By Ida Brown / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Loading patients into a running helicopter and functioning in a hot zone with a downed officer or victim are some of the scenarios law enforcement officers will undergo during today's S.E.R.T's Basic Tactical Medic Training.
Hosted by Meridian Community College, the three-day session has attracted law enforcement officers from throughout Mississippi as well as out-of-state. MCC's Workforce Development Center and the Battlefield Shooting Range in Collinsville have been the settings where state, county and city law enforcement organizations as well as civilians have received training as first immediate responders for medical purposes in extreme situations.
According to Michael S. Street, a S.E.R.T. (Specialized Emergency Response Training) instructor, the dynamics of first responders have changed through the years, making such skills necessary.
"The changing of tactics of suspects changed our tactics," Street said.
For example, situations involving an active shooter in the school or workplace. In the past, medical personnel had to wait until law enforcement went in and either eliminated the threat or got the situation under control and secured the facility.
"Depending on how big the area is – such as a warehouse, a hospital or school – that could be an hour or two," he said. "With some injuries, if you're not there in the first five minutes their chance of surviving is slim."
Those who undergo S.E.R.T's Basic Tactical Medic Training are trained to immediately go into a hostile situation and render the aid needed to save lives.
In addition to Street, instructors are Dr. Andy Anderson, a trauma emergency room physician with University of Mississippi Medical Center; Derrick Moore, a local paramedic; and Allen Ward, a S.E.R.T. instructor.