New York Medical College’s Center for Disaster Medicine Hosts CONTOMS EMT-Tactical Course

New York Medical College’s (NYMC) Center for Disaster Medicine (CDM) hosted the Counter Narcotics and Terrorism Operational Medical Support (CONTOMS) EMT-Tactical (EMT-T) Course during the week of June 12. The course is a one-week, 56-hour continuing education module to meet the need for specialized medical training to support law enforcement special operations.

The class at comprised of approximately 40 EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement officers and physicians from all over the country. The topics covered included medical threat assessment, downed officer rescue, care under fire, special equipment and kits, toxic hazards, sensory impairment, preventive medicine and medical support of specific operations. The course brings together multi-faceted training to responders that typically perform singular roles.

The urgency for law enforcement to be well-equipped in various emergency situations is increasing as active threats and deadly behaviors are becoming more prevalent since the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. Last year, there were 46 school shootings – the most of any year since 1999.

“For years, law enforcement received little, if any, medical training, and emergency services received little, if any, tactical training,” said Tai M. Lee Jr., EMT-P/CIC, MEP, assistant director of the CDM.  “By continuously training and learning best-practices, law enforcement officers can provide initial care and emergency services to critically injured victims and evacuate them quickly. Embedding emergency services providers into the law enforcement special operations arena would provide immediate access to trauma care and build greater trust between the disciplines.”

The CDM designed a 12-month training calendar in which they alternate the types of training conducted geared towards the first responder community. The Center is also a National Association of EMTs (NAEMT) Training Center providing courses such as Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC).  As an American Red Cross Training Center, they offer courses, such as CPR/AED, First Aid and Severe Trauma (FAST), Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).  CDM also conducts an in-house course called Operational Medicine, which focuses on the fundamentals of trauma care, patient assessment in austere conditions and victim extraction.  As a continuation of Operational Medicine, CDM is currently working on developing a Rescue Task Force course, which will train law enforcement and other first responders to work together towards initial treatment and evacuation of victims of Active Threats and Deadly Behaviors incidents.

Continuing to build upon the relationship and partnership with CONTOMS, the CDM plans to host their EMT-T Basic, EMT-T Advanced and Medical Directors’ Course at least once a year.

 “As a law enforcement and EMS educator, it is my personal mission to train our first responders with high-quality, high-impact training,” said Lee. “Having been a police officer and a paramedic for more than 20 years, the training we provide, whether hosted or conducted by the CDM, brings together the two disciplines by providing them both with the skills and abilities to better serve their communities.”

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