Saving Lives – From First Aid to SABA

By Karen Wannamaker at Police Training Weekly | Wed, 12 Oct 2016

Terroristic and physical assaults against law enforcement officers is at an all-time high. Some communities are even advocating increased resistance to any police presence. Since 2006 more than 1,500 officers in the U.S. were killed in the line of duty, and the number of officers injured runs in the tens of thousands. Compared to all of 2015, in the first half of 2016 there has been a 78% spike in officer shooting deaths. As we see every day, the traditional news media fans the flames by contorting facts and rushing to judgement, making the jobs of officers even harder and more dangerous.

In response to these increased dangers law enforcement agencies have updated their officer safety equipment – with new vests, some tactical vehicles, and a few agencies have even updated their tactical training. For forward thinking Chiefs and Sheriffs, they are moving beyond the traditional first aid that officers were familiarized with in their basic police academy course with the latest Self-Aid Buddy-Aid (SABA). SABA emphasizes that officers learn to rely on themselves or their fellow officers for acute trauma care until EMS can safely arrive.

SABA is based the military’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) training program, which has been altered to meet the changing Use of Force practices and injury patterns of law enforcement. Does it work? In the State of Texas during just five months in 2014 seven police officers were saved by the use of a tourniquet after being shot and encountering critical bleeding wounds. Numerous other states have also created standing SABA training programs and as a result officer lives are being saved. Statistically, 15% more officers who are wounded can be saved by vigorously applying SABA skills.

“This course is so critical” said David Salmon, Training Coordinator of OSS Academy. “… we added Self-Aid Buddy-Aid (SABA) Life Saving to our online tactical law enforcement library this month.”He went on to say “officers have first aid training in their basic training course, now this training is expanded to cover such critical elements as dragging yourself or their buddy to safety before treatment, the latest CPR guidelines, employing a defibrillator and tourniquet, and management of blood flow and wounds under fire.” I asked David, can this really be taught on line? His response was a resounding “Yes. Most officers know the basics of first aid, but many need an update regarding the latest emergency medical treatments that save lives. Our course strongly encourages doing practical exercises with their partner, or even a family member.”

About OSS Academy

To learn more about OSS Academy® contact our Training Coordinator at 281-288-9190 ext. 205.