Ky. responders train for EMS to have more active response during shootings

In a mass shooting, deputies would stay with the responders to provide security as fire department paramedics treat the wounded

By James Mayse

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. — On Tuesday afternoon, deputies from the Daviess County Sheriff's Department, county firefighters and representatives from the Kentucky State Police and Yellow Ambulance began practicing a new approach to how fire department medical teams would respond to a mass shooting.

In a hallway at the Dean Allen Youngman National Guard Armory, a group of armed deputies, with rifles and handguns empty, created a four-person shield around the medical responders. In a mass shooting, deputies would stay with the responders to provide security as fire department paramedics treat the wounded.

That's a departure from previous policy, which requires medical technicians and firefighters to stay away from an active shooter scene until the area is declared secure by law enforcement.

Brad Youngman, a detective with the sheriff's department, said the idea is that more injured people will survive a mass shooting if medical teams enter the building as quickly as possible, even while law enforcement are still actively seeking the shooter.

"The concept is no longer will medical intervention have to wait for law enforcement," Youngman said. "We don't need to wait hours while several dozen people are injured."

The tactic is not unique to Daviess County. In October, Las Vegas police escorted medical teams as they responded to a mass shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 800.

Youngman said the training, which began Monday and will continue this week, is the beginning of a process to train as many responders as possible on how "Rescue Task Forces" work so everyone will understand the procedure should an incident occur.

County Fire Chief Dwane Smeathers said department officials began discussions about changing their response plan to shootings last fall.

"The world is evolving, and we have to evolve with it, unfortunately," Smeathers said. "I never expected to see the day firefighters would have to wear a bulletproof vest.

"We've often discussed, God forbid if something happens in Daviess County, what could we do that is the best tactic" to respond, Smeathers said.

The idea is that rescue task force teams would be small, with four to six law enforcement officers guarding from one to three medics as they treat patients. Law enforcement would provide cover and clear rooms for threats so medics could work.

More rescue teams would enter the building as they arrived, while separate officers tracked the shooter. The procedure would be new for officers and deputies providing security, in that they would not leave the team if they thought they spotted a shooter.

Because other law enforcement agencies would be responding to a shooting, medics would have to explain the importance of providing security to officers new to the procedure.

"You need to explain to them, 'Don't leave us,'" Youngman said. Leaving medics unprotected would leave them vulnerable to being attacked, he said.

Having officers not familiar with rescue task force teams at the scene could cause problems and delays.

"Early reports in Florida were some of those agencies had trained on RTF, but the agency at the door had not, and blocked the door to paramedics," said D. Allen Youngman, a special deputy who handles mass shooter training for the sheriff's department. "... We recognize that's the challenge."

Brad Youngman, who is D. Allen Youngman's son, said agencies outside Daviess County would also be participating in the training so they could create their own teams.

"We study the past, and we plan for that, but you also have to realize the shooter does the same thing," Brad Youngman said. "We plan for things we haven't seen before."

Copyright 2018 Messenger-Inquirer

New active shooter drill aims to get medical teams to victims faster

Active shooter training is not new for the Daviess Co. Sheriff's Office, but now there's a new drill first responders are practicing to help get medical personnel to victims faster... FULL STORY>>

Posted by 14 NEWS on Tuesday, March 6, 2018
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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