July 6, 2018
- U.S. First-Responders Study Israeli Methods – Josh Hasten
30 emergency responders from the U.S. were in Israel last week to learn battle-tested methods that have been honed by decades of conflict. Their visit was sponsored by the Advanced Security Training Institute (ASTI). Since they go back home to share their newly learned skill sets with the first-responders in their communities, to date, more than 7,000 American emergency personnel have received training sessions based on Israeli methodologies.
Michael Guditus, from the Emergency Management Department in Fairfax County, Va., noted that “what you see in Israel first, you then start seeing in America.” Guditus said what he has learned is “how to identify radicalized individuals, as well as lone wolf [terrorists].”
Guditus described an event in 2010 when a deranged man armed with guns and wearing an explosive device entered the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in Montgomery County, Md., taking three hostages. After a four-hour standoff, the gunman was killed by a SWAT-team sniper; none of the hostages were harmed. Some of the team members assembled that day had returned from an ASTI training experience in Israel a year earlier.
“Before that, we didn’t understand how to respond together. You had the fire department with their bomb-sniffing dogs, and the bomb-disposal robot, and then you had the SWAT team and other tactical teams, who were separate branches on their own. What we learned in Israel is how to work together as a cohesive team, and those techniques were used to render that situation safe. The fact is, what we learned from Israelis saved lives there.” (JNS)