Complete Course List

Tripwire offers everything needed to keep police, fire, HAZMAT,  EMS, military, and all other first responder type personnel safe while conducting their operations. Our training courses are where functionality meets flexibility. Any of our courses can be custom tailored to fit your specific needs and requirements, as well as able to be conducted at Tripwire’s facility in Gettysburg, or brought to a location of your choosing. Click a course for more information.

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Explosives Courses

Improvised (Homemade) Explosive Formulations

The growing weapon of choice for criminals and terrorists throughout the world are improvised (homemade) explosives (HME) and improvised explosive devices (IED). More than ever before, first responders are increasingly more likely to encounter this type of hazard while performing routine operations. These courses provide critical information needed to stay safe, while remaining effective.

Awareness: This 1-day awareness level course will familiarize emergency personnel with the chemical precursors associated with improvised/homemade explosive (HME) formulations, the scientific and improvised equipment used during the manufacturing process, the hazards surrounding chemical precursors and improvised mixtures, several of the most popular mixtures during various stages of manufacture, and how to safely operate in improvised explosive situations and environments.

Operations: This 1-day operational level course will build upon the awareness level course, and students will synthesize several real-world mixtures, conduct sensitivity testing of crafted mixtures, test and evaluate methods of desensitization, and finally witness the destructive power of these formulas on the demolition range.

Technician: TBA

Explosive Materials Handler

This 2-day course of instruction is meant to introduce the student to the recognition, safe transportation, storage, safe handling, and firing of energetic materials. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will possess the skills to safely use explosives in a variety of settings.

Course content includes:

  • History and theory of explosive and explosive effects
  • Explosive safety
  • Types of explosive accessories
  • Recognition of low and high explosive formulations
  • Preparation and firing of charges using electric, non-electric, and shock tube initiated blasting caps
  • Response to misfires and other operational issues

This course is facilitated through classroom instruction as well as field training on our range.

Counter-Vehicle Borne IED (VBIED)

This 2-day course is designed for trained military EOD and Public Safety Bomb Technicians who are likely to encounter the threat of various sizes of VBIEDs and LVBIEDs. VBIEDs may be contained in a range of vehicles from small cars to large commercial vehicles, in urban and rural environments. This course defines and identifies the threats specific to various VBIEDs, the factors that will shape the threat analysis, selection of an Incident Control Point, and the formulation of a render-safe procedure. This course also looks at the methods of attacks, best use of disruption tools and methods, forensic procedures and the challenges of exploiting a post VBIED explosion site.

Explosive Effects & Safety for Media Personnel

Tripwire Operations Group, a leader providing explosives training to law enforcement agencies and first responders has received numerous calls from the news media following recent high-profile incidents involving explosive materials. The information sought dealt with explosives, improvised explosive devices and bombing investigations. In order to ensure more accurate reporting of explosives related incidents, Tripwire has developed a 1-day course of instruction specifically for the news media.

Classroom Instruction

  • Orientation to Conventional Explosive Formulations and Improvised Explosive Devices
  • Orientation to Homemade Explosive Formulations – the latest threats
  • Bombing Scene Search Overview collecting evidence after a blast
  • Demonstrate wearing a bomb suit and experience wearing one

Explosive Magazine Site Visit

  • Go to an explosive magazine (storage site) and view what real explosives look like
  • Observe an Explosives Detection K-9 in action

Explosives Range Demonstration

  • See certified explosives experts manufacture and initiate improvised explosive formulations
  • Experience the force of an explosive blast first-hand
  • See how evidence is collected after a bomb goes off
IED Recognition & Mitigation

Extremist and terrorist employment of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) has increased the importance of a First Responder’s working knowledge of explosives and explosive devices. As the name implies, First Responders are simultaneously the personnel most threatened by, and best positioned to, identify IEDS.

