Is it reasonable to expect people to have a different viewpoint. Of course it is, but does that make their viewpoint valid?
A convenient oversight
The recent blog regarding Appendix Carry brought up some interesting points, many of the points I felt were well intended, but misguided and in some cases reckless. A lot of people were hung up on the misconception behind risk. I saw so many different interpretations of risk I had to really question where people were getting this information. For us any high risk training evolution has with it an operational risk assessment and management strategies. The basic purpose behind the ORA/M is to identify, address and mitigate the risks associated or involved with training. There are different forms of risk assessments, this is but one format, however are folks taking this into consideration before they form their opinions?
Operational risk assessment/management
Risk is present in all forms of training, tasks, missions and activities no matter how routine. The most common cause of task degradation, mission failure or personal injury is human error. Specifically as it relates to the inconsistent management of risk. The process helps to identify the hazards, then establish controls to help mitigate or in some cases remove. Here is some free instructor advice for those throwing up their own shingle. Take the time to do them, take them seriously and then live by them during training. If you did a good job during the process they will be very beneficial. You cannot fight what you cannot see and doing some form of risk assessment allows you to see these mishaps in advance.
Start the process
I would recommend the first thing you do is to identify the potential hazards to training. Here we are talking about hazards which will result in a major threat to personal safety such as death all the way down to a minimal threat to personal safety such as a hang nail. From there you need to evaluate the mishap probability and this scale extends from likely to occur to unlikely to occur. This makes up the formula for the risk code and that extends from critical at the worse case to minor at the best case.
Staying in your lane
The risk code assigns a value to the training, which then assists you in the steps, controls and measures you take to mitigate the hazards. It is this risk code I’m speaking of when we decide to eliminate something from training, whether it be a technique, a piece of equipment or even personnel. If it falls into the critical risk category a simple solution is to eliminate the issue. It’s not that hard to figure out and why people are butt hurt about it is beyond me. More than likely they haven’t a clue how to assess or mange risk in this environment.
It’s not advance
As I mentioned, you can eliminate personnel, but another way of thinking of this is evaluating the subject versus the group. This is how we justify the subject in our concealed carry tactics class. We have addressed the issues not by removing, but by focusing on the concealed carry group. Even then there is a progression to introducing the subject. Don’t look at this as “advanced”, that’s a mistake to think of it in this manner. It’s really not, it simply has a higher risk in the ORA/M. In your ORA/M you have identified potential steps towards reducing the risk. In this case it is through isolation and progression, moving in a linear format to develop a minimum level of competency for the group.
Triggers and preventing mishaps
As we are progressing or working on isolation drills we are looking for key triggers in order to avoid a mishap. If you have folks performing at different levels you may be distracted away from these triggers or miss them entirely and that’s where you set the stage for a mishap or miss the chance to remediate. I don’t think folks are saying appendix carry is bad, it needs to have a better environment for success.
Now, this is going to sting a bit. A lot of the people who are pissing and moaning the most flat out don’t get it and that is the biggest concern and reason for the ORA/M in the first place.