SHREVEPORT, La. - The Caddo Sheriff’s Special Response Team (CSRT) recently participated in specialized training focused on critical incidents involving fire rescue where there are hostages.
The “Fire as a Weapon” training was held at the SFD/SPD training facility on July 6.
This national training program is being redeveloped to meet local requirements by Charles Menefee, SFD fire investigator/CSRT medic, and Oliver Hollins, fire engineer/chairman of the SFD Fire Fighter Safety Committee. They hope to expand the program statewide.
The program trains law enforcement officers in the use of firefighters' MSA SCBA (Mine Safety Appliance Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) and bunker gear while executing hostage rescue missions in a burning building.
During the training exercises, Caddo deputies were required to wear firefighters’ gear and use training weapons as they entered a smoke-filled structure to simulate a hostage rescue scenario. The team said it was difficult to perform their duties due to hazards such as thick smoke, intense heat, and reduced visibility.
According to CSRT Commander Darwin Jones, the training was extremely valuable. “It was ironic that this training took place a few days before the lengthy standoff in Shreveport between a barricaded subject with a hostage and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies,” Jones said.
That standoff ended with law enforcement officers rescuing a 13-year-old female hostage and the suspect setting the house on fire, where he later died.
Jones said his team will also participate in the upcoming Fire as a Weapon training that will be held in August.