Thread: Cross Trained Officers?
03-19-2001, 02:40 PM #1H-1 MechFirehouse.com Guest
Cross Trained Officers?
I came across the following article today: http://www.columbian.com/03192001/clark_co/184797.html
It talks about cross-training police officers in police,ems,and fire duties. I personally dont think this is a good idea due to the fact that it would seem to make the person remember so much that you would just collapse from sensory overload before too long. I just wanted someone elses thoughts, or to know if other places are already doing this.
03-19-2001, 04:16 PM #2gunnyvFirehouse.com Guest
It's called a PSO (public safety officer). We have a bunch of them here in Michigan. Basically, some of the smaller cities throw an extra 10-15% at the cops to perform these duties. Typical deployment is 2 guys in the firehouse/police station to pull the fire truck or ambulance. Then the cops all respond with gear in the trunk of their squad car. Many times they are backed up by volunteer firefighters and callback PSOs.
The system sucks. The PSOs are usually people who want to be cops and the fire part is a hassle to them. Preplanning, company operations, fire safety education, and just general customer service take a backseat to handing out parking tickets.
We had two volunteers from one of these dept's on our border get caught in a flashover last year, one was killed. They had 3 fires back to back and these guys drove from the second one to the third in a van and tried to make a rescue with no fire truck on the scene-the dept. only has 2 fire trucks. Mutual aid pulled 'em out.
03-19-2001, 08:14 PM #3chief1001Firehouse.com Guest
Unfourtunately this is how some community managers respond to manpower problems or a lack of enough stuff for the others to do.
Another case of political tampering. I think this also sets up the stage for conflicting rolls of the individual. If they respond as a Police officer but the fire response is also needed which roll do they play.
We have the local corener as a paramedic on our first due als provider if the patient codes, does he call it as a corener even though he is on duty as a medic or does he go let the docs call it.
03-20-2001, 07:28 AM #4LtStickFirehouse.com Guest
I think there trying to get to much out of the Police. They can't possibly do both as effectively as they could one or the other. I know some of the local Police Departments in this area have there Officers trained as First Responders. They send them to Ambulance calls in there area to assist the Ambulance. I think this is a good idea because this serves two purposes first the police generally arrive ahead of Ambulance so they are able to asses the situation in case there would be trouble. Second they are able to start patient care until the Ambulance arrives. I have even heard of a few Police Departments carrying AED's as well.
03-20-2001, 01:13 PM #5Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
I don't disagree with the earlier posts...
What I WOULD like to do is train the local cops in basic fire behavior and safety (and apparatus/cruiser positioning, but that's probably a lost cause) so that they know enough to stop charging into situations that are (eventually) going to get someone (probably one of them) killed. This is a real problem with some individual cops in our area.
03-20-2001, 03:12 PM #6LooperFirehouse.com Guest
The PSO concept sounds good -- kinda of like a volunteer fire dept that is already on duty and on the road.
One of the big problems with this system is that, sooner or later, you have an incident that requires a full fire dept and a full police dept at the same time (disaster, MCI, riot, ect). What happens when there is a multi-alarm fire, and then a hostage standoff on the other side of town?
The only way this system can work is if there are a limited number of PSOs that are used to supplement a mostly staffed fire and police department. I have seen police used as EMS first responders very effectively, in some places at the ALS level.
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