A partnership between the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management led to critical emergency medical training for Sheriff’s Officers Monday, November 25, on how to quickly control significant bleeding in victims of attacks, gunshot wounds, explosions and other catastrophes that could occur anywhere at any time.
Expertise in life-saving measures such as wound management, proper tourniquet placement, chest seals, airway management and overall patient assessments are considered essential skills for law enforcement officers in today’s unpredictable environment. Rapid response, accurate assessments and immediate emergency medical intervention can make the difference between life and death.
The Bleeding Control for the Injured (B-Con) Advanced Refresher Program was conducted for Sheriff’s Officers by Morris County Sheriff’s Investigator Balkis Bernard, a highly-trained Emergency Medical Technician adept at mass casualty injuries, as well as Morris County OEM Director Jeffrey Paul.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon recently approved the loan of Investigator Bernard to oversee a program of retraining Sheriff’s Officers and municipal Police Officers across Morris County on critical life-saving skills and how to use their Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs) on themselves, their fellow officers, and the public.
“Through the partnership between the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and OEM, we are finding ways to save lives, staying ahead of the curve, and better serving the public. We are paying close attention to real world incidents and asking ourselves what can we do here in Morris County to strengthen our capabilities and maximize our resources,” Sheriff Gannon said.
On Monday, Investigator Bernard instructed Sheriff’s Officers on patient assessment and the proper application of tourniquets, chest seals, wound management and airway management before they were sent outdoors in pairs to simulate life-saving treatment on a mannequin – as heavy and malleable as a human – who was severely wounded in an explosion.
All the officers verbalized and simulated that they would first put on their PPE gloves before treating the patient.
Director Paul and EMT Erika Hauser from OEM oversaw the hands-on care of the mannequin that required tourniquets, chest seals and overall airway management to ultimately keep it – as a simulated victim – alive.
While Investigator Bernard instructed Sheriff’s Officers on Monday, the 2-hour B-Con Refresher Program will ultimately extend across Morris County to municipal departments. Investigator Bernard will continue teaching this life-saving curriculum, sparing the police departments the expense and scheduling problems associated with attending longer training sessions at the Morris County Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center.
Investigator Bernard is also a member of OEM’s Special Operations Group (SOG), of which Director Paul is also the Commander. SOG is the medical team attached to the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) and is tasked with treating SERT members who are injured or wounded during an emergency response.
Through OEM, Investigator Bernard also is involved in the joint Sheriff’s Office-OEM Rescue Task Force (RTF) Training Group. The group is currently in the evaluation stages of developing the ultimate curriculum that will be created for the RTF Program that will be responsible for training local emergency medical services responders, municipal firefighters and other EMS personnel who are members of local emergency response disciplines.
The Rescue Task Force would be deployed at the direction of law enforcement to “warm zones” to rapidly assess and treat wounded victims. The RTF’s goal is to save lives rather than wait for scenes to be secure – lost time that can result in victims bleeding out and dying.