Our 1-day IED Recognition and Mitigation Course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills for First Responders to not only identify potential explosive threats, but also to identify the key components critical for determining response procedures. Attendees will participate in classroom lecture and practical labs designed to enhance their understanding of how IEDs function and practical exercises focusing on the identification of an array of IEDs, their components, and triggering mechanisms.*
*EOD and Bomb Squad personnel will experience scenario-based exercises that involved advanced mitigation techniques and procedures.
Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE)

This 3-day course is designed for those first responders and military personnel who need training dealing with the detection and sampling/collection methods of Homemade Explosive Materials. This course is will cover several detection capabilities that are on the market and will have special emphasis on the Ahura line of detection instruments. Students will receive classroom training followed by actual "lab" time. The culmination of the course will be the scenario-based events on the third day, which will require the students to utilize the skills and knowledge acquired on the previous two days.

Classroom Instruction

  • HME case studies
  • Sample collection

Field Instruction

  • Clean/dirty man techniques
  • Sensitivity tests
  • Basic HME process demonstration

Field Training Exercise

  • Domestic and International problems/scenarios
  • After Action/Debrief
Military Explosive Ordnance Recognition (EOR) Course

This 1-day course is designed for personnel likely to encounter military ordnance during the performance of their official duties. The course covers safety precautions, describes ordnance construction characteristics, and explains the fundamentals of military ordnance fuzing.

K-9 Courses

Large (Mass Quantity) Explosives Hide
This 1-day course presents explosive detection K9 teams with scenarios involving quantities of explosive materials that are realistic and often used in real-world threats, but are rarely trained upon. Unusual K9 behavior involving mass quantities of explosive material is often misunderstood and/or misinterpreted by the handler, due to unfamiliarity. Students will imprint their dog on various types of mass explosives in a calm and controlled environment prior to participating in authentic scenario based practical exercises. Our highly experienced staff of cadre will introduce teams to amounts of explosives that increase in quantities throughout the course and range from tens to hundreds, and even thousands of pounds. Additionally, any issues encountered during imprinting or scenario events will be identified and every attempt to mitigate them will be made during course duration. Material weights encountered during this course will range from 5 to 5,000 pounds.
Post-Blast Orientation & Search Protocol
One of the most commonly used terrorist bombing techniques of late is the use of what is called a "secondary device." Most recently a secondary device was planted (but did not go off) in the Belgium airport bombing. A recent terrorist attack where the secondary device worked as planned occurred in Thailand. 340 people injured because they did not understand the single most basic concept of terrorist bombings. The first bomb just draws the crowd and the emergency response personnel. The second one does the majority of the damage. K-9 Teams are vital in the searching for and location of secondary devices. During this 1-day course attendees will participate in various scenarios searching for secondary explosive devices within an authentic post-blast environment that is contaminated with explosive residue and scent, debris, and/or distractions.
Improvised (Homemade) Explosives for K-9 Teams
The most common weapon being utilized by criminals and terrorists throughout the world is improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that contain improvised (homemade) explosives. As a first responder, you are increasingly more likely to encounter this type of hazard while responding to a critical incident. This course will provide you with the basic information required to keep you and your team safe. During the first phase of this course, students will learn to identify basic improvised explosives, identify chemical precursors and equipment used in the illicit manufacture of improvised explosives, the hazards associated with each precursor, safe-handling techniques, and general safety precautions. Throughout the second phase of this course, students will be safely exposed to live improvised explosive formulations, including several peroxide based mixtures such as TATP & HMTD, which were used in the recent attacks in Europe. Students will witness first-hand, the sensitivity and destructive power of improvised explosives, how to safely operate while mixtures are present, methods of desensitization, as well as a live range demonstration. The handler will have the opportunity to imprint their K-9 on all the formulations created during the course. Following imprinting, the formulations will be utilized in practical exercises, including a post-blast environment. There is absolutely no alternative for this real-world based training. If you want to be operating at your optimal level and be ready to deal with the threat of improvised explosives and improvised explosive labs, you need to attend this course.
K9 Integration with Tactical Operations

