Emergency Vehicle Operations Training - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Emergency Vehicle Operations Training

Posted: Updated:
Southport, Fla. -

Police vehicles are an officer's desk and in order to use them effectively and safely, they train once a year to find their limits.

Gulf Coast State College's campus in Southport is home to a controlled road course for law enforcement agencies.

"It's a good training for everybody you get to test your car out get more experience with it so you are more comfortable handling it with what you experience and cover on the road," Officer Anthony Pusey.

Wednesday, Panama City Beach police are undergoing emergency vehicles operations training, complete with lights, sirens and high speeds.

Corporal Michael Gailfoil is one of the instructors. "This is about training these drivers to learn the corners of their vehicles and to push themselves in their vehicle so they know the limits of themselves in the vehicle."

Two sub courses make up the course: The first is a slower more intricate portion consisting of three point turns, parallel parking and driving in reverse.

The second is full speed pedal to the metal, curve negotiations and serpentines, followed by brake and escapes. "Somebody could do it in two tries it might take somebody else ten tries but in the end everyone is able to complete it safely," Pusey said.

Officers train in these environments in order to prepare them to respond to emergency situations and to do so safely. "Out here if you hit a cone you're not really going to hurt anything. It's a lot safer than trying to do any driving like this out on the road. By doing high speed maneuvers we know how each of the vehicles is going to handle it makes us safer drivers out in the public," Pusey said.

Lights and sirens are just another way of adding real world distractions. "The lights and sirens is a dimension we have to add because it is a part of our job sometimes we have to drive in an emergency response and the lights and sirens are necessary. So we add that into our training to get them used to that," Gailfoil described.

The training ended Wednesday for this group of officers, but the rest of Panama City Beach Police Department concludes its their training on Friday.