In exercises using soft airguns (Airsoft), all participants (players, role players, exercise staff) within the marked safety zone shall have protective gear in place while the scenario is running. Before the scenario begins, all Airsoft devices carried shall have safeties on and shall be stowed or holstered. Long arms may be aimed in a safe direction with safeties activated and Barrel Blocking Devices (BBDs, barrel socks) in place and visible.
Starting the Scenario
A warning shall be given before action is initiated. Unless otherwise specified in the scenario rules, a whistle, air-horn, or similar device shall be sounded once an announcement made to don protective gear ("Masks On."). Safety officers shall verify that safety equipment has been donned within their zones of responsibility. On approval of safety officers, a second signal shall be given and the announcement shall be made to "Make ready". At this point, Barrel Blocking Devices may be removed and handguns may be unholstered or unstowed. Finally, the signal shall be given and the announcement made to "Run scenario".
Stopping the Scenario
Once the scenario is running, masks and safety equipment shall not be removed until it is halted. Each exercise shall have a defined signal to halt the action which shall be clearly conveyed in pre-exercise briefing. Unless defined otherwise, participants shall halt all action for three short blasts of the signalling device, the call of "Stop scenario!", or "HOLD!". A safety officer may give this signal at any time for any reason and shall repeat it until the desired effect is obtained. All participants shall respond immediately and should repeat the signal to ensure that everyone receives it. Participants may also call for a stop to the action if they see any dangerous condition which requires it.
When the signal to halt the action is given, all participants shall halt scenario activities and take a safe position. All participants with Airsoft devices shall activate safeties, point them in a safe position (generally the low carry position), and look to exercise staff for instructions. Once compliance with the halt is obtained, further action may be taken by exercise staff, such as ordering in real-world medical responders to deal with an injury. No unmasked individuals may enter the safety zone until the action is successfully halted. Participants shall not remove their safety gear unless and until instructed.
After action is halted, a further instruction may be given for participants to "Stand down." Upon this signal, all participants shall holster or stow handguns and shall place visible Barrel Blocking Devices on long-arms. The order to "Stand down" shall be relayed by exercise participants as necessary to ensure that it is heard by all. If safe and practical, participants should take a knee or otherwise assume a position where they can stay in place for a period of time and safety officers may see over them.
If appropriate, action may be restarted after a halt or stand-down by repeating the "Make ready" and "Run scenario" signals after any staff who have entered without safety gear leave the safety zone.
Once compliance with the stand-down order has been obtained and verified, the order may be given for "Masks off". Once the masks off order has been given, the entire three-step process must be repeated to ensure that safety gear has been donned before action may be restarted.
Summary of Steps
- Starting/Restarting Scenario
- Masks On
- Make Ready
- Run Scenario
- Halting Scenario
- Stop Scenario
- Stand Down
- Masks Off