Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) medics have welcomed officers from Northumbria Police’s firearms unit to learn skills that will allow them to administer initial medical care to casualties on scene.
The training which took place at GNAAS’ headquarters in Eaglescliffe was aimed at equipping firearms officers with medical knowledge that could mean the difference between life and death for critically injured patients.
GNAAS paramedic and training manager, Jamie Walsh, said: “The purpose of the day is to help the officers deal with some of the incidents they may come across before we arrive on scene.
“We’ve provided this training with Northumbria Police for the last five years and it has improved our relationship with the teams on scene. Knowing each other and each other’s capabilities can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of the patient.”
The training which was made up of lectures and real-life simulations was led by Jamie, as well as GNAAS doctor Doogie Howes and paramedic Gordon Ingram.
The GNAAS crew set up a range of scenarios for the firearms officers using manikins. These focused on different injuries that a critically injured patient may have, and how to treat them.
Among the injuries they dealt with were abdominal wounds, pelvic fractures, ballistic injuries and catastrophic bleeding.
Jamie said: “Dealing with traumatic injuries is something we do daily, but it makes up just a small fraction of a police officer’s job.
“We’ve been at incidents in the past with officers we have trained, and they have made a significant difference to the patient’s care.”
Chief Inspector Mick Hall, of Northumbria Police, said: “This training has always been well-received by our officers who can often be faced with difficult and fast-moving scenarios during their course of duty.
“The feedback from these sessions has been excellent and I’d like to thank GNAAS for their continued support. By working closely with partners, we can continue to help ensure our region remains a safe place to live and work.”
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