New initiative for police and ambulance services

The police are learning new skills from Great Western Ambulance Service.
In a new initiative, Avon and Somerset Police have been working in partnership with Great Western Ambulance's Air Support Unit to create a unique 'Police Tactical Medics' course.

Students selected from the Avon and Somerset police force completed a two-week training course during which they were put through a demanding set of practical assessments.
By the end of the course officers were judged competent in life support and haemorrhage control techniques, oxygen therapy, defibrillation and other life saving skills.

Danny Hopkins, Service Delivery Manager for Great Western Ambulance's Air Support Unit, said, "This course has been specifically designed for Avon and Somerset Police. We would never deploy our paramedics into a hostile environment but there may be occasions when injured patients are involved.

This training is to cover those situations where the police are present but ambulance staff are not able to attend. The programme covers the medical conditions that police officers are most likely to encounter in the course of their work.

"This is not the same as a first aid course where you do a week and that's that - this is an on-going project. There will always be someone from our team available at the end of the phone to give medical guidance and offer support.

"We provide four days a year refresher training during which police tactical medics will work alongside us on our response vehicles to gain experience and additional hands-on training in a supervised situation. The key to this project is that everyone gets on-going support, which maintains skills and improves confidence levels."

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