Through its resources and equipment, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Law Enforcement program helps provide officers and students with the technical skills and operational knowledge in tactical medical (TAC-MED) training to save lives. The College offers unique equipment no other agency in the region has, which has become critically important in this life-saving training. The opportunity to train on this technology and the expertise of CWI's instructors, not only benefits students but has inspired officers from around the state to travel on to campus for this certification, they will then be able to train those on their team, helping save lives in their own communities.
CWI’s hemorrhaging mannequin is a $52,000 piece of equipment that simulates someone who has multiple wounds on their body from a shooting or an explosion and is bleeding out different limbs. Trainers can control the bleeding on the mannequin through a phone application. The equipment gives students hands-on training on what to do and how to handle a real-life situation.
Students are instructed to assess the mannequin all over the body for different injuries and perform the correct life-saving measures, such as tourniquets, applying a chest seal to a chest wound, managing the airway, and more. At the same time, a simulated chaotic scene goes on around them like emergency vehicles’ lights and sirens going off and sounds of gunshots and screams.
The program uses a female mannequin. According to Law Enforcement Program Director, LeRoy Forsman, some estimates indicate that females may be up to 80% more likely to die in combat because of male combat medical personnel who did not properly assess the injured female’s body for fear of being inappropriate. The mannequin is designed to look like a female, so students can overcome that worry and not miss a life-threatening injury.
During the week of June 5, CWI’s Law Enforcement Program hosted 10 Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) student instructors for a five-day TAC-MED training course. New trainers were able to utilize the mannequin and gain skills and an understanding to then instruct field officers around Idaho on the skill set of recognizing, assessing, and treatment of life-threatening injuries.
“POST really values our relationship with CWI, it is such a huge benefit. This TAC-Med training is a great program,” said POST Regional Training Manager, Jeff Sklar.
“Because of this type of training, we have seen several law enforcement officers save lives here in the Treasure Valley,” Forsman said.
The mannequin was purchased with money from a Perkins V grant, which aids opportunities for Career and Technical Education in Idaho. Forsman has plans to apply for another grant to increase the capacity of training classes.