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Northern California SWAT Teams Train For Hostage Situations

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YUBA (CBS13) – Only CBS13 cameras were taken inside as local SWAT officers trained for a hostage situation inside a business.

SWAT must make critical decisions, sometimes in a split second.

An abandoned office building was the scene of a hostage situation where SWAT teams from around Northern California were training for some of the most extreme situations.

The scenario had gunmen inside a plumbing business.

SWAT was racing to save hostages as the shooters began to fire.

“It’s exciting being on a call when you finally get to go in. We’re kind of adrenaline junkies, I suppose,” said Officer Marnix Lub, Manteca police.

Wednesday, they were focused on their tactical maneuvers like how to go in, when to go in and how to handle gunmen still opening fire.

In a situation like this one, SWAT says they may only have a few seconds to take down the shooter and each situation is different.

Sometimes, well-organized plans change in an instant once SWAT is inside.

“You just have to be flexible,” said Sgt. Allan Garza with the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department. “You never really know what you are going to encounter.”

That’s why the training is so important, to go over every possibility and every scenario. But, they say this type of practice is what they need to succeed when the training ends and they come face to face with the real life and death decisions.

“You use whatever training you’ve had to overcome the situation,” said Lub.

So while the training went off with a bang, it was up to the SWAT teams themselves to determine who was on target.

There are several SWAT challenges around the state each year; some teams train as much as 20 hours a month to be ready for the real-life situation.

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