Law enforcement has recently begun to alter how they respond to armed assaults. Because of this, citizens should educate themselves so they are able to take the steps they need to for protection should something happen. Medical personnel and law enforcement also need to be ready and able to face emergency medical situations caused by armed attacks.

Today, tools that were once only issued to soldiers in the battlefield are also being given to police officers. Many now carry trauma medical kits in their cars with smaller versions in their heavy raid vests. Police officers are trained in how to use these kits for themselves, fellow officers, or victims at a shooting scene. Although law enforcement’s first priority is to subdue any threats, once the area is secure, having and using the trauma kits can make a difference between life or death until further medical help is obtained. Law enforcement now has procedures in place so that once safety has been established, they can employ a rescue task force and move medics to a scene much sooner than they used to, in a manner that is similar to how combat medics function in a war zone.

Firefighters and paramedics are usually kept away from the danger area, or “hot zone”, and are instead kept in a “warm zone” where there is not an immediate threat. Many are trained in special tactical skills so they know how to operate safely during dangerous incidents. According to Stratfor Worldview, this enables them to respond more effectively and support SWAT situations efficiently (Stratfor 2015).

Hospitals and their personnel have also been trained in how to handle not only gunshot wound victims, but also mass casualty events. There is a significant amount of planning and training between hospitals and EMS personnel as far as where to take certain victims in those situations.

We are still learning how to best address mass casualty situations, but continued improvements in medical equipment and methods can only save lives.

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