For the past month, Jason Dush, TDEM EMS manager, has worked with DPS Law Enforcement Education Academy staff to provide training for DPS troopers as well as recruits on the Self-Aid/Buddy-Aid concept, including tourniquet and direct pressure application using equipment from DPS-issued medical “blow out” kits. The focus of the class is how a trooper can administer lifesaving skills to themselves or another trooper who has received some type of penetrating trauma to vital areas of the body that requires immediate attention.
With increased incidents of law enforcement officers being injured in the line of duty, it is vital that officers are trained for not only dealing with threats, but how to manage the injuries they may receive. One of the big challenges law enforcement officers face is the lack of trained medical personnel at every call or incident when they are needed. What can an officer do about a serious injury while he or she waits for an ambulance? An officer may only have minutes to apply a tourniquet or pressure dressing to stop the bleeding to save him or herself, a buddy or an injured civilian. In 2014, seven Texas law enforcement officers’ lives were saved due to the deployment and application of a tourniquet by themselves or another officer. (If you consider combat medicine during war time, 60 to 70 percent of the injuries that lead to death come from bleeding out.)
The recent two-hour, hands on courses over the issued “blow out” kits involved the 153rd Trooper Trainee Academy Class B-2015 and Capitol Complex Troopers. An additional two-day Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) course was held for the Tactical Marine Unit (TMU). This is a more advanced course with classroom instruction along with practicals, ensuring a realistic training environment that strives to duplicate the stress level when troopers must manage themselves or someone else when severely injured.
During the classes, troopers were shown how and where to apply the tourniquets. They also had to apply tourniquets to themselves and another injured trooper, as well as practice applying tourniquets to each other with imposed limitations, such as if they were injured or one of their hands was out of play.
During the field training exercises, the troopers had to perform in full gear applying the skills they learned in the classroom. The pictures below show a scenario involving a trooper in a vehicle who is severely injured and is managed by a fellow trooper under the “buddy-aid” concept.
By the end of each class, it was apparent that each of the troopers who completed the training felt confident and competent enough to go out and deploy the skills they learned and demonstrated during the course. They now have the knowledge and tools needed to help save their own life, the life of another trooper or law enforcement officer and civilians when and if needed. To learn more about the training, contact Jason Dush by email at Jason.dush@DPS.texas.gov.