First aid training: The reason why it is vital in any field of expertise

First aid training is an essential component needed in most job sectors. Many occupations require workers to learn a mandatory course on emergency care. This training can be used to save a life during a medical emergency.

There are many documented cases where bystanders have utilize first aid skills to save a life. However, the police are among the primary respondents that arrive at the scene of an accident, crime, shooting, and natural disaster.

 Although their primary mandate is to protect and serve citizens, they should prevent and reduce casualties in any crisis. Majority of incidents that police respond to are crime events that often result in bodily harm. This harm can happen to police officers, suspects, or even innocent bystanders.

 Depending on the situation, emergency response services can arrive late or may be unable to reach the scene of the incident. This means that the responsibility of providing life-saving first aid may fall upon the police officers.

There has been an increase in deaths related to the police and crime. A total of 992 people were shot and killed by police officers in the year 2018. A further 106 police officers lost their lives while on duty. These recent statistics indicate that many fatalities occur as a result of a shooting or other duty incidents.

The big question is whether some of these deaths could have been prevented by the application of immediate first aid. Another issue is whether the police will be able to conduct first aid while still performing their core responsibilities.

There is a general lack of specified Regulation by the federal government

The military is obliged by the Geneva convention to ensure they treat prisoners of war. However, the local officers of the law are not bound by such an act. This means that police have no legal obligation to offer first aid to criminals or persons they injure.

According to varying police policies, there are different laws and regulations as to how and when the police should administer first aid. This is often as a result of the lack of clear guidelines by the federal government. There is no specific regulation on the type of training police receive at the national level of government.

This means that different states have different instruction regimes for their officers of the law. Police officers are often taught on administering emergency care early within the training academy. There is rarely a specified regulation as to when they have to undergo a refresher course on such skills.

During any form of emergency, a police officer is required to ensure that there is no immediate threat to themselves and civilians. This means most of the time that any follow-up actions such as administering emergency care have to wait until the scene is considered safe.

During incidents that involve the use of lethal force such as guns, the police must first neutralize the threat or get to cover before First aid can occur. However, when it comes to treating bullet injuries, time is a crucial factor. Blood loss can lead to a swift death, especially when it comes to gunshot injuries.

With this notion in mind, then it is clear to see why police require emergency aid instruction. Many officers tend to call paramedics so that they can administer first aid. This is mostly the case during a criminal incident that involves the use of lethal force.

Another elephant in the room is whether a police officer should give priority first aid to certain people during an emergency. Picture this situation, a gunfight broke out in a particular location, and the police respond to the scene.

When the police arrive and suppress the threat, they realize there are three injured people: one assailant, one police officer, one civilian. During this emergency, there is probably one or two officers in the vicinity, and the emergency service providers have not arrived.

 Assume that only one of the officers has undergone police first aid courses. Out of these three injured individuals, who should be first to receive first aid. If you guessed the injured police officer, then you are probably right.

The officer of the law will probably check on the assailant first before any other person. This results from a training response to ensure that the threat has been neutralized. The officer then removes any weapon that may be near the assailant and ensures he or she is disabled by handcuffing him or her. 

 The next person to be checked on will probably be the injured officer. The police tend to give priority to their colleagues because it is often someone that they know and worked with. Depending on the extent of the injuries, the officer may be the first to receive first aid.

If the injured law enforcement officer is not severely injured, then the other officer will check on the wounded civilian next. If it is possible, the person will receive first aid, then the officer will finally check on the assailant.

 Civilians often feel the police are somewhat lax in providing emergency aid to them during an incident. This is mostly the case during shooting incidents. Such issues often result in mistrust and problems between the police and the general public.

When you analyze this hypothesis, then you will notice that the injured civilian and assailant probably don’t have a high chance of survival if they had severe injuries. It is actually rare to find cases whereby an officer of the law left an injured civilian to attend to an injured assailant.

In some instances that often go viral, the police do not offer any form of first aid to an assailant. These body cam clips show an injured assailant requesting for help while police officers just stand there waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Quality of emergency aid often depends on the equipment, time and level of training

First aid training for cops has really improved in recent years. However, lessons are not enough to prepare them for what they encounter in the field. This is because the majority of incidents that can happen are rather spontaneous and cannot be easily predicted during training drills.

