Three Minutes of ‘Hell’: Heart-Racing Simulation Shows You What It’s Like to Be in the Middle of an ‘Active Shooter’ Situation With Your Weapon Ready

by Jason Howerton  |  published on January 23, 2015

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Only the police officers who have experienced an actual “active shooter” situation really know what it’s like to have split-seconds to determine what is a potentially deadly threat and what isn’t. Then they have to decide how to respond to the threat, and an officer’s reaction time can many times have life-and-death implications.

At the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, we got a small taste of what that seemingly impossible situation is like with Cubic’s realistic PRISm shooting simulator.

The PRISm simulator provides a “highly realistic use-of-force training that develops the skills required for personnel armed with both lethal and less-lethal weapons.” Mostly sold to law enforcement, the simulators allow officers to go through realistic training exercises while also saving money on ammunition and other costs.

PRISm instructor John Murphy set up an “active shooter” scenario where there are five active shooters inside a building and several hostages that needed to be saved. He explained that the exercise would end in failure if any of the hostages were shot or if the response time to the threat of a shooter was too long.

What’s too long? Murphy said as little as two seconds can mean life or death for an officer.

“The goal of the exercise is to get through this and to deal with it properly and calmly and efficiently,” Murphy said. “Now I’m gonna launch you into hell.”

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