Pickens Co. emergency responders change training in wake of mass casualty shootings


How many lives could be spared if EMS could reach a victim in a shorter amount of time? We've seen mass shootings across the country where helpless people are critically injured and left helpless. As was the case in Santa Fe, Texas just a few days ago.

In today's world, emergency responders say they never know what they're walking into. In Pickens County, paramedics walked through real life scenarios, even simulating blood to make a training course feel as real as possible. "We want it dark, we want it chaotic, we want lots of patients and not enough people to care for them in the early stages, because that's how it really happens," David Watson said.

Watson is medical operations group training officer in Pickens County. He said this training course is the first in Pickens County and will soon incorporate law enforcement as well.

"Time is life. What I tell my students is you have the rest of somebody else's life to get them treated and transported," Logan Brooks said.

Brooks is a paramedic and said several of them will now volunteer to strap on a bullet proof vest and follow right behind law enforcement into an active scene, in order to get to victims more quickly.

Brooks said with more mass shootings unfolding across the country, times are changing and as a result so is their training.

"As law-enforcement pushes through these structures through the school, through a Wal-Mart, what have you, they're going to set up security cordons that so we can start treating patients," Brooks said.

"Initially EMS has been taught that we stay away from the events until everything is safe and secure, so that's hours from when the incident starts. And once that begins, patient start to die. Our job is to go in and fix that," Watson said.

The class teaches tactical emergency casualty care and gets firefighters and ems closer to danger, but closer to a victim than ever before.

"We just want every person in Pickens county who lives here, works here,visits here, whose children go to school here, we just want them to know if something happens, someone is coming to get them. Regardless of how dangerous the scene is, we're coming," Brooks said.

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