pursuit so one must make time to ensure that he or she is physically able to meet any challenge.