WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 22, 2010, 04:00 PM

Competition For Fun Also Saves Lives

The 5th Annual West Central Minnesota SWAT competition brought teams from all over the region. But for one team its a fresh reminder of why they train to protect.

FERGUS FALLS, MN (WDAY TV) - It's a competition to have fun but ultimately save lives.

For these brothers of the badge. It's just practice today. But a skills competition like this shoot, move and hostage rescue, are made to be as "real" as possible.

Today is a friendly competition, but for the St Cloud team it brings back memories of what happened just a month ago. Adam Meierding: "You know it, was probably 7 to 8 shots, we heard our buddies who we knew were on the perimeter of the other side of the apartment building, they were yelling drop the gun, drop the gun, drop the gun." Adam Meierding is part of that team called to the scene of someone shooting his gun at an apartment building. Its only defense was to shoot him to save the lives of others.

Adam Meierding: "it was pretty tough right there, it was a real intense situation you know." Although the sport of competition is carried over to the event today. These men and women understand what they learn here is far from a game. Adam Meierding: "All you're training does pay off, it sure paid off that night. We have great leadership and team mates."

The skills and talent they're practicing today, that could eventually

save the lives of the real people they protect tomorrow. This is the first time the St. Cloud team took part in the competition. 6-Different agencies took part in the S.W.A.T event and were judged on 7-different courses.