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Home > Topics > Tactical EMS / TEMS

Ind. police cross-train as EMTs

Officers are working toward their EMT certifications to provide medical care, especially in violent incidents where EMS doesn't have immediate access to the scene

By EMS1 Staff

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indianapolis EMS has been training police officers to better prepare them for handling a medical emergency on a call.

Officer Lance Dardeen has been undergoing the training to become a certified EMT since last December, FOX 59 reports.

“We can start getting the vitals if someone is just kind of having shortness of breath of maybe just passed out,” he said.

Indianapolis EMS Educator Megan Soultz said the cross training is also valuable in violent incidents where EMTs may not have access, but police officers do.

“They can provide some of that initial care until we can go in,” she said.

It also helps when it comes to manpower.

“Especially in a situation when there are multiple patients,” Soultz said. “Because if there are only two providers on an ambulance, but there are lots of police officers on scene, it’s great to be able to have them jump in and help, as well.”

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Daniel Alejandro Gomez Suarez Daniel Alejandro Gomez Suarez Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:21:01 PM This is so debatable, I understand the need in certain areas where EMS take a lot of time to arrive in average but COP/EMT will be a conflict of interest always. After a cop shoot a criminal will start CPR? or if EMS arrive they will question their procedures even though they are the one responsible for Patient Care? this I have seen so much, and I believe is BS. If a cop want to render care, take off your COP uniform and start taking EMS calls. Just because they finish their EMT class does not prepare them to render care. Once you graduate of EMT you have a long way to go before you become a good EMT by having tons of calls and CEU's of experience. With the EMT cert on their belt and being the one enforcing the law as they are use to is a bad combination of rationally. Only good COPS can differentiate from their job and EMT job. I am sorry but is not the solution...
Mike Hunter Mike Hunter Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:29:38 PM I agree its a bad idea but for a different reason. When you get involved in medical care you can loose your situational awareness about other threats. Might be good in MCI's.
Ronnie F. Cox Ronnie F. Cox Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:20:19 PM I have known law enforcement officer that are EMT's/Medic's they work in small towns or county's and don't have problems
Triage Lights Triage Lights Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:22:08 PM I believe all police officers should be trained in basic life saving procedures such as proper ways of applying a tourniquet or hemostatic dressings, just the basics. These skills could help save many lives since police are often the first at a scene and could buy the patient those minutes or seconds that can make a difference. The patient one day could be the officer himself r his partner. It sure can't hurt at MCI's, especially those that happen frequently like bus crashes.
April DeMoss April DeMoss Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:23:45 PM Maybe First responder training would have been better. It's not like they are going to have backboards, AEDs, O2, traction splints, gurneys, etc in their squad car so they really would only be as useful as a responding fire unit of first responders if there was a mascal situation.
Thom Swan Thom Swan Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:39:22 PM It's no more difficult to manage potential conflicts of duties for a LEO/EMT than it is for a firefighter/EMT. The core skills such as observation, evaluation, decision making and so forth are very similar. Dual role providers are very common, and in some settings triple-role providers do as good a job as one can ask (i.e. NPS rangers who have LEO/EMS/Wildland FF and structural FF responsibilities).
David Williams David Williams Wednesday, August 13, 2014 5:05:58 AM With this logic they might as well train the EMTs to be cops. All they really need is first aid and CPR. Most career fire departments cross train and cross staff because EMS is 80% of the job.
Jen Stutesman Jen Stutesman Wednesday, August 13, 2014 9:54:28 AM Hmm. I think, as a former dispatcher and ride-alonger, that they are usually treated differently by the public, though. People sometimes tell EMS things that they wouldn't tell the Police officer. The Fire / EMS are here to "help and save" you, where the Police get all the bad press. As a police dispatcher, I was trained to be WAY more suspicious and observant than as a Fire EMS dispatcher. Of course, this was 20 years ago....
Carolann Quinn Carolann Quinn Wednesday, August 13, 2014 2:48:05 PM I lived in Shaler Township in Pennsylvania and some of our police officers were the best Paramedic/Police. All of them were so much help!

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