Usually, the nature of emergencies that law enforcement officer deals with depends on where they conduct their patrols. Depending on the area and the type of incidents that occur, the police respond to various different events that often require emergency aid to be administered.

Events, whereby shots are fired, can be a daily occurrence for police in some areas. In other places, drug overdosage is the norm of the day. Other incidents that police respond to are medical emergencies within their vicinity, such as cardiac arrest or heart attacks.

Depending on the situation the police are accustomed to, there are a few significant devices that they should always have. These include a first aid kit, an automated external defibrillator, and a tourniquet.

A first aid kit is essential in giving any form of emergency care, be it cuts or even burns. Since almost all patrol vehicles come equipped with them, they are mostly used to treat minor and major emergencies or injuries that an officer may encounter. The kit should include the following equipment: Torso seals, Trauma dressings, latex gloves, and surgical scissors.

Torso seals are used to cover any perforations on the torso area that may occur as a result of a firearm injury or stabbing. Trauma dressings are used as a form of compression treatment to reduce blood loss. These are applied mostly on ruptured blood vessels that are not located on the limbs.

Latex gloves serve to protect the officer and the victim from the contamination of bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. These pathogens may be spread from either of the individuals. The surgical gloves are used to cut away excess clothing on the victim. This ensures first aid is done more quickly and ensure that the person is not moved.

An automated external defibrillator is another essential device that all officers should carry around. In recent years there has been an upsurge in incidents of cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is mostly caused by a particular condition called arrhythmias. This is whereby there is an irregular heartbeat as a result of improper electrical signals.

The work of the automated external is to send a corrective shock to the heart to restore the normal heart rhythm. This device is also found in most patrol vehicles that law enforcement departments have.

Finally, a tourniquet is a life-saving device that all police officers should carry as they conduct surveillance. The type of tourniquet used by cops is called an emergency tourniquet. Its primary purpose is to apply force to a limb to reduce and prevent severe blood loss as the victim waits to receive appropriate medical care.

First aid training emphasizes that time is a crucial factor when it comes to emergencies, as discussed earlier. The faster a victim receives emergency aid, the higher the chances of survival as well as recovery.

The time also taken to receive appropriate medical care is also essential. If a victim can reach a hospital in time, then they have a high chance of survival. However, it is rare to find police officers taking injured people to the hospital. They often wait for paramedics to do so.

Experience in emergency care is another vital factor when it comes to emergency situations. An officer who has undergone police first aid courses is confident in his or her skills. It means they are more likely to save a life than another who has little or no expertise.

Actually, a police officer who has poor first aid skills is likely to aggravate an injury or medical emergency. Various police departments have different training regimes for their officers that differ from one department to another. Although some have robust training regimes as well as mandatory refresher training, some lack these regimes.

Lack of experience is one of the reasons why many police officers choose to wait for paramedics instead of administering first aid themselves. Even though a police officer many be trained in first aid, they may be unable to assist depending on the situation.

Another reason why police don’t offer first aid is the risk of legal suits occurring as a result of a botched first aid experience. Victims and even relatives of a victim tend to blame police of negligence when they fail to give appropriate first aid to a victim.

Police funding plays a significant role in emergency aid instruction of police. Some police departments are underfunded, meaning that training in first aid is rarely a priority within their budget. A leading cause of underfunding is the creation of small police departments. These stations have few officers as well as resources; hence, they are not funded well as compared to large departments.

Police training doesn’t always prepare officers efficiently for what they encounter in the streets.

Being a police officer can be a hectic job at times. Many times, they find themselves in situations where they have to put their lives on the line to ensure the protect people they are meant to serve.

Although police undergo vigorous forms of training, it does not adequately prepare them for incidents that occur in the real world. Like any other person, they can experience a traumatic event and be unable to cope with it.

Such an event may be a disaster, such as a mass shooting. In such incidents, there is often an active shooter and many injured or killed victims. These incidents can be quite trying for a police officer since they have to do a lot of things. These include securing civilians, taking down the shooter, and if possible, administer first aid to the injured.

