Active shooting-medical training

So you are in the church, and a shooter comes in and shoots members of your church family. You see the shooter has been taken down, and they are being held by several people, but you look around at those that were injured by this person. Here is the question: are you just going to sit there and look at all of the injured people, or are you going to jump in and try to save some lives?

In order to save lives, you need to know what to do. If you do the wrong thing, you may injure someone worse, or you may even kill them. Your not a nurse, a doctor, or even an EMT, but you can get training that WILL teach you what you need to do. In most instances, the training you need and will get, is not expensive, it will just take a little time to complete.

So where can you get this type of training? Let’s start with the obvious and the cheapest way to start. Talk with your local ambulance provider. In most instances, they will send someone to your church for a basic class at no charge. No, this is not a certified class, but who cares? As long as you are taught what to do, that is all that matters! If your worried about lawsuits, … DON”T!!! There is a thing called the Good Samaritan Law. How fitting, considering the setting.  This law protects people who do not have a “duty to act” from being sued. Who has a duty to act? EMT’s, Doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field. The only exception is if you do something that you knew would have caused more death and injury, then you can be sued, but who is going to do that?

So, if you can get enough people together who want to take a basic knowledge first aid class, then contact the local ambulance service. Most of them love the PR that this builds, and they also like the fact that there is a better chance for a patient to be alive when they arrive on scene.

The second way to get some basic training is to take a basic first aid course is online. If after taking a basic course, you find you would like to learn more, then you could always take an advanced course. Where can you find these courses? There are multitudes of them!  You can learn some basic principles for free at First Aid for Free  and  First Aid Web. There is also some sites that sell online training which are very good too. One that I find exceptionally good is ProTrainings. Of course, I am sure that there are plenty of other companies out there that provide this type of training, and a simple Google search should help you identify them.

Of course, there are paid classes that are put on locally by the American Red Cross, as well as other organizations. A simple search in your local area should provide on or two agencies that provide basic first aid training. The point being made in this blog is that you can do something, providing you are willing to pull yourself away from the TV, the computer, or your cell phone long enough to take a class.

More blogs will be coming your way tomorrow! May God bless you, … Mark

Medical emergencies

Last week, I touched on the mitigation of medical emergencies. This is an important factor whether you someone is having a heart attack, or if an active shooter got past you defenses. Having a medical response team is an important part of being prepared, no matter what the emergency.

Nearly every church in the United States has some type of first responder that attends their church. I know in my small country church, with a weekly total of congregants of less than 60 per week, we have several first responders, or former first responders/medical staff. Even though two of them moved away (a CNA and a firefighter), we still have a former respiratory therapist (with ER experience), a nurse, and a former firefighter/EMT. We also have an EMT-I that occasionally attends. If needed, we also have multiple veterans from the Vietnam and Cold War era who have had some basic medical training. If you think about it, these veterans could be very helpful in the aftermath of an active shooter in church.

Every church should, at the very least, consider forming a medical response team. This team should be created not only to respond to active shooters, but nearly every type of emergencies. These are the members that will be able to stabilize someone that has fallen, to help someone that has suffered a stroke, and even do CPR, potentially saving their life.  They might be the one that might be able to save a child that was hit by a car, or the elderly person who has fallen down the stairs.

When looking for people within the congregation that might be suitable for an medical response team, there are a handful of individuals who would likely be willing to help in this capacity. They include:

  • Nurses
  • Medical doctors
  • EMT’s and Paramedics
  • DOT Medical first responder’s
  • Firefighter
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Former military medics
  • Anyone trained in medicine
  • People trained to American Red Cross first aid standards
  • People trained in CPR and AED’s
  • Trained veterans

There may also be others that are also trained in first aid who might be able to help in an emergency, such as Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, work safety teams, and more. These people are already somewhat trained in what to do in a medical emergency. Because they already have the knowledge of what to do, why not utilize them to keep Gods flock healthy and safe.

Beyond responding to a medical emergency, this medical response team could also be used to  identify early medical problems. I know of several churches that use nurse volunteers to do blood pressure checks, and who give church goers advice on what to ask their doctor when they next visit them.

Tomorrow, I will discuss some basic tools and/or supplies that should be collected to help make the medical response team more effective. Until tomorrow, may God bless you, … Mark