Humboldt General Hospital Emergency Medical Services Rescue is doing its part to help protect this state's law enforcement officers.
Last week members of the HGH EMS Rescue educational team traveled to Carson City to the Police Officers Standards and Training Academy (POST) to deliver their Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course to POST cadets.
POST Training Bureau Chief Orlando Guerra stated, "When we heard that HGH was offering this course to all of the Humboldt and surrounding county law enforcement officers, we knew that it was a valuable educational tool for all the new officers we are training."
Guerra said last week's course was a pilot program. The POST administration is currently evaluating the benefits of delivering the program to all POST academies from this time forward.
The chief said if the course is approved for continued delivery, Nevada POST will be the only law enforcement academy in the Western states to offer the critical thinking, combat survival program to new recruits.
The National Association of EMT (NAEMT) program is after a similar program offered to military personnel prior to combat deployment. HGH was the first department in the United States to offer the NAEMT program to non-military personnel, and since its original delivery over a year ago, local EMS educators have certified nearly every officer in Humboldt County.
The program focuses on what officers should do in the few minutes following a traumatic event such as a gunshot wound, a time when officers routinely perish prior to the arrival of professional Emergency Medical Services.
"About 15 years ago, the military finally realized that war fighters were not trained or equipped to control life-threatening trauma while also dealing with an enemy," said Tony Shope," a paramedic with Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue, "and once the military realized that, it was a short jump to realize that civilian law enforcers were facing the same problem."
Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue Director Pat Songer said the delivery of the program in a remote area like northern Nevada makes sense.
"Local law enforcement respond to calls with minimal resources, and if something catastrophic were to happen, it is this type of education and training that will save their lives," he said.
The end goal for his agency, said Songer, is to become a regional training site for delivery of the program to the West Coast, all while educating new instructors and establishing new training sites.
That's why local EMS educators were so thrilled to be contacted by Guerra. "If we can get this kind of training into the hands of law enforcement officers throughout the state, it will help protect them when they encounter those volatile situations," said Songer.
Humboldt General Hospital CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish agrees. "It is our pleasure to offer this program to POST. We have no doubt that the education these new officers receive in tactical combat casualty care will one day save lives."
The program is offered quarterly at the HGH EMS Rescue Education Center in Winnemucca to all area law enforcement officers. For further information, please contact Tactical Combat Casualty Care Program Director Tony Shope at firstname.lastname@example.org