The purpose of the Officer Down Rescue course is to reduce the loss of life of civilians and emergency services personnel through practical training emphasizing proper techniques in providing emergency care and rapid extraction in challenging and violent environments.
The Officer Down Rescue course is designed to provide the guidance to emergency services personnel in different methods of extrication in order to save an individual who may be either pinned down, or unable to escape on their own power, necessitating immediate action.
Rescuing an injured officer from an unstable environment is dangerous, but major trauma is ultimately treated by surgery so time is of the essence. Here, students demonstrate a team-based method to approaching, lifting and removing an officer, while another officer provides eyes down range and cover when necessary. This particular drill is run in a competition-style, with another team operating on the far side of the range. Students firing at steel targets have been told they must make a specific number of hits before the team can move.
Course participants engage targets down range from a variety of positions and rescue the downed personnel or civilian.
Moving a downed officer from a hot zone while providing cover fire is a challenge that is made somewhat easier by applying simple tools and techniques. In this drill, an officer uses one-inch webbing to improvise a harness that may be attached to an injured officer. This set up allows the rescuer to both utilize his/her bodyweight to move the patient while also keeping hands free to operate weapons as necessary. Notice how the officer transitions from his long gun to handgun in the middle during this drill.
The role of the Tactical Paramedic is more than just providing medical care in a hot zone. The Tactical Paramedic serves as the Incident Commanders medical conscience, offering a perspective on the unit's well being.
A pneumothorax is a collection of air in the chest cavity outside the lungs that may develop following a penetrating injury to an officer as the result of a GSW or stabbing. Rapid recognition of an evolving respiratory condition is the first step to treating this situation which can be stabilized by the application of a non-permeable dressing or plastic wrap-type material and securing it with tape. Treatment early in the field may provide the time needed for the patients to be transported to a trauma center for definitive care. Eric Stratton walks a student through the basic procedure in this short video.
First Responders play a critical role in managing a life-threatening injury. Learning to recognize and treat gross hemorrhage quickly is a key aspect in the Officer Down Rescue program. Here, using a piece of meat to simulate a victim, a police officer first must find an actual gunshot wound, then stop the bleeding by inserting a bulky dressing directly into the site, followed by providing direct pressure - all in less than 60 seconds. These actions could make the difference between living and dying following significant penetrating trauma.
Upon rescue, officers, tactical EMT’s, or EMS providers will provide rapid tactical care using standard medical supplies or improvised medical supplies. This medical training concentrates on rapid trauma surveys, bleeding control and rapid transportation to an appropriate trauma center. The training was built on actual incidents that have occurred involving open-area situations and considers the use of vehicles in rescue operations.
Extracting an injured officer from a cruiser located in a dangerous situation such as taking gunfire can be extremely dangerous. But rescue, providing treatment on scene and rapid transport to a trauma center are lifesaving measures that are practiced in the Officer Down Rescue course. In this video, students approach the situation in a manner that maximizes cover for a team to move the officer from one vehicle to another in order then exits the area.
A pillar of the Officer Down Rescue course is training on self-rescue. An injured officer must be able to provide treatment to him/herself while still remaining engaged with an active threat. Applying a tourniquet has become an essential skill that after dismissing for years, was re-introduced to emergency services after proving a life-saving measure on battlefields overseas and is now taught as basic treatment for extreme injuries such as gunshot wounds where major bleeding is occurring.
For more information about this training or to set up a session for your unit, contact Eric Stratton of STS Consulting at www.Tactical-EMS.com