New Advice for First Responders in Mass Attack Situations

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – What have first responders learned since Sandy Hook and other mass attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing?

Dr. Laurie Byrne director of emergency medicine at Saint Louis University says the new push is for trained medics to rush into the scene with law enforcement, rather than waiting until the scene is secure before helping victims.

“It makes sense to be able to respond quicker and do some basic intervention, like controlling the bleeding,” said Byrne.

In response to findings from a study commissioned by the federal government, the Obama administration has formally recommended that medical personnel be sent into “warm zones” before they are secured, when gunmen are still on the loose or bombs have not yet been disarmed.

The guidelines also say that first responders should be equipped with body armor and be escorted by armed police, a policy that officials in St. Louis and a handful of other cities had already adopted.

“Obviously the biggest thing is getting people out quicker,” she said, adding it allows the first responder to tend to victims as law enforcement works to secure the scene.


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