POLICE Magazine

AUG 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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32 POLICE AUGUST 2018 been neutralized, either killed or in custody, officers sometimes have difficulty transitioning from engaging the bad guy to ren- dering aid to his victims. If you have no information of a second shooter, you need to move toward your next plan of action. ere will always be variables to deal with in this situation, including whether the suspect is deceased, the suspect has sur- rendered or is otherwise in custody, and if communication has been made to other responding units over the radio in order to get them to your precise location. Once the valid points of con- tention have been addressed, then you must not get caught up in being "frozen" with the suspect. I have personally observed more times than I would like to admit that officers will handcuff a simulated "dead" suspect and sit there and wait for backup to arrive while continuously holding their guns on the dead sus- pect. What should be considered in this mo ment is how far away or how long it might be before backup does arrive. You need to be asking yourselves what kind of equip ment needs to be requested, how many injuries can be estimated, what type of injuries were suffered by the victims, and what type of weapon—handgun or rifle—was used by the killer. ese are all pertinent details that need to be relayed to the additional responders in order to pre- pare them to assist you and to treat the injured. TRIAGE TREATING THE WOUNDED BEGINS WITH TRIAGE, which means to sort vic- tims according to medical need. e first officers on scene may have to make the inconceivable decision of which victims re- ceive attention and which ones don't. Who do you help first and why? I'm going to keep it as simple as possible, take an immediate look at those who are unresponsive. I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," meaning attention. Well in this case it is the complete opposite; if you hear someone yelling and screaming, that is a good thing. ey are alive and getting air into their lungs; they can wait. e thing you most want to know is why the unrespon- sive person is unresponsive because you might just have a few seconds to assess them and save their lives before they expire. What type of injuries are you looking for in a multitude of trau- matic gunshot victims? To start, take a split second, pause, assess the current situation, and then begin to make decisions. Before you go any further remember that if you lose your composure, more kids will die. As callous as it may sound, tell yourself, "is is NOT my emergency." By doing so you will keep yourself calm, which will allow you to make better assessments. Next, use your command presence and authority—your big boy/girl voice—to direct those who have minor or no injuries to exit the facility through the safest means possible. After you get the "walking wounded" out, take a quick look at the unresponsive. If you observe someone with a massive head or chest injury with copious blood loss, then you might have to move on. I would suggest rolling that person into the recovery position and then as quickly as possible move to the next victim and assess the trauma. When giving aid to the victims you can help, you need to de- cide whether a quick tourniquet to an extremity will be applica- ble or will simply applying direct pressure as well as packing the wound suffice. ese are all difficult choices because as officers, Tactical Medical Response to School Shootings

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