Coordination, lack of, one each…

This is NOT the first time this has happened…

LOS ANGELES –  An airport security officer lay helplessly bleeding after a gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport as paramedics waited 150 yards away because police had not declared the terminal safe to enter, according to two law enforcement officials.

Article HERE.

This is, and has always been the dichotomy of ‘tactical’ situations in a civilian environment.  Rescue personnel are not trained in tactical operations in the States (by and large), and there is a natural tendency by LEOs to prevent ANY additional personnel from being exposed to potential danger.  Many emergency personnel don’t want to enter an active shooter scene either, fearing for their own lives…

I know back in the 70s when I was doing volunteer fire/rescue, we had agreements with the LEOs we worked with on when/how we could access a scene if it was still ‘active’ and how we would extract victims; but it seems no one does that today, or at least didn’t in this situation…

Sadly, we’ll probably never know if he could have survived if he’d been extracted earlier…

Why am I bringing this up?

Well, it’s something ‘we’ need to be thinking about if, God forbid, we end up in an active scene and are injured.  We may need to make our own way out, even if injured as our lives may literally depend on it.  Can you crawl?  Can you stop the blood with a makeshift tourniquet?  Can you stand the pain moving would cause?  How much will to live do you have?

I can’t answer any of those questions other than yes I can make a tourniquet, and I have a STRONG will to live… The others?  Well, I hope I never have to find out.

h/t Les


Coordination, lack of, one each… — 13 Comments

  1. If you come crawling out of an active scene, the SWAT guys will order you to stop, and you will bleed to death a few feet from safety; or you can keep crawling and they will shoot you multiple times for failure to comply.

  2. Dave may have a point. When the adrenaline is up and the blood is boiling and you have knuckle dragger cops with loaded guns itching to shoot someone (and don’t tell me they don’t) you may be better off trying to self-administer. I do know that the APD in the Atlanta airport are sent there because they have administrative problems. The worst of the worst. And boy do they have chest puffed up attitudes.

    • OldNFO, et al….

      Has anyone considered this as reinforcement of the “Police have no duty to protect you?” Or do you think someone will be able to justify a lawsuit of “Police did not attempt rescue timely enough to prevent the death of _____”?

  3. There is an old doctrine (that goes back at least to Sparta) where you drag your wounded comrade to safety. It is the human thing to do. However, one would have to look long and hard to find a TSA agent at LAX with the slightest drop of courage or humanity. It was “every person for themselves” as they ran. In ancient Rome, TSA at Terminal 3 would have been decimated for having run in the face of the enemy, leaving one of their own to bleed to death. I’m sure that in modern Amerika they will be celebrated. That’s how we roll these days.

  4. You’ll have a few minutes to an hour before SWAT shows up.
    Administering some emergency medical procedures may be the difference in some one surviving or not.

    I have found a little command presence gets most cops to focus on what is important right now.

  5. Just inform the Swat team that there is a dog just out of sight somewhere around the corner. They will rush in to immediately shoot it. You can then crawl to safety unimpeded.

  6. True Blue/CP- You do have a point I hadn’t considered… sigh…

    HMC- Yeah, you would think CARE for the injured should be a priority…

    LL- True, but if one had tried, they’d probably be fired for ‘breaking the rules’!

    Gerry- True, if you can GET them to listen…

    Matt- Ouch, probably true…

  7. That’s one reason some tactical teams have started including trained medics on their teams. In many cases, they are unarmed, but have been through special training programs so they can operate with the tactical team without the distraction of being a “shooter”.

    But, yeah — my general rule of thumb, whether it’s an range accident on private property in a rural area or a “tactical” incident in teh city, you should have the level of knowledge to stabilize a patient for up to an hour, because the fully equipped responders might well need that long to get to you in those cases. On the up side, if you survive for an hour, they’ll probably get you to the hospital still breathing — and if you reach an American hospital still breathing, you’ll probably survive.

  8. Geodk- Good point, but if you’re laying there for an hour, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for other than ‘minor’ injuries…

    • Depends on your definition of “minor”. Frankly, most injuries that wouldn’t be survivable one hour after trained first aid, even with improvised supplies, hve been applied, likely wouldn’t be surviveable ANYWAY, if you take into account realistic response times, even NOT in the middle of an active shooting.

      For the small slice of injuries that would be surviveable with trained, equipped treatment and transport within 10 minutes, but would NOT be surviveable after an hour with tourniquets and pressure, well, a large proportion of those don;t have very good neurological outcomes anyway. . .

  9. At the classes I’ve been going, to after the admin stuff and the safety brief, BEFORE YOU EVER HIT THE RANGE, emergency trauma medicine is taught. The first aid is self aid. Purpose made tourniquets (different styles), celox gauze, improvised tourni’s, compromised airways, etc. How to put it on others and yourself.
    Every student is issued a tourni., taught to use it, and in the middle of a drill on the range will come the call “Tourniquet! Tourniquet!, Tourniquet!” with instructions where to apply it to yourself or your partner.

    The operating philosophy being “The Medical Community frowns on people bleeding to death.”

    At the Boston Bombing mess the reason there were so few fatalities was due to the fact that BPD had been issued tourniquets.

    I always carry one with me now and if I’m at the range I take a whole kit.