Training tactics

Hamilton County employees complete active shooter training exercises

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Hamilton County employees practice barricading a door at the mental health building on Tuesday afternoon. Employees went through a two-day active shooter training with instructors from the Eagle Ridge Tactical Consulting.

Hamilton County employees participated in an active shooter training Monday and Tuesday at the Social Services building in Webster City. The training exercise was led by instructors with Eagle Ridge Tactical Consulting.

Participants sat through a series of videos and real-life shooting scenarios before playing out possible scenarios with the help of the instructors. Individuals were de-briefed after each potential real-life scenario.

“We do active shooter training. We do it not only for government entities, but schools, colleges, businesses,” said Tim Felton, Eagle Ridge Tactical Consulting instructor. “We’ve done well over 40 of these for different entities.”

Felton’s full time employment is as a deputy sheriff. Felton has been involved in law enforcement for over 40 years. Felton works as a school officer, D.A.R.E. officer and is also on a drug task force. Felton works part time with the consulting company.

“We’re very honored to have had the opportunity to come here and train with the county employees,” said Felton. “It’s just been a great opportunity for us.”

According to Felton, the goal of the program is to instill communication and education skills in class participants.

“Communication. To prevent something. To let people know it is okay to cooperate to make sure somebody who has a mental health issue, substance abuse issue, or anger management issue, that we intervene before they make a bad decision,” Felton said.

“Then our goal is not only to educate people about working together, but having a plan. Being aware of their surroundings not only at work but if they’re out at the mall, the airport, a movie theater..wherever they’re at, just to be a little bit more aware of what is going on that may prevent some type of violent incident,” said Felton.

Part of the exercise included learning how to barricade doorways to prevent a shooter from entering a room or building.

“We build into the active shooter training what they can do, for example, how to barricade the building/doorways so that they can be in a safe environment if something would happen,” Felton said. “We talked with them on how to get away and stay away from the situation.”

The instructors also talked about recognizing facial and body cues of other people and taking those cues into consideration in social situations. An extended amount of directed eye contact was one possible cue mentioned during the class.

“We want to educate them on the signs of an active shooter,” Felton said. “If need be we teach them some skills that they are able to counter a situation, again, with the main goal to get away.”

Aside from active shooter training, Eagle Ridge Consulting offers other enforcement services.

“We do a variety of services. Everything from training tactical teams for law enforcement agencies to training people to carry concealed weapons and beyond that, marksmanship skills, hand gun retention skills, and more training so if someone chooses to carry a concealed weapon they’re more confident and well-trained,” said Felton. “We also do a variety of programs such as situational awareness for people who travel either domestically or foreign, so what to watch out for so that they can be safe.”

Felton was impressed with participation at the course.

“We were greeted wonderfully by the folks of Hamilton County. Webster City was great. They were very receptive to our training,” Felton said. “We want to thank the board of supervisors for this opportunity to come and work with people here. We also want to thank the sheriff’s department, the police department and all the county employees that came.”

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