This 4-day training evolution provides students with an overview of and an open forum for the use of a K9 team within a tactical scenario. Our staff of former Special Operations members will cover CQC techniques, our Bomb Squad/EOD staff members will cover all aspects relating to explosive breaching operations and other explosive related practices, Cameron, who is a former Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) MPC instructor and SWAT K9 handler, will discuss situations and options for the use of K9 in high-risk operational deployments. This class is meant for open and interactive conversation and to share real-world lessons learned. Understanding the needs of agencies and policies can vary from department to department and this type of course is designed to create dialogue and tools for your agencies K9 program. Our practical scenarios are designed to fully integrate K9 handlers with SWAT and/or Bomb Squad members, so that all parties learn the best way to employ K9 into a myriad of situations. The scenarios we provide will require critical thinking and problem solving for the K9 and team members.  When you come to our facility in Gettysburg, PA we provide live-fire ranges, less-lethal munitions, conventional/military/improvised explosive materials, bomb suits and robots, drones and much more!  Days 1 and 2 are comprised primarily of classroom theory and discussion, while days 3 and 4 consist of full practical scenarios designed to test and learn operational limits.

Patrol and Detection Handler

Explosives, Narcotics, Firearms, Human Remains and Electronics/Cell Phone

  • 2-week course for previously trained dogs (detection or patrol): $1,500.00/team*
  • 4-week complete course for detection (no explosives) or patrol: $3,000.00/team*
  • 6-week complete imprinting/training course for explosive detection teams: $5,000.00/team*
  • 12-week complete dual-purpose course (Patrol/Tracking and Detection): $7,500.00/team*
Train-the-Trainer (TTT)

Our TTT courses meet and exceed industry standards.  Our curriculum is built upon stringent federal training standards and students will receive a certificate from USFWDS (United States Federal Working Dog Standards) at the completion of training.

  • 2-week Basic Trainer (Patrol OR Detection) $1,500.00*
  • 4-week Advanced Trainer (Patrol AND Detection) $2,800.00*
Detection: On-the-Mark

During this 3-day seminar students will discuss the common problems that handlers deal with involving detection dogs. Cameron will describe how a seemingly small and simple change in your approach, based on science and psychology, will lessen or eliminate the issue(s). Students will also learn improved techniques for odor imprinting and final response to odor, which will create a much safer method for detection (primarily explosives) and a reliable K9 program in the event of scrutiny under of law.  This class is for ALL types of detection dogs, including SAR and HRD.

The Science of E

This 2-day course teaches science-based communication principles that can be used in conjunction with your remote collar, which enhances your training and communication with your K9. We will cover the importance of timing, how to use the operant conditioning approach and the use of tones and vibration for effective communication. Techniques for solving common problems will be presented and e-collar myths will be debunked.

Cargo Screening for Explosive Threats

Cargo screening operations are a National Security priority and we offer a 3-day training event that involves classroom and practical applications for detecting and identifying possible explosive threats in a transit/cargo environment.  Our hides are based on real-world threat intelligence and contain live energetic materials. If you are getting ready to certify or if your company needs to be certified in-accordance-with TSA Cargo Screening standards, this training is for you.

Thinking like the Bomber

The fight against terror and explosive threats is a game of chess, not checkers -- you have to think and plan several moves ahead. This 3-day course is designed for explosive or firearm detection dogs.  The objective of this training is to force the student into unusual situations where critical thinking is a must when dealing with various IED threats. Threats will be realistic in nature and the majority will be based on historical/recent real-world events, including VBIED, HBIED, PBIED, Buried IEDs and more. All threats will incorporate real (live) energetic material in order to produce the best representation of a threat that may be encountered as possible. This course is more than the old “put out the odor and find it” type training – you will work hard and learn quickly that you don’t always win.

K9 Supervisors

This supervisor course offers will prepare the student to adequately maintain an effective K9 unit. Topics to be covered include: K9 legal updates, supervisory legal updates, handler selection, dealing with problem handlers, K9 selection, K9 unit do’s and don’ts, why K9 units fail, SWAT vs. K9 (liability vs. reality), critical incident review, K9 unit record keeping, class scenarios (a hands-on approach) and K9 deployment review.

Advanced Dog Selection Techniques

This 3-day training course is built upon the research performed by Mr. Ford and Duke University. This research has produced a series of “brain games” or tests that can be utilized in conjunction with standard agency selection procedures to raise the percentage of candidates. These additional tests will identify dogs with a higher capacity for quick learning and memory retention, which will reduce the overall time required to train them in their respective disciplines.

