BALTIMORE - Training is key when police respond to situations like the Navy Yard shooting. They’ve drilled and practiced the worst case scenario so when they get the call they're ready. And thanks to specialized training from Johns Hopkins, law enforcement officers are prepared not just to stop the bad guys, but also to save the lives of people left in a gunman’s wake.
Emergency vehicles lined up outside the Navy Yard Monday morning, waiting to treat victims. In the first moments following gunfire, that's all they could do as they waited for law enforcement officers to secure the scene.
But once that job is done, the gears of a shooting scene like the one in D.C., quickly shift to helping the people who have been hurt. And often it's law enforcement that are closest to those people. That’s why Johns Hopkins Center for Law Enforcement Medicine is making sure those officers are prepared to do more than stop a shooter.
Dr. Matthew Levy is the senior medical officer for the center, which is the first of its kind in the country. Law enforcement personnel from the local, state and federal level are trained at the center, which Levy says, focuses on emergency medicine basics. He says, "A big part of this is to train what instincts you want to kick in and have a lot of this occur unconsciously."
As part of the training, law enforcement officers are taught how to recognize certain injuries from a mass casualty scene. They’re also trained on how to treat those injuries and how to assess which victims are a priority for more specific and detailed treatment.
Levy says the training also includes mock scenarios using actors and materials that make them seem as realistic as possible. He tells ABC2, "It's that type of practice and real world experience and scenarios, that high fidelity training that ultimate helps save lives so that when this event happens , it's often no different in appearance than a training scenario."
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