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L.A. Paramedics to Now Enter Active Shooter Zones to Aid Victims

December 23, 2013  | 

Los Angeles fire officials are dramatically changing how rescuers respond to mass shootings after a gunman with a high-powered rifle mortally wounded a federal security officer in a shooting rampage last month at LAX, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The new goal is to have Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and firefighters, protected by armed law enforcement teams, rapidly enter potentially dangerous areas during active shooting incidents to treat victims and get them en route to hospital trauma centers.

"The LAX incident really was a paradigm shift for us," said Fire Department Medical Director Marc Eckstein, an emergency room physician and proponent of the more aggressive approach to rendering medical aid. "There are people whose lives may depend on us getting them out of there quickly.",0,7894044.story#ixzz2oJFN9x2t

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Retired Chief @ 12/23/2013 12:51 PM

Train them as SWAT medics like a lot of SWAT teams have done. They will be properly armed and equipped and will have the training necessary when responding on active shooter incidents. If there are no victims to treat they can deploy with the active shooter response team in the event of injury to a team member.

TJiNY @ 12/23/2013 9:43 PM

This idea goes against every law enforcement principle. You do not introduce other potential victims into an active shooter scenario.

I wonder what law enforcement agency was consulted before this was proposed?

If a medic is trained as a SWAT Cop (an idea that comes up short) then they are not doing what their primary job is.
Strapping a gun on and putting on a vest does not make a medic or fireman a SWAT Cop, anyone believing it does has no idea what they are talking about.

Retired Chief @ 12/24/2013 6:30 AM

With all due respect it would appear that you may not be aware of the state of the art in terms of medics being used in high risk law enforcement incidents. Many departments have trained SWAT Medics available for deployment in active shooter incidents to assist in triaging, removing, and treating downed victims. The key is trained. Our rural, regional SWAT Team has SWAT medics who are full time firefighter/paramedics that are assigned to the Team when needed. They have completed the police academy and train with the SWAT Team on a regular basis. They are certified LEOs in addition to being certified firefighter/medics. That is what I was suggesting LA implement rather than simply deploying medics into active shooter incidents "under law enforcement protection". SWAT medics save lives, most often the lives of injured cops. @ 12/24/2013 8:19 AM

Good to see the heroic steps taken in this incident. Proud of you!

Pup @ 12/24/2013 8:43 AM

Troops, as an instructor for active shooter and conversing with paramedics, LA City & LA Co. Fire have decided to provide their personnel with vests for emergency situations. They will be escorted into the area by LE which is not actively HOT! Meaning; the suspect is not actively shooting in the immediate area where LE is engaging in a gun battle. The thought of paramedics getting to victims is sooner the better. So, to clarify, if gun battle is up stairs, fire will make entry to the lower floor with LE. They Will Not Enter if under gun fire. As for making fire Swat medics, most don't want any part of it. Their job is to aid the victims and save lives. LE will fight the battle. Just another note, Fire has rolled into a many shooting and stabbing scenes where victims have been down and the suspect is barricaded. They wore their vests and provided medical aid, while LE had a team to protect them. The words Active Shooter is to gain attention. Fire use their vests daily.

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