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Community College of Aurora opens its doors to help train law enforcement on Trauma Critical Care

Guidelines demonstrated at CCA mix medicine, law-enforcement tactics with goal of saving lives in immediate aftermath of natural, manmade disasters

DENVER, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Some of the nation's top instructors recently converged upon CCA, one of the Colorado community colleges, to train multiple law enforcement agencies from across Denver's Front Range on what may become the new standard in Trauma Critical Care (TCC) guidelines.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140318/MN83909)

The overarching goal of the training was to help first responders provide immediate medical care until it's safe for EMTs and fire departments to securely enter a dangerous scene.

Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) procedures presently are used by armed forces globally as the premier standard in casualty care.

The course at CCA focused on law enforcement using life-saving techniques for leading causes of trauma death.  Skills imparted by experts included: sucking chest and neck wounds; head and chin lifts to open airways; nasal airway insertion, tourniquets; and wound packing.

Those lessons then were put into action as participants acted as scene managers and rescuers in pre-written scenarios covering active shooting, domestic terrorism, domestic violence, and a tornado. The operations took place in a single building on CCA's Lowry campus where the college offers Aurora and Denver EMT training among other programs.

"There's a good way to mix medicine with law-enforcement tactics. There's a right way and a wrong way," said Mark Gibbons, a 22-year member (retired) of the Maryland State Police and a lead instructor nationally for the Tactical Officers Association's Tactical Medicine Course. "This is the right way."

Other renowned instructors from Florida, the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., Oklahoma, and Colorado took part. CCA has the world-class spaces to host the training and, as a community asset, ensured their availability. The college also handled much of the logistics, including inviting all of the local law enforcement, securing actors to play victims and handling moulage to give these 'victims' a realistic look.

Scenarios added sensory overload and sensory deprivation elements to increase the value of the program for participants.

"I've had the opportunity to teach all over the world and the facilities are phenomenal," added Gibbons, who has assisted with implementation and operations of Tactical Emergency Casualty Care in Pinellas Co. and St. Petersburg, Fla., as well as with the FBI in Baltimore. "We experienced diversity and realism in the scenarios. So it gives you a lot of options."

Helping add to the realism was the use of a prototype high-fidelity mannequin from the Gaumard Co. that could lose all of its limbs but have bleeding stopped either by tourniquet or applying pressure. Hollywood-style "cut suits" giving the appearance of grisly wounds were worn by actors provided by CCA.

"I was blown away," said Oklahoma City's Bill Justice, who owns a 35-year background in fire rescue, emergency medical services and law enforcement and served as one of the five trainers for the preparedness exercise. "From the participant side, I guarantee you they were surprised."

Rescue Essentials served as underwriter for the training and supplied kits to participants that could be strapped on their bodies and used in their everyday jobs. The packs included materials for wound packing and tourniquets.

"First responders and law enforcement are there at the most critical time and need to have the basic skill sets to try and save lives," said Phil Carey, president and CEO of Rescue Essentials. "Most people in these types of incidents with severe injuries will bleed out in five minutes. And for the time for the scene to be secured and EMS to be cleared to come into a 'warm zone' is just too long."

Four teams comprised of about 10 law-enforcement officers each had 20-25 minutes to run each scenario, which were penned by Pony Anderson, director of CCA's Center for Simulation and Disaster Management Institute. There was both a walk-through and live run-through, culminated by debriefings to learn potential lessons from these exercises.

"The focus was on three things," Justice said. "Stop the bleeding, fix the chest trauma, fix airway problems – and in that order. And so they do. Those are the biggest-ticket items we have today for trauma management."

The hope is that more states eventually adopt TCC training as a designated course of action for first responders on the scene. TCC is a major initiative for Homeland Security's North Central Region, though its use remains at the discretion of local agencies.

About CCA
Community College of Aurora has campuses at CentreTech and Lowry in the greater Denver area. Equipped with the latest technologies, CCA allows students to study new and traditional programs, while also offering summer classes and online classes and degrees. CCA's service community spans 325,000 people in a 350-square-mile area. The college serves this diverse community by providing high quality instruction and support services to prepare students for transfer and employment.

Media Contact: Lee Rasizer, Community College of Aurora, 303-360-4728, [email protected]

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SOURCE Community College of Aurora

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