MONROEVILLE (KDKA) – Nearly 200 police officers got a chance to hone their emergency response skills Tuesday morning. They met up with doctors and health professionals in Monroeville to get proper training on how to help trauma patients.
The training is part of a program called Stop the Bleed. It teaches officers important first aid skills – things like how to pack a wound and properly apply a tourniquet.
“It’s incredibly important to teach these skills to as many people in the public that we can,” says Raquel Forsythe, a Trauma Surgeon at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
The skills aren’t just to help victims. They’re to keep officers safe, too.
“Unfortunately, we do know that law enforcement officers are often targets now,” says Forsythe. “We want to make sure that our law enforcement officers are trained to provide help for a buddy, or for themselves if they were ever in a position where they were shot or injured in the line of duty.”
The skills are especially important at the scene of a mass casualty event, like the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, Florida. Forsythe says it’s not always safe for EMS to enter an active crime scene. Police officers, who are trained to provide first aid to patients, are a critical part of the emergency response process.
“Whatever you can do to stop the bleeding so that someone can get to a trauma center alive,” says Forsythe. “Then, we as trauma surgeons can do our jobs to get them home to their families.”
All the officers who participated in the program were given a tourniquet to take into the field with them, just in case they need it.
If you would like more information on the Stop the Bleed program, click here.