Behind the scenes with LA County's Special Enforcement Bureau

FOX 11 joined Los Angeles County’s Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) for a day of training with deputies.

The SEB is essentially the county’s SWAT team. They consistently respond to some of the most dangerous calls in Southern California.

During a day of training with deputies, authorities try to simulate real-life situations and make them as realistic as possible. They say their goal is to save lives.

"It’s not a hashtag we put on our Instagram site," said LASD Deputy Sheriff John Montenegro. "Saving lives is our top priority."

In one of the simulations, deputies rescued an injured officer from a patrol car with a suspected shooter in a nearby building. Deputies used BearCats, heavily armored vehicles, to surround the injured deputy with a moving shield. Essentially, the deputies hide the injured officer from a suspected shooter, so they can begin treatment.

"They’re going to put themselves in harm’s way," said Montenegro. "So, the ability to take armor with us [is crucial], to protect us, so no additional casualties occur."

Recently, the department added a 19,000-pound FireCat to their fleet. The armored vehicle can help extinguish a fire while taking on gunfire.

"It holds a 300-gallon tank and at full throttle, it depletes in about 2-and-a-half minutes," said LASD Deputy Sheriff Alex Guerra. "It’s common for barricaded suspects to light their house on fire. We can use this to defeat that fire without having to bring the fire department in and put their lives at risk."

When SWAT teams bring in heavy military-like artillery through neighborhoods, some believe it’s over the top.

"People think this is over the top until they’re on this side of the equation," said Montenegro. "Then, it’s not enough. I wear full body armor, there’s times I wish I had more body armor. We’re the last line. There’s no one to call beyond us."

The highly trained team uses every tool they can while responding to emergencies across 4,000 square miles in Los Angeles County.

"We really have to have the mindset of, we’re going against that hard problem, and we need that armor to protect ourselves," said Montenegro.