MEDINA, OH (WOIO) - Police officers are trained to run to the sound of gun fire, not from it. In Medina they will bring a new strategy for protecting our schools and businesses with them.
The strategy is a simple one; train and equip police officers who enter shooting scenes to apply emergency aid for those critically injured while still securing the scene.
"Our primary mission remains the same, stop the shooter. But we are expanding on our police service delivery model by attempting to begin care as soon as possible," said Mayor Dennis Hanwell. "We have had great success in saving the lives of heart attack victims with our quick response. Now we will better prepare for the aftermath of any potential shooting incident."
A program of self care for officers was initiated two years ago, with the thought in mind that an officer might have to care for him or herself initially if wounded in a gunfight. Medina police officers were all trained and equipped to provide for their self care by members of Medina Life Support Team (LST).
Since the training each Medina police officer also carries a personal aid kit equipped with a combat bandage called Quick Clot and combat tourniquet. Now they are taking it one step further.
"We will take the ability to save lives in the door with us. The process will begin immediately," said Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci. "Our officers are the first in and will be trained and equipped to deal with both the shooter and his victims. We will stop the shooter or he will stop himself, but the process begins immediately. While I feel confident we can help make a difference let's hope we never need to use our training."
In January 2013, Medina police will be receiving specialized two day, 20 hour training sessions from Medina Life Support Team (LST) instructors which will build on the self care training previously received and teach the officers to care for others. The course is called Tactical Casualty Combat Care (TCCC).
It was developed by the military so each soldier could care for the most common causes of combat deaths: penetrating trauma compounded by prolonged evacuation times. TCCC is the only standard of care dually endorsed by both the American College of Surgeons, and the National Association of EMT's for Casualty Management in Tactical Environments.
Traditionally, advanced medical care professionals do not enter the "hot zone", as active shooting scenes are called. The reason is to protect them so they can care for the multiple casualties once the evacuations begin. The evacuation and care of wounded has to wait until a "hot zone" is secure enough to move the wounded.
Medina Police are training to take advantage of the time period before evacuation of the wounded can occur by providing a form of Tactical Combat Casualty Care for the victims they may encounter.
For police in the "hot zone" or soldiers on the battlefield, care of casualties sustained is only part of the mission. TCCC recognizes this fact and structures its guidelines to accomplish three primary goals:
1. Complete the mission - stop the shooter
2. Treat the casualty
3. Prevent additional casualties
The 20 hour course consists of classroom and practical exercises. At the completion of the training each Medina City police officer and police car will be equipped with additional emergency medical supplies to allow the officers to begin caring for casualties of a shooting incident while they await evacuation to advanced medical care.