Training to respond after violent crime

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — EMS workers, and those working in our hospitals, are also impacted when violent crime occurs, especially when it’s a police officer who is wounded.

Officers, EMS workers, and trauma surgeons came together Monday evening for a training session, to learn how to provide the best care possible if one of their own is wounded.

“This came about in early March, the day after our four SWAT officers were shot,” said Shane Hardwick, EMS Director for Wayne Township Fire Department.

Hardwick says this was planned before Officer Perry Renn was killed in the line of duty last weekend,

but that tragedy, makes training periods like this, all the more important.

Hardwick says they talked with IU Health Methodist Hospital Trauma Center about inviting a speaker to talk about caring for your own.

Dr. Alexander Eastman, a Dallas SWAT physician, spoke at the training session about situations he’s encountered. Eastman says it’s all about providing seamless trauma care from the moment the incident occurs.

“Help this community be more prepared… to handle one of these events should they occur,” he said. “The events of the last couple weeks in Indianapolis drive this point home better than I could ever do so.”

“These are officers we work with day in and day out.. they take care of us, we take care of them,” explained Hardwick. “The emotional toll is ten-fold greater. This is almost a family member sometimes.”

“That’s the big challenge, getting to the scene, getting through the chaos, getting the patient, our officer, then getting them to the trauma center,” he added.

In the trauma center at IU Health Methodist Hospital, 15 percent of patients have injuries caused by violence. Yearly, that’s about 540 patients.

Director of Trauma Services Dr. Larry Reed says numbers have been similar the past few years, but they do see influxes of violent crime victims. He says their focus is always their patient at work, working to help them recover from their injuries.

“As we’re focused on those aspects, the emotional aspects don’t really play a role. And it’s best if they don’t, because it would tear you apart,” said Reed.

Staying strong, together: all working to be prepared, keep the city safe, and help victims of violence in every way they can.

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