ORLANDO, Fla. - More than 50 SWAT teams from around the world are in Orange County this week training and competing in the 37th Annual SWAT Round-Up.
Locked, loaded and racing against the clock, these teams ran through the 'Officer Rescue Course' as part of the competition on Wednesday. During this, they had to pull their bodies across a rope over the water, climb walls, shoot targets, and bust through doors all to rescue a dummy.
“We have to be ready for what life may bring us,” said Raul Rivas, a retired Orlando police officer and event organizer. “Whatever obstacles may be in front of us we have to get the mission done to make sure we keep society safe.”
It is not just about competition though. It is also about learning from one another and talking about what is going on around the world. About 400 competitors from countries as far away as Hungary, Kuwait and Estonia came together at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s gun range.
“Of course the physical fitness part of it – you gotta be able to practice on shooting, practice on lifting each other up. Just everything,” Rivas said. “There’s no one thing – do it all together.”
Each competition is scored by time or precision. While there will be one special weapons and tactics team given the title of champion, it’s the chance to train with the best of the best that will make them all better for when real emergencies require their skills.
“Hopefully we’ll save some lives because of what you learn here,” Rivas said.
Tune in to FOX 35 News at 5 and 6 p.m. for more information.