Las Vegas paramedics train to form new tactical team to help in mass casualty situations
By Lesley Marin
Eight paramedics were chosen from American Medical Response and MedicWest to form the first of its kind team in the valley.
"There were a lot of lessons learned after 1 October," said Scott White, Regional Director with AMR.
The biggest lesson taken away from the tragic night was the reality that paramedics needed to be on the front lines next to officers and firefighters if they wanted to save as many lives as possible.
"The traditional model for us was to wait, sit back and make sure it was completely safe," White said. "We're wasting precious minutes at that time."
13 Action News joined the team during some of their rigorous training Friday.
"Mentally we were kind of preparing for the worst, and it's completely different," said Leslie Schaffer who has worked as a paramedic for 13 years.
The paramedics were put through different swat situations, including a tear gas training.
"I can feel burning around my neck and stuff," said Kelly Frazier. "It feels like jalapenos were rubbed all over my body."
The team was also put through an active shooter training, a reality that hits homes to every paramedic who responded to 1 Oct.
"We want to give back to our community in a bigger way, and it's something that we can do Lord forbid October 1 ever happens again," Frazier said.
If the program is successful, AMR and Medic West plan to expand and create more local tactical teams in the next 18 months.
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