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  • Writer's pictureEric Liddle

EMT Training Prepares Bay Area Officers for Worst Case Active Shooter Scenario.

EMTs carefully transporting an injured individual on a stretcher during a training exercise.

On July 24th, the US surpassed 400 documented Mass shooting events in 2023. The math behind our uniquely American tragedy suggests that a mass shooting happens in our country every single day. EMT Training for Active Shooter Scenario

Politics aside, one thing that we can all agree on is that when help arrives, we as civilians expect that the conflict be resolved expeditiously and that any victims be triaged and cared for immediately.

Well… This may come as a surprise, but police officers (generally the first to arrive on scene) receive limited basic life support training to victims. This means that medical care may be delayed until EMS arrives on scene and when every second counts, that’s a problem.

Following the national rise in mass shootings, public safety agencies across the Bay Area are collaborating to participate in Crisis Management Response Training. In its second training local of the year, The Raytom Group assembled a training cohort consisting of members from the San Francisco Police Department, San Francisco Fire Department, and The US Coast Guard to ensure effective collaboration between public servants and downstream collaborators such as EMS.

“By training officers to be EMTs, they will be able to better identify medical emergencies and provide medical interventions while in the field. We’re closing the gap between getting the bad guy and rendering care for wounded victims.” - Eric Oneal, Raytom Group

Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) personnel swiftly evacuating an injured individual on a stretcher during a simulated crisis scenario.

Members of the Royal Ambulance Career Bridge Program were deployed to provide emergency support and medical evacuation throughout the training exercise. Acting as 2nd on scene, the EMTs assisted trainees by transitioning the officer’s life-saving duties to licensed EMS professionals before transporting patients to the nearest and appropriate healthcare facility.

While it is a well-known growth path for EMTs to move into law enforcement careers, the training and skills developed in EMS are often the only life-saving training that officers have.

For Royal team members, this training is also invaluable.

“Today was my first exposure to the ALCO TEMS team and I enjoyed working along side them. This kind of proximity to other agencies is super valuable and helps me make informed decisions about my personal career growth.” Dustin, EMT Royal Ambulance

EMTs confidently posing in their gear, radiating professionalism and readiness against the backdrop of their emergency vehicle.

Conducted at the Port of San Francisco, the training was based loosely on the Robb Elementary Investigative Committee Report, focusing on which outlined multiple failures, including providing Basic Life Support, Leadership, and Scene Management which the training addressed. Further focus’ of the training existed around trauma lanes, wound management, and Fentyal exposures

  • It is likely that most of the deceased victims perished immediately… However, given the information known about victims who survived through the time of the breach and who later died on the way to the hospital, it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.” (Investigative Committee On the Robb Elementary Shooting, 2022, pg. 80)

EMTs gathered, discussing and coordinating their response for a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI), with equipment

EMS plays a critical role by safely and expeditiously transporting patients away from an active shooter event. Both upstream collaboration with police officers and downstream collaboration with hospitals can be the difference between life and death for patients so there is no margin for error. Cross agency collaboration is at the core of the training, breaking down communication silos that have resulted in catastrophic events in the recent past.

  • Over the course of the next hour, hundreds of law enforcement officers arrived at the scene. The scene was chaotic, without any person obviously in charge or directing the law enforcement response...” (Investigative Committee On the Robb Elementary Shooting, 2022, pg. 79)

Although Royal Ambulance is primarily focused on serving healthcare systems and facilities, it is imperative that we are prepared in the event of a worst case scenario. We appreciate this opportunity to enhance skill development for our team, play a role in supporting our local community, and assist our public safety officers.


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