There is a training trend in law enforcement that is gaining popularity rather quickly — I refer to it as “Tactical Lifesaver” training. This concept was brought to us by the military version known as “Tactical Combat Casualty Care” or TCCC.
TCCC has been developed and refined in the military since the Vietnam War. The recent wars in IRAQ and Afghanistan along with advanced medical technology have furthered the development. The TCCC has proven to dramatically save lives on the battlefield and there is no question in my mind will save cops’ lives in the future.
In 1997, Los Angeles Police Officers responded to an active shooter incident in North Hollywood. Three civilians and nine officers were shot. The incident lasted 39 minutes and in the end, seven civilians and eleven officers were shot and injured. The suspects shot 1,100 rounds from fully automatic AK-47s, fully-automatic Bushmaster .223s and a .308 H&K semiauto. Besides having trouble neutralizing their adversaries officers were unable to get emergency medical support and paramedics to the injured officers and citizens inside the hot zone.
For those 39 minutes, several officers and civilians were trapped with no medical attention.
In this situation most E.M.S. personnel won’t deploy to render aid in an unsecured environment such as a “hot zone.” This leaves the potential for an untreated injury to quickly become fatal. A simple hemorrhage from a thigh or arm can bleed out very quickly. An untreated sucking chest wound could become critical or develop into “tension pnuemothorax.” An unconscious officer’s airway may become compromised and become fatal. These injuries are potentially fatal if left untreated for more than five minutes. However, these injuries are treatable in the battle space by the officer himself or any officer with “Tactical Lifesaver” training1.
When the military developed TCCC they were able to utilize battlefield statistics to aid in the development of tactics currently used by our Warriors defending our freedom. These tactics have saved many soldiers’ lives that may have not been saved without their use by the combat soldier himself.
TCCC is taught to all combat soldiers so they can perform self or buddy aid on critical injuries that may render death if left untreated while waiting for emergency medical care. Injuries like I mentioned previously that any law enforcement officer can suffer.
Trainers in law enforcement have taken the TCCC tactics and modified them to benefit our uniformed officers. However, we face a significant problem and we need your help!
Here’s the issue we face — until recently we in law enforcement didn’t have the database available to aid researchers and trainers in the development of lifesaving tactics specific to law enforcement that was available to our military counterparts.
Matt Sztajnkrycer, MD, PhD, has taken his own time and funds to develop the non-profit “VALOR Project.” Matt is a well published author on TCCC and is a great friend to law enforcement.
The goal of the VALOR Project is to empower officers and saves lives though evidence based research. The VALOR Project website is primarily to serve as a data-gathering portal of Law Enforcement Near-Miss Database, otherwise know as “LENMDB.”
The goal of the project is to collect information on incidents of violence against cops. This information is crucial in the success of the development of Tactical Lifesaving skills.
We at the VALOR Project are dependent upon the volunteer information you officers provide on yourselves and your partners. Your information may help save an officers life.
If you have been a victim of violence as a police officer or you are aware of an incident and you can provide some basic data please visit the web site and or the questionnaire here.
I would like to thank Doctor Sztajnkrycer for his valiant and selfless efforts with this project. I am confident that his knowledge and dedication to save lives will benefit law enforcement.
1Taken from the book “Tactical Lifesaver” by G. French 2010, Looseleaf Law Publications