I am a 26 year old, 5’2" 110lb woman who, to be honest, fits every predisposed image of a potential victim. My innocent and non-confrontational appearance make me an ideal target for an attack. Fortunately, I think about this often, and do my best to stay informed and trained in order to protect myself.
At this point in my life, I am lucky enough to work for a fantastic company, Survival and Tactical Systems out of Holly Ridge, North Carolina. The company is ran by a Former Force Recon/ MARSOC Critical Skills Operator and employs instructors of the same caliber with the similar levels of experience and intelligence. Working with STS has allowed me to learn and rehearse several dangerous situations by participating in several of their training programs. Recently, STS partnered with First-Light USA to set up a training environment that really showcased the versatility and reliability of the First-Light products in several scenarios, specifically low-light surroundings.
The first scenario the STS instructors created was a night-time home invasion with an armed intruder intent on causing harm. I have never experienced this situation, but I am also not ignorant to the idea of how easily this type of attack could happen to me. STS provided several techniques and methods to help increase my survivability during an attack with home defense training. One point the instructors kept reiterating was the importance of keeping your firearm close to your body during defensive actions. By keeping your firearm close, it enables you to have maximum control of the pistol without becoming fatigued or leaving an exposed weapon vulnerable to being stripped away by an attacker. A force multiplier in this situation was the First-Light USA flashlight provided to me during my course of instruction. The design of this flashlight allows you to operate almost completely hands free. I could easily grasp my pistol with two hands while simultaneously manipulating my light to assist in clearing rooms and identifying what lay in the darkness of my house. The 700 lumen First-Light flashlight left no dark area hidden from my view. The STS instructors taught me how to use the high-powered flashlight to clear a room before even making entry. While standing in the doorway of a dark room and shifting my body from left to right across the door frame, I was able to view all darkened dead space and visually clear the room prior to entering it. Not to say that this same technique couldn't be executed using some other light, but the First-Light USA flashlights simply make the procedures easier and seamless.
Another great aspect of the light is that I could easily grasp it with my support hand while simultaneously reaching for and manipulating my phone with the same hand to call for help. This ergonomic feature applied in all instances as the First-Light flashlight in no way, shape, or form inhibited my ability to perform tasks with both hands, which now I understand is vital in any survival situation.
At the conclusion of my training, I came to realize that no one is ever completely safe from harm, regardless of what measures you've taken to keep yourself and your family safe. What you can do is minimize your vulnerability through practice, training, and keeping yourself informed. Having the right gear and knowledge can assist you in your choice to not become a VICTIM. I’m glad that Survival and Tactical Systems, along with First-Light USA, was able to provide me with those lessons. My mind is always open to learning something new and improving my skill-set. My survivability is my responsibility and I am thankful that companies like STS and First-Light USA offer training programs focused on that.