Metro SWAT holds tryouts -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Metro SWAT holds tryouts

Paramedic Gil Brown Paramedic Gil Brown
Warren Ewings, APD officer Warren Ewings, APD officer

Several first responders are waiting to hear if they'll make it onto the Albany Metro SWAT team. The team held tryouts Wednesday looking for the best of the best, to fill two openings.

Albany SWAT  is looking for a tactical officer and a paramedic to fill out their 24 member team. Today's tryout is designed to see who can handle the physical and mental parts of the difficult job.

Only three of the six first responders trying out for the Albany Metro SWAT team made it through the obstacle course run and first shooting trial.  Albany Police Patrol Officer Warren Ewings was one of the last three hopefuls.  This is his second time trying to make their elite team.

"I like my job," said Ewings. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to learn a different aspect of it.  It's a little more dangerous, but I'm up for it."

Paramedic Gil Brown also tried out today for his second time. SWAT has two paramedics as members, who go in with the team to provide medical care if needed, even while under fire. Brown says he wants to be one of the best.

 "There is just a huge benefit, to yourself," Brown said.  "It's competition to get in there.  Get in those environments, think on your feet.  I really enjoy that."

The men have to score more than 90% in their shooting trials, right after running an exhausting obstacle course.  The tryout is tough, because the job can be tough.

"You've got to be in good shape in order to maneuver with all that extra weight. And still keep a mindset, hey if something happens I've got to be able to be on target,"  Metro SWAT Team Deputy Commander Sgt. Vic Camp said.  

 The candidates who pass the obstacle course and shooting trials are then given an oral exam, to check their mental state. Their family life is important, because SWAT is on call 24/7, and can put a strain on family members.  But today's hopefuls say they are ready. Brown and Ewings both said they felt good with their tryout performances.

Ewings said, "I'm feeling pretty confident.  I've been working hard to get ready for this tryout.  And hopefully everything has paid off for me."

SWAT is who police call for in the most difficult and dangerous situations,  and they want to make sure only the best are part of their team.

The veteran members of the Albany Metro SWAT team have to go through these tryout tests twice a year, to make sure they stay in the best shape.  The SWAT Board of Directors headed by Albany Police Chief John Proctor and Sheriff Kevin Sproul will make the final decisions on who makes the team.

If two new members are accepted they should start training next week.


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