Building a Better Dog

In this 3-day class we discuss the high demand for quality working dogs, which has dramatically increased over the past several years.  Due to this change, vendors and trainers are discovering that the selection pool contains younger and younger dogs.  This means agencies and K9 trainers must learn the best and most effective methods to successfully train and build a dog that fits your requirements. Moreover, this course will cover how to select a K9 and the best practices to imprint, train and problem solve as you build your next working dog.

Search & Rescue - Human Remains Tracking

This 3-day course is designed for practical training in a multitude of environments and disaster scenarios. We have multiple unique training areas that are perfect for SAR/HRD K9 training. Our 200-acre rock quarry contains various shot-up and burnt out vehicles, fallen debris and obstacles and several water features. Additionally, we have a simulated helicopter crash site with actual components, fuselage and more. Moreover, we have expansive wooded areas with dedicated LZ's to conduct helicopter INFIL/EXFIL operations.

Live Fire Orientation

Our 1-day live fire orientation course is conducted on our adjacent shooting range and will put K9 teams through a variety of exercises designed to familiarize the handler with the operation of a weapon while maintaining his dog, as well as desensitizing the dog to the sounds involved with firearm use.

Breaching Courses

Explosive Breaching Operations

This 5-day dynamic entry course serves to introduce attendees to all proper procedures required to either create, or augment an already existing explosive entry component. This course is designed for personnel with little to no experience with energetic materials, and explosive compounds.

*This course has a minimum requirement of participants. If minimum participation is not met, the course will be rescheduled and your payment will be refunded or you may select an alternate date.

Specific Tactical Explosive Entry School Learning Topics

  • Explosive breaching training course program policies and procedures related to the unit’s/agency’s mission statement
  • Tactical situations justifying and requiring explosive entry and supported by written policy
  •  Explosive law and compliance requirements
  •  Explosive safety and handling procedures (administrative and tactical) specifically for the tactical explosive breaching discipline
  •  Duties and responsibilities of the breacher team
  •  Theory and explosive material properties, terminology for general understanding and related to detonations in the urban environment for this tactical explosive discipline
  •  Understanding of potential hazards created by detonations in the urban environment damaging to humans and property (causes and reduction/mitigation procedures)
  •  Explosive materials and related tools used during tactical explosive breaching operations
  •  Charge construction, design, net explosive weight calculations and related documentation (Understanding design and material failure without using commercial products)
  •  Data base collection procedures, documentation for charge strength and configuration related to various breach points on actual structures (doors, windows, walls and roofs)
  •  Prediction of all related hazards and protective actions for mission essential personnel, public, suspects, victims and property for each detonation
  •  Tactical firing system construction, operational application, misfire emergency situation response and recovery procedures
  •  Mission planning, briefing, performance and post operation protocols
  •  Mission-related tactics and hazards, misfires and entry denial

Participant Expectations and Conditions (This is not an “Attend and Pass” Course)

This Basic Explosive Breaching Training Course requires each participant to perform the following tasks prior for pre-qualification to take the final written examination and successfully complete this course:

  • Explosive breaching training course participants must sign an acknowledgement of risks and release of liability documentation
  • Willingness to handle explosives and work in an explosives environment, as required by the explosive breaching training course
  • Responsible for daily private/agency transportation to/from various training sites as required by the course curriculum and explosive worksite structure(s) location(s)
  • No formal lunch/meal breaks during fieldwork on Wednesday through Friday
  • Dedicated full dress tactical application scenarios
  • Willingness to participate in explosive tactical entries of structures under adverse conditions and environments
  • Must successfully pass the final written examination (80% or higher)
  • Failure to successfully complete all written assignments or perform tasks as required, participant will be removed from the explosive breaching training course

Participant Equipment List

Each participant is required to provide the following items and equipment for Tripwire’s Explosive Breaching Training Course:

  • Full tactical explosive breaching equipment and all personal protection items (your standard operational kit – ensure you have long sleeves and pants, ballistic helmet, ballistic projectile eye/ear protection, and sturdy gloves)
  • Respiratory protection, particulate type mask or better for working in dust and debris producing environments
  • Note taking material (note pad, pen, pencils, etc.)
  • 6-inch (15 cm) radius drafting compass

