Some members of the Nelson Police Department traveled to San Diego for a two day intensive training course on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care. Three officers in total went as well as Dr. Nic Sparrow, a volunteer emergency response physician, and Jason Lin, a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service nurse. Nelson Police Department Chief Paul Burkart says the training will be passed on to the other members in the deparment and will allow them to better respond when attending to a medical trauma.
“Our officers will be able to assist until the true medical responders, such as EHS, or fire or Dr. Sparrow can attend. The studies have shown the quicker we respond to these situations of medical trauma, the greater the chances of survival for the victims.”
It’s the first time police officers and medical allies from the Kootenays have traveled together for this type of training, which is more common in the United States than Canada. Chief Burkart explains that’s partly due to incidents involving active shooters where there are victims down, but because officers don’t have the proper medical training, they may not receive care right away. He says in our area this may come into play for car or industrial accidents.
Overall, Nelson does have good emergency response services, but this training will just add more resources when it comes to helping save lives.
“We’re fortunate here, in that we have a 911 centre right here at Nelson Police,” explains Chief Burkart. “We’re able to dispatch not only our ambulance crews, but we also send our fire medical responders to a lot of the more serious calls and we’re just getting a better response.”
Much of the training cost was covered by the Nelson Police Foundation, a not-for-profit fundraising group.