The Garfield County All-Hazards Response Team is a joint effort between various law enforcement agencies within the county. The AHRT is a collateral assignment with a maximum of 22 team members, being full time Patrol Officers, Firefighters/Emergency Medical Technicians, Detectives and Law Enforcement Supervisors. The current agencies involved include the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Glenwood Springs Police Department, Glenwood Springs Fire/Rescue Department, and the Rifle Police Department. The AHRT is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to any law enforcement agency in the county. AHRT assists with a variety of calls including high-risk warrant service, high-risk arrests, barricaded suspects, hostage rescue, hazardous-materials situations, active shooter, VIP security, acts of terrorism, major case follow-up, man made and natural disasters and crowd control. In addition, the AHRT has competed against SWAT teams from around the world in the 2008 and the 2009 US National SWAT Competitions.
DENIQUE DICO (Final Call)
The Mission Statement of the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team reads: “The presence of a highly trained, highly skilled tactical unit has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers, firefighters, and suspects. By recognizing that a well managed team response to critical incidents usually results in a successful resolution of critical incidents, it is the intent of the All Hazards Response Team to work together to provide a highly trained and skilled tactical team resource for those that are in need.”
Selection and Training
The AHRT strives to select team members who hold themselves to the highest standards of personal and professional development.
For selection onto to the team candidates must go through a three phase testing process consisting of an eight (8) event physical fitness test, a formal interview with the team commander and team leaders, and finally, a stringent weapons qualification course with their assigned pistol and a patrol carbine. Based on the total score from the physical fitness test, recommendations of the interview board, and a review of the candidates performance evaluations determines the candidates entrance onto the team.
The training for a new member does not stop there. Candidates who successfully test and qualify for AHRT move on to Basic SWAT certification, known as “HELL WEEK”. AHRT sends new team members to a 40 hour basic SWAT certification course conducted by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in Utah.
The Basic SWAT course is arduous and demanding. The course covers team movement and tactics, marksmanship training, physical fitness, breaching, operational planning, operating in chemical environments, and night operations. On average attendees sleep approximately three to fours in a twenty-four period. Each day/night evolution is completed with a scenario based exercise such as being at an active-shooter incident at a local school, a high-risk search/arrest warrant, or a hostage rescue operation.
Training is a never ending process for the members of the Garfield County All-Hazards Response Team. Training continues in areas such as vehicle takedowns, rappelling, tactical tracking, select-fire weapon systems, enhanced/precision marksmanship skills, deployment of noise flash distraction devises, chemical, and specialty impact munitions utilizing a 40mm delivery system, various methods of breaching, dynamic and methodical movement techniques, and hazardous material operations.