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Protective mask training tips

Training with a protective mask has become more and more important each day within the law enforcement/correctional fields. Often during training with a protective mask your training sessions can be limited to the environment you are training in. Limited vision, breathing difficulty, phobias, are all problems that arise when wearing a protective mask.

Here are some examples of oxygen deprivation, and vision impairment drills you can do.

Vision Impairment Simulations:

Peripheral Impaired Vision

· Using ¼ masking tape put a boarder around the lens of your mask This will get the wearer used to the reduced peripheral vision you get when you wear a protective mask. Remember your single full face lens will give you a different field of vision then your split face lens.

High Humidity and Moisture Simulations:

· Using a small amount of KY gel place on the outside front of the lens in little circles until the front of the lens is covered. Do not use Vaseline (avoid oil type properties on your mask). Then take spray bottle filled with clean drinking water and spray across the front of the lens this creates a high humidity and moisture impaired vision to the mask wearer.

Smoke Impaired Environment:

· Using a small amount of KY gel place on the outside front of the lens in little circles until the front of the lens is covered.

Shell Shock (Extreme Cold to Hot or vice a versa) Impaired Environment:

· Using a cooler half way filled with ice, place a dry towel over the ice giving it a barricade, then place the mask face down on a dry cloth face lens down on the towel. Then cover the cooler wait 5 minutes. Then when your drill is starting hand the protective mask to the wearer and has them don the mask. Their mask will immediately fog up giving the wearer the fogging impaired vision when going from hot or cold or cold to hot environments.

Dave Young is the Founder and Director of ARMA, now part of the PoliceOne Training Network. He is also the Chairman of Advisory Board, and a training advisor for Dave graduated from his first law enforcement academy in 1985, and now has over 25 years of combined civilian and military law enforcement and training experience. He was a sworn corrections and law enforcement officer in the state of Florida and has served as a gate sentry, patrol officer, watch commander, investigator, Special Reaction Team (SRT) member, leader and commander in the United States Marine Corps.

Dave has participated in and trained both military and law enforcement personnel in crowd management operations throughout the world. Dave is recognized as one of the nation’s leading defensive tactics instructors specializing in crowd management, chemical and specialty impact munitions, protocol and selection of gear and munitions, ground defense tactics, and water - based defensive tactics.

He has hosted television shows for National Geographic TV Channel on Non Lethal Weapons and the host of Crash Test Human series. He is a former staff noncommissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, a member of the Police Magazine advisory board, and a technical advisory board member for Force Science Research Center. Dave is an active member of the American Society for Law Enforcement Training (ASLET), International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

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