Heart rate response of special weapons and tactics team operators during active shooter training scenarios

Quincy Johnson, Javier Zaragoza, Rob Marc Orr, Robert G. Lockie, Newly McSpadden, Cody Manuel, Doug Smith, J. Jay Dawes

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Simulated active shooter scenarios (SASS) provide special operations teams (SOT) with an opportunity to maintain their skills and receive team feedback in order to optimize their performance. Although research on heart rate (HR) changes in the law enforcement officer (LEO) population is novel, there is virtually no information available examining these differences within SOT groups during these types of scenarios. 
Purpose: Utilizing HR analysis to identify and quantify the physical demands of SASS among SOT members through HR analysis.
Methods: 7 male (age: 38.97 ± 9.17; ht: 177.99 ± 6.45 cm. wt: 88.83 ± 13.55 kg) SOT members volunteered to participate in this research. SOT members performed 3 SASS involving breaching, casualty extraction, and seeking cover while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Participants were outfitted with heart rate (HR) monitors and average heart rate (HRavg) as well as maximum heart rate (HRmax) data were collected and recorded for the scenario performed. 
Results: During SASS it was discovered that HRavg ranged between 45—60% of APMHR and average HRmax ranged between 68–94% of APMHR.

Conclusions: SASS can be very physically demanding events that may elicit maximal or near maximal heart rate responses. 
Practical Applications: Based on the metabolic demands of these events and the individual SOT members capabilities, this information can be used to develop strength training and conditioning programs to optimize performance during active shooter scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberV116
Pages (from-to)e322
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Event44th National Strength and Conditioning Association National Conference and Exhibition - Orlando, United States
Duration: 7 Jul 202110 Jul 2021
Conference number: 44th


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