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Police Support Volunteers participate in role play firearms exercises with Warwickshire Police

Between September and December 2017, a series of firearms exercises involving Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Firearms Officers, Paramedics and Heart Teams from West Midlands Ambulance Service, were held in Warwickshire.

In order for these exercises, which were designed to prepare emergency crews for action following terrorist attacks, to be as realistic as possible, Police Support Volunteers from both Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police were invited to take part as role players and many rose to the challenge with enthusiasm.

The volunteers were asked to perform a variety of roles, including bystanders and shocked and injured people who were fully made up with prosthetic injuries from bullet holes to protruding bones. Several were asked to run around shouting and to generally make a nuisance of themselves, getting in the way of officers.

The volunteers were given a brief of what would happen and were able to choose their injury for which prosthetics were provided to make them look as believable as possible. Clothing was also provided for the volunteers and in some cases this was cut off as it would be in a real life emergency situation.

Vivette Dudley, one of the Police Support Volunteers (PSVs) who took part in several of the exercises said: "I really enjoyed my experience and liked how each scenario was realistic - the blood, the wounds, the types of weapons used along with people's reactions.

"The exercises were well organised and we were greeted with friendliness by the trainers."

PSV Lynda Carey said: "This was the first time I'd volunteered to be an actor in such training exercises.

"I was amazed at how realistic the training was with smoke bombs and firearms going off and firearms officers running all over the place.

"As a volunteer, it's important to know that what you're doing is worthwhile and this was certainly the case in this instance."

All the agencies involved were extremely appreciative of the volunteers who gave up their time to assist in the training to make it as realistic as possible. 

Simon Rogers, a Firearms Instructor for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police thanked the volunteers for their support.

He said: "The use of police volunteers was instrumental in achieving some very realistic training scenarios. This afforded the Firearms Officers some real time exposure in a controlled environment.

"It is often the case that Police Firearms Officers are exposed to people they know and have worked with before.

"The opportunity to use the volunteers made a training scenario far more realistic and unfamiliar to the Firearms officers. This afforded great learning and made for a more focused and challenging scenario."

To find out more information about the roles of Police Support Volunteers with Warwickshire Police, click here

Issued: 10am, Friday 8 June, LK, Corporate Communications

Published 08/06/18