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:
- Medical doctors
- EMT’s and Paramedics
- DOT Medical first responder’s
- 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