When treating people with bullet injuries, a police officer may be overwhelmed with the number of casualties or even by the nature of the damage. Both these factors may place mental stress and pressure on the officer who may impede his skills in offering first aid.

The lack of proper medical training may impair the ability of an officer to administer first aid.  A law enforcement officer may be afraid to contract a disease from a victim. This results in them waiting for the emergency medical response to arrive.

 In other situations, police officers may lack a portable emergency aid kit near them during a medical emergency. This way, they may not be able to provide fist aid efficiently to the injured victim.

Analyzing why officers of the law should undergo emergency aid instruction

First aid training for cops can help them in several ways. By experiencing these courses, the officers can be able to deal more efficiently with medical emergencies. Such training not only equips them with the skills they require but also boosts their confidence in their ability to provide emergency aid.

Being able to save a life comes with a prestigious feeling that cannot equate to getting money or award. Police who administer first aid are real-life heroes whose actions impact the lives of many people. Here are some of the main reasons why officers of the law should learn first aid.

The police should be able to protect lives by any means possible

In this world, there is at least one person who cares for another individual. This person may be an immediate family member, friend, or even a spouse. When a person dear to someone else dies, they are affected financially, emotionally, or mentally.

These effects may affect the quality of life of a person, family, and even the community. Police can help in preventing these impacts by offering immediate emergency care to victims.

Since the police have a mandate to protect, it means they should also protect people from unnecessary death when they can help. Getting first aid training will help them save lives as they wait for paramedics to arrive

Giving first aid improves the overall image of the police force

This benefit mostly applies in situations where the police have to use lethal force to subdue a suspect. Offering first aid to injured suspects and civilians is an excellent notion showing that the police are there to help people and serve them.

This care should be given without bias on whether they are an assailant or a civilian. This way, the public opinion towards the police force will be held highly. When the public and police have trust with each other, criminal incidents can be reduced and even prevented.

This is made possible through building trust by showing kindness, such as offering emergency aid to injured victims. The law enforcement officers should, therefore, ensure they take police first aid courses to sharpen their skills.

First aid can help save the lives of other police officers

It is evidently clear that the police face many perils in their line of work. One of the worst experiences you can as a police officer encounter is losing a partner in the line of duty. No one can predict when an injury can occur, but it is best to prepare ahead of time.

Failing to prepare is the same as preparing to fail. Officers of the law should ensure that they are proficient in emergency aid so that they can help their fellow officers in case of an emergency. Appropriate first aid lessons can really help reduce fatalities that occur in the police force every year.

Emergency aid instruction can pay off when you least expect it

As a police officer, taking first aid classes, many seem like a daunting or time-wasting task. This may be the case because it’s not every day that police are required to perform emergency aid. However, you never know when you will find your self in a situation that requires such skills.

Even if you don’t use your first aid expertise at work, you may need them one day, even if you are retired. There is also the possibility that you may need such abilities to save the life of a loved one.

Even if you are off-duty, you may be able to save the life of a total stranger. The only way to ensure you can help in such situations is by taking first aid classes.

First aid lessons may help save the life of the officer who learned them

As a law enforcement officer, it is possible to suffer a range of injuries during the line of work. When these injuries occur during a response to an emergency, knowing how to conduct first aid on yourself is vital. It can make the difference between getting back in the fight and being taken out of the fight permanently.

Some people may differ with this opinion; however, they should remember one crucial thing. An injured police officer may be able to instruct a bystander on how to save his life by just using his first aid prowess. All police officers should ensure they learn at least how they can use a tourniquet on themselves.

In closing

Undergoing first aid training can never have any downside for police officers. This is because, in their field of work, they are bound to encounter life-threating scenarios. During these events, they are frequently associated with injuries to the police, civilians, and suspects.

It is also vital to remember that emergency service providers may take time to arrive at an emergency scene. This means that the responsibility of administering first aid falls upon the police officers at the scene.

By learning emergency aid skills, police will be able to protect and preserve the loss of life. It will also ensure that suspects can reach the halls of justice. This way, justice will be served to them, whether they are guilty or not.