Law enforcement receives medical training

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2016

Local law enforcement officers received necessary and potentially lifesaving training this week.
Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Justin Miller, who is also a SWAT medic, led a series of tactical first aid classes for officers that certifies them to carry emergency medical equipment.
In attendance were members of the Picayune Police Department, the Poplarville Police Department, Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, Pearl River Central High School Police Department, Pearl River Community College Police Department and other school resource officers, said Miller. The course is the second step in certifying local law enforcement officers with the Mississippi Trauma Board in order to provide each officer with an emergency medical kit, said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.
More than 90 officers were trained during the course, said Miller.
All active Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department deputies were required to go through the training in order to be certified to receive trauma kits, said Tucker.
The majority of the participants were not trained in providing trauma care, other than a basic course taught at the police academy, said Miller.
Miller provided practical training to help the officers control massive bleeds with pressure, tourniquets and gauze. Officers also learned how to treat chest injuries, and gunshot and explosive wounds, among others.
However, the most important part of the class, said Miller, was teaching “the mindset of being alive,” and “tactics involved in a casualty and operating in that high-risk, hyper environment and how we can achieve better care.”
The kits will be distributed to the trained officers at no cost to the departments, said Miller. Though the courses were scheduled before recent incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Miller said he believes those incidents definitely led to an increase in attendance.
“Not only would it benefit us, but if we came on scene where victims had been shot, we could help those victims as well,” said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. Kristy Boyd. “The times have gotten so bad where everyone needs to have one just in case.”
Kellie Abbott, a senior at Mississippi State University and founder of the nonprofit Blue Forever, Inc, recently donated 25 SWAT-T tourniquets to the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department that would have cost the department $375. In high school, Abbott began raising money to donate QuikClot Belt Trauma Kits to law enforcement officers after her friend, Shreveport Police Sergeant Tim Prunty, died in October 2010, said Abbott.
“I thought there was a way to prevent one of the most preventable deaths in law enforcement,” said Abbott. Since then, she has donated $140,000 in the form of 2,000 Belt trauma kits and about 200 SWAT-T tourniquets to law enforcement agencies around the country.
“In light of the shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, you never know when and where that’s going to happen,” said Abbott. “It brings to the forefront the need for these tourniquets and combat training kits.”

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About Julia Arenstam

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