July 30, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
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School staff, police and firefighters learn life-saving techniques

MONTVILLE TWP. — School staff members, police officers and firefighters received some instruction Wednesday on how to provide immediate medical aid for victims of mass shootings.

The two-day course, Tactical Casualty Combat Care, was developed by the U.S. military so service members could care for the injured during combat when medics aren’t available.

Larry Labadie, a paramedic with the Medina Life Support Team, demonstrates how to stop bleeding during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care course Wednesday at the Montville Township Safety Services Center. Also pictured is Hallie Beardsworth, a Medina Township police officer, who took part in the training. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell, who previously served as the city’s police chief, called the training necessary in the aftermath of tragedies like the killings last month of 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school and last February’s fatal shooting of three students at Chardon High School.

“Officers have always been trained to assess and secure a location, not how to control trauma,” he said.

The Medina Life Support Team from Medina Hospital provided instruction to more than 20 people from the Medina County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Medina and Medina and Montville townships.

Employees from Medina High School and St. Francis Xavier School also participated in the course at Montville Township Safety Services Center.

“We want to get immediate care to those hurt before help arrives,” Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said.

He pointed out that medical personnel often are prohibited from entering the scene of a shooting until it is secured.

Examples of the training included how to control bleeding by using hand pressure and tourniquet application, keeping someone stable during a seizure by lifting a patient’s legs and wrapping them in a blanket to stay warm, using a small straw-sized rubber device to keep nasal passages open for breathing, and providing basic CPR.

“We may not ever use any of this training; but if we save two or three people, that’s huge,” Berarducci said.

During Wednesday’s class, recordings were played of 911 calls made during the Columbine High School shooting in Aurora, Colo., in 1999, that dramatized the problem of delayed medical care.

Sara Lynn, a Medina police officer, said the training is worthwhile.

“It’s been eye-opening,” she said. “I’ve been though a class before on how to care for myself during injury but not others.”

Randy Stepp, superintendent of Medina Schools, said the district is considering implementing a comprehensive safety plan that could include having all or most school employees go through the casualty training.

Andy Brenner, an associate principal at Medina High School, is a participant in the course, which runs through today.

The training was scheduled to continue today at the Medina Performing Arts Center at Medina High School.

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.