By Tami Abdollah
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police officers are being trained to use combat-style trauma kits to help victims of gunshot wounds and other emergencies.
Training is underway this month using gear borrowed from the Fire Department, but 8,000 trauma kits are on the way to officers, said Police Foundation Executive Director Cecilia Glassman. The not-for-profit foundation raised more than $350,000 to pay for them, and all officers will receive them once they've completed training.
"The LAPD is a first responder, and there's a lot of times when there is an incident where the officer (or civilian) has been shot, so there's trauma, but the area is not secured ... and the paramedics are not permitted to enter, so they must administer first aid, life-saving techniques," Glassman said.
The Associated Press has reported that a security screener fatally shot in last year's shooting at Los Angeles International Airport received no medical aid for 33 minutes. He was instead wheeled out by airport police to paramedics who weren't allowed to enter because the area had not yet been declared safe.
Officials are reviewing what discussions went into that determination as part of an extensive ongoing investigation. The Fire Department has escalated its efforts to tactically train paramedics to enter such dynamic, less secure zones because of the Nov. 1 shooting.
Because police are often the first to reach an injured person, California law requires officers to have first-aid training in the academy and refresher courses afterward. However, an audit last year found that only 250 out of nearly 10,000 LAPD officers had received refresher training.
The trauma kits will include standard first-aid items as well as advanced tourniquets and "compression bandages to control arterial bleeding in extremities," Glassman said. "It's much more the type of material you would have, unfortunately, in a war zone."
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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press