For Immediate Release
Local, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Train to Provide Emergency Care Under Fire
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – More than 20 law enforcement officers held training exercise with HealthNet Aeromedical Services in Morgantown yesterday, preparing for a worst-case scenario- treating and evacuating a critically-injured fellow officer. The exercise, hosted by the West Virginia State Police and the Masontown Volunteer Fire Department, included ATF special agents, deputy U.S. Marshals, and officers, including SWAT personnel, from the Morgantown and Clarksburg Police Departments.
“This is training we hope to never use,” said Dewayne Haddix, Resident Agent-in-Charge for the ATF’s Clarksburg Field Office. “However, because we often work in remote areas, where emergency trauma care may take more than an hour to reach by road, training with HealthNet’s aeromedical crews helps to ensure that if we have to take care of one of our own, we don’t waste a minute.”
“It is an incredible opportunity for our officers to train with the equipment and the personnel that they will rely on should there ever be an incident that would require an aerial evacuation. This in turn helps insure a beneficial result by reducing any unfamiliarity with equipment and procedures, further providing for the health and safety of our first responders,” stated Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston.
Healthnet personnel first conducted classroom training, instructing officers on communicating with their aircraft, setting up landing zones, and safely loading an injured patient aboard the helicopter. An ATF tactical medic also provided refresher training to the officers on the fundamentals of bleeding control, tourniquet usage, and the principles of medical care under fire. After the classroom training, officers conducted training exercises that simulated a real-world “officer down” scenario. These exercises incorporated medical treatment, moving a wounded officer, establishing a landing zone, and transferring care to a HealthNet Aeromedical aircrew that landed at the training site.
“HealthNet Aeromedical Services is dedicated to providing safe and timely critical care transport, which means being prepared and cooperating with all agencies at the scene of an incident is vital,” said Justin Koper, Safety Officer for HealthNet Aeromedical Services. “Our program is honored to be called upon to work hand in hand with our local, state and governmental agencies to assure readiness and safety for all involved during times of crisis.”