Timely life saving course for first responders

Dallas Police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Dallas protestors rallied in the aftermath of the killing of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. and Philando Castile, who was killed by police less than 48 hours later in Minnesota. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – As in Dallas, when bullets fly, officers race to the scene. But the evolving climate of uncertainty has many on the edge.

“Given the, what’s going on in our country right now, the training they are offering us today is very valuable,” says Officer Frans Dielemans with the Woodbury Police Department.

“What you have to have is the mindset that I’m not going to die from a bullet,” explains an instructor at the Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation at Hartford Hospital.

What the 29 year veteran and others in the class are learning, could be what saves the lives they’ve sworn to protect — as well as their own and fellow officers.

Officer Dielemans says, “Almost 30 years ago, the training we got was tourniquets were the last resort, they were almost a no-no. Now the way everything has changed, the training now is the tourniquet is the first resort.”

Emergency Physician, Dr. Wesley Kyle explains, “A tourniquet is a broad term to describe a medical device that provides circumstantial pressure around a wound. Tourniquets go above the wound, closer to the heart. And they are- essentially different schools of thought but it seems to be the consensus that the higher the tourniquet the better.”

A majority today are police officers but instructor Brian Wallace says judicial marshals are among them.

“It’s an excellent thing they are coming thru,” says Wallace, “because in light of what has just occurred in Michigan with the two Marshalls who were shot in the courthouse, it’s becoming a bigger issue obviously.”

Unless you are properly trained though, Dr. Kyle says there is only one alternative for those of us who are not.

“I would recommend the best thing to do is to apply pressure directly onto the that wound to get it to stop bleeding. If that requires you to put a knee onto it or squeezing it with your hand, do that, until emergency personnel arrives.”

Stopping the bleeding, staying level headed, could be the difference to surviving.

“It’s a long time coming,” says Officer Dielemans.

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