In any profession or industry there exists people whom by their understanding of theories or history of whatever subject are recognized as subject matter experts. Likewise, there are those people who have “boots on the ground” experience in various professions and industries that are also subject matter experts. “Theorists” and “operators” don’t have to be mutually exclusive, one can hold a PhD. in astrophysics yet still be an astronaut.
In the tactical operations industry there are experts who theorize how police, security, firefighters or military members should respond to or train for a given situation and conversely there are those experts who have lived through or managed various tactical situations and have different understandings of what is needed to succeed in moments of crisis.
This I can tell you for sure, the skills needed to respond to physical and stress inducing situations are perishable. For every skill – firing a weapon, dragging a body to safety, close quarter combat, defensive driving, etc. there are points in time when one’s proficiency in said skill drops due to lack of practice. When a tactical situation results in death, we see many talking heads or so called experts theorize that perhaps race or some socio-economic factor was the reason why someone was killed. In actuality, my experience tells me that a lack of training and practice doing drills may very well cause the first responder to act impetuously having lost the skill to respond correctly given the scenario.
Reality based training is so critical for success yet for many emergency response agencies, budget becomes an issue.
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