Durham and Cleveland police firearms unit tactical team medics: lessons from the first six years

Background.Since 2007 Durham and Cleveland Firearms Police have trained a small number of firearms police officers to an enhanced level of first aid qualification. This article reviews the history of this programme, the patient report forms submitted during the period 2013-2016 and analyses the types of incidents attended.Methods:66 PRFS were interrogated and analysed from a four-year period between Jan 2013 and Dec 2016. There was a marked increase in PRFs submitted during that time. Over half the casualties were male, resulting from assault (15) 21%), road traffic collisions (14)19%) and deliberate self-harm (14)19%). The most frequent medical interventions were wound dressing and direct pressure, airway manoeuvres and Oxygen therapy. On-scene times with patients prior to handover to NHS staff ranged from 0->60 mins. 0-20 minutes (22), 20-40 minutes (15), 40-60 minutes (10) and >60 minutes (1).Discussion:This data shows that the TTMs provide a useful medical response often arriving before other medical provision is on scene. Despite the primary role being to respond to firearms trauma, officers have dealt with a range of medical scenarios and provided a range of interventions.

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