LAFD Now Training Paramedics to Treat Patients During Active Shootings

They will start to work even if a gunman has not been apprehended.

Shooting at LAX. Patch file photo.
Shooting at LAX. Patch file photo.

In response to November's fatal shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, the city Fire Department is training paramedics to treat and rescue victims during active shootings before a gunman has been apprehended or the threat is cleared, officials told the city Fire Commission today.

During the Nov. 1 shooting at LAX, medical first responders were not allowed into the terminal where a Transportation Security Administration officer had been shot until the scene had been cleared as a "cold zone," in which "no significant danger or threat can be reasonably anticipated."

Three other people were injured in the shooting, after which some critics argued that TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez, 39, might have survived if paramedics had reached him sooner.

LAFD officials reported to the commission today that Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) teams are being trained to enter so-called "warm" shooting zones in which there is no direct danger, but a "potential threat" from a gunman still exists.

LAFD officials said they based the change on a concept presented in the Hartford Consensus, developed by the American College of Surgeons and the FBI, that theorizes the best way to improve a victim's chances of surviving a mass shooting incident is stemming the loss of blood from a "penetrating trauma" wound, such as from a gunshot.

"Experience has shown that the number one cause of preventable death in victims of penetrating trauma is hemorrhage," according to an LAFD training bulletin issued in November.

--City News Service


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