Las Vegas tactical paramedic team formed in wake of shooting
The new team is made up of eight paramedics who will now be on the front lines with firefighters and police officers
By EMS1 Staff
LAS VEGAS — A new tactical paramedic team was created in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting that left 58 people dead.
ABC57 reported that the new team consists of eight paramedics who were chosen from American Medical Response and MedicWest, and they are training to be on the front lines with police officers and firefighters in case of a mass casualty incident.
"The traditional model for us was to wait, sit back and make sure it was completely safe," AMR Regional Director Scott White said. "We're wasting precious minutes at that time."
"Mentally we were kind of preparing for the worst, and it's completely different," 13-year veteran paramedic Leslie Schaffer said.
The team members were put through rigorous SWAT training, such as for tear gas incidents and active shooters.
Team member Callie Fraser said the shooting was motivation for them to help the community “in a bigger way,” according to FOX 5.
“We were all there that night, and in the aftermath, we saw that everything that night was in the hot zone and our standard training as medics and EMTs don't prepare us for us to be in the hot zone,” Fraser said. "We want to give back to our community in a bigger way, and it's something that we can do Lord forbid October 1 ever happens again.”
AMR said the team will be paired up with SWAT officers and while they will not be armed, they will be equipped with body armor and gas masks. They added that they hope to create more teams like this in the coming months.