Forensic Science Courses

Forensic Bomb Blast Recovery Course

Documentation and Recovery of the Large-Scale, Multiple-Fatality Disaster Scene

This two-day course will serve a primer on how to properly process a large-scale, multiple-fatality disaster scene, including large-vehicle (plane, trains, bus crashes), and bomb blast incidents. Topics to be covered include: overview of explosive devices, proper search, documentation and recovery techniques, technological advances in large-scale forensic scene processing, discussion of the variety of evidence to be expected in these incidents, prioritizing evidence notation and recovery.

Day 1 will be lecture-based and will cover the basics of mass disaster, multiple- fatality incident scene processing that will include detailed descriptions for both the National Weldon Spring and Clarence Center Disaster Scene Protocols; cover basics of mapping the disaster scene with electronic Total Stations, Trimble R-8 survey-grade GPS unit, drones and 3D Laser Scanning instruments. Basics of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), will also be covered.

Day 2 will start off with a detonation of explosives in a car containing animal proxies. Students will have an opportunity to participate and use all of the mapping and documentation equipment, and perform duties as note-takers, photographers, and bar-code scanners and etc., during the processing of the scene.

Outdoor Forensic Scene Processing Protocols: Pt. I

This 3-day course will demonstrate the basics of processing outdoor forensic scenes with a focus on surface-scattered human remains. In-depth lectures and discussion of past forensic cases will be mixed with ample hands-on opportunities to practice documentation and recovery techniques. The course will focus on law enforcement issues.

Day 1 will provide an introduction to the fields of forensic anthropology, archaeology and taphonomy as a way to approach the complex outdoor forensic scene in order to best reconstruct past events (including estimation of PMI) at the scene. Lectures and hands-on demonstrations will introduction participants to outdoor scene mapping procedures ranging from hand-drawn maps, to electronic total stations and GPS maps.

Day 2 will include discussion of effective and efficient search techniques, provide an introductory guide to the determination of forensic significance (e.g., human v. animal tissues); discuss strategy and goals of processing the surface-scattered remains, hands-on opportunities to use the total station and survey-grade GPS units, grid and baseline mapping.

Day 3 will focus on the recovery of a mock outdoor forensic scene. Participants will conduct all of the roles and duties required of the properly processed outdoor, surface-scattered scene. A review of procedures will be conducted at the end of the exercise.

Outdoor Forensic Scene Processing Protocols: Pt. II

Locating, Documenting and Interpreting the Buried Body Feature

This 3-day course will demonstrate the basics of processing the clandestine grave containing decomposing human remains. In-depth lectures and discussion of past forensic cases will be mixed with ample hands-on opportunities to practice documentation and recovery techniques. The course will focus on law enforcement issues.

Day 1 will provide a review of the fields of forensic anthropology, archaeology and taphonomy as a way to approach the complex outdoor forensic scene in order to best reconstruct past events at the scene. Lectures and hands-on demonstrations will review outdoor scene mapping procedures ranging from hand-drawn maps, to electronic total stations and GPS maps. Extensive discussion of past forensic cases involving decomposing buried bodies.

Day 2 will include discussion of effective and efficient buried body documentation methods, as well as excavation techniques that maximize data collection, discuss strategy and goals of processing the buried boy feature, and initial processing of the mock burial feature. Hands-on opportunities to use the electronic total station and survey-grade GPS units, will be provided.

Day 3 will focus on the recovery of a mock outdoor forensic scene that includes a buried body. Participants will conduct all of the roles and duties required of the properly processed outdoor, forensic scene.

Outdoor Forensic Scene Processing Protocols: Pt. III

Documenting and Interpreting the Fatal Fire Scene

This 3-day course will demonstrate the basics of processing the forensic scene containing a fatal fire victim. In-depth lectures and discussion of past forensic cases will be mixed with ample hands-on opportunities to practice documentation and recovery techniques. The course will focus on law enforcement issues.

