In 2011, the Southeast was struck by a deadly tornado outbreak that would go down in history as one of the most destructive natural disasters to strike the region in recent decades. I was deployed as a storm chaser with my weather team in northern Alabama. Around 6 p.m., just before sunset, the team encountered a large EF-4-rated tornado near Ohatchee, Alabama. The tornado wrought a path of destruction through a neighborhood there that was over a mile and a half wide.
With reports of victims trapped and daylight waning, the team's mission quickly changed from chasing to search-and-rescue alongside other first responders. As my team entered the darkness of the scene, lighting our way was my trusty SureFire Z2X CombatLight® and my backup G2X™ flashlight. Using these lights, we were able to assist firefighters and paramedics as they began searching the rubble. The lights were particularly useful when our three-member team, along with a medic, entered the basement of a destroyed home where a family of six was trapped. With one victim having spinal injuries, we were able to provide the light needed to begin treating this victim before later helping light the path as we carried her through the debris field to a waiting ambulance. Following this rescue, the lights also guided our team back out of the disaster area on foot when another severe storm threatened the scene.
There is no doubt in my mind that, without our SureFire lights that evening, we would not have successfully completed our mission that night. That is why, when severe weather threatens and my team prepares to go out on a storm chase, my SureFire lights are one of the first pieces of gear we pack.
See the Z2X CombatLight and G2X Pro flashlight:
Early in the morning on July 30, 2011, my partner and I responded to a gang fight and apprehended a couple of suspects after a foot pursuit. After escorting them to our cruiser, we were walking across the street when I turned to see a car coming straight at us, the driver asleep at the wheel. I grabbed my partner and began dragging him with me while sprinting for the sidewalk. Another officer yelled, "Watch out!" just as I was struck in my right side (my gun side) by the car, travelling around 50 miles per. My partner was struck by our own cruiser, which was T-boned by the motorist and spun 180 degrees, hitting him like a baseball bat. Three of the four of us on scene were transported for injuries, and my partner and I sustained severe injuries.
I was able to make a full recovery after six months, but I had to learn to walk, run, jump, and stand again. Prior to returning to duty, I inspected all my duty gear, starting with my weapon and holster. It looked like a very big dog used both as a chew toy. The weapon was scratched up, and my SureFire X300® [since replaced by the X300® Ultra] was intact, just missing three screws that had been knocked completely out by the car’s impact. I then inspected my Z2 [since replaced by the Z2X CombatLight® flashlight], which had a cracked lens but was otherwise still working.
I am very impressed and satisfied with SureFire. There is not another product I would use on duty. Thanks, SureFire. You guys continue to make the best! To be used by the best—both here at home and overseas!