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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201158 Find in a Library
Title: Police and EMS: Can't We All Get Along?
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:97-101
Author(s): John Casey; Tod Burke
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains how education and training, coupled with policy review and ongoing interagency cooperation can minimize the complications that may arise when police and emergency medical service (EMS) practitioners respond to situations that require the services of both disciplines.
Abstract: In many scenarios, law enforcement and EMS personnel interact on the scene under different goals and competing interests. In order to avoid situations that impede the performance of each type of professional, it is critical that both police and EMS personnel understand and respect the value and the scope of the services each provides. The ideal means of achieving this goal is to incorporate education in the fundamentals of both law enforcement methods and EMS procedures in the basic training of each of these public safety professions. Currently, EMS personnel receive only minimal training in the responsibilities and procedures of law enforcement personnel in various scenarios. To an EMS provider, all aspects of a crime scene, for example, other than steps to ensure personnel safety, are secondary to the treatment of the injured victim. In contrast to EMS personnel, police officers tend to have a much broader scope of training in securing and maintaining a crime scene. Considerations for safety have high priority, but significant emphasis is placed on protecting and maintaining the integrity of the crime scene, obtaining information from and about the victims and suspects, and taking steps to initiate care of any injured victims. For police recruits, first-aid is covered in basic training, along with how to appropriately request EMS providers; however, there is no national training standard that involves exposing police officers to the fundamental operational aspects of emergency medical services. One solution to the different training emphases for the two professions is to integrate appropriate basic-level training for both law enforcement and EMS personnel. The basic training program for police personnel should introduce fundamental concepts of emergency medical interventions, the necessity of these interventions, and an overview of the goals and actions that will be taken by EMS personnel on the scene of an incident and en route to the receiving hospital. The integration of appropriate crime scene management training into EMS education should focus on two separate components: an emphasis on the multifaceted response to crime scenes and specific procedures that can be implemented by EMS personnel that will assist in the goals of safety and evidence preservation. These training objectives for the two disciplines should be incorporated not only in basic training for new personnel but also in the continuing education of veteran personnel.
Main Term(s): Police procedures training
Index Term(s): Emergency procedures; Emergency services training; Interagency cooperation; Multidisciplinary police training; Police emergency planning; Police emergency procedures
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