Day 1 will provide a review of the fields of forensic anthropology, archaeology and taphonomy as a way to approach the complex outdoor forensic scene in order to best reconstruct past events at the scene. Lectures and hands-on demonstrations will review outdoor scene mapping procedures ranging from hand-drawn maps, to electronic total stations and GPS maps. Extensive discussion of past forensic cases involving fatal fire victims will be presented.

Day 2 will include discussion of effective and efficient fatal fire victim documentation methods, as well as recovery and excavation techniques that maximize data collection, discuss strategy and goals of processing the fatal fire victim. Hands-on opportunities to use the electronic total station and survey-grade GPS units, will be provided.

Day 3 will focus on the recovery of a mock car fire that includes a burned animal carcass proxy. Participants will conduct all of the roles and duties required of the properly processed forensic scene.

Mass Disaster & Post-Blast Scene Recovery

The goal of this 5-day course is to provide participants with a working knowledge of how to conduct the most efficient and effective processing of a large-scale disaster scene involving multiple human victims. Nationally-recognized standards (Weldon Spring and Clarence Center Protocols) developed, tested, and published by the course directors will be presented and demonstrated. The course will begin a history of past recovery efforts at incidents such as the USAir Flight 427, ColganAir Flight 3407, and United Flight 93 (9/11), followed by an in-depth discussion of prioritization of the various types of evidence associated with these incidents and scenes. Considerable time will be spent demonstrating and utilizing the multiple levels of scene mapping equipment including electronic total stations, high-end GPS units, 3D scans, and mapping and documentation drones. Effective and efficient search and documentation protocols will be presented. A mock scene involving the detonation of a vehicle with animal proxies within will serve as a highlight of the course in which participants with use all of the mapping and documentation equipment and protocols to process the large-scale disaster scene.

Fatal Fire Victim Recovery & Interpretation

Fire scenes that include human victims in the rubble, hereafter termed the fatal-fire scene , provide some of the most difficult investigative challenges for fire responders, investigators, forensic experts, and law-enforcement agents. Fatal-fire scenes are often much more complex than other outdoor crime scenes not only because the body and individual skeletal elements are significantly modified by fire, but also because the entire surrounding contextual environment is likewise dramatically modified. Thermal modifications result in a homogeneous coloration of the human remains and surrounding matrix, making it difficult to distinguish the body and burned skeletal elements from the surrounding substrate debris. These circumstances increase the chance of missing some of the burned and fragmented remains during the typical forensic processing of the scene. If not detected, skeletal remains may be trampled upon during the recovery process or left behind at the scene. Added to these considerations is the fact that fire suppression and extinguishing efforts by firefighters often involve spraying the scene with water under high pressure, which typically results in dispersed and further fragmented biological remains. All of these issues adversely influence subsequent investigative efforts.

Tactical Medicine Courses

Tactical Shooter Medicine

This 1-day course was created by a Special Operations Combat Medic, and presented by a current U.S. Army Green Beret. It will teach basic trauma management using the M.A.R.C.H. Protocol, which is different than standard EMS. All within a tactical setting, some of the topics will cover the management of:

• Massive bleeding
• Airway
• Respiration
• Circulation
• Hypothermia
• Patient stabilization

This is a hands-on course, and every student will be given a practical exercise at the end of the course.

Blast Injuries

Explosions have the potential to create a multitude injuries and it is important to know how they affect the body in-order-to treat patients effectively. These types of injuries are most commonly experienced during battle, but have the potential to occur in mines, factories or anywhere as a result of terrorism. Events involving explosions are complex to manage and may involve multiple patients, not to mention multiple agencies, which can make them a challenge for EMS personnel.

Some of the topics to be covered in this 1-day course are: Blast Injuries: Essential Facts; Injury Care: Prehospital; Lung Injury: Prehospital Care; Lung Injury; Radiological Diagnosis; Crush Injury and Crush Syndrome; Post Exposure Prophylaxis for Bloodborne Pathogens; Abdominal Injuries; Extremity Injuries; Ear Injuries; Eye Injuries; Thermal Injuries; Pediatrics; and Older Adults.

Firearms/Shooting Courses

Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun

All of our firearms courses are presented by our strategic partners from Rockwell Tactical Group. Please visit their site directly for available and upcoming courses.