COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus divisions of Fire and Police are partnering together in an effort to make sure all officers have basic medical training.
It’s a requirement Columbus City Council passed in February.
The Columbus Division of Fire is doing more than just administering the training. They’re also helping certify officers to be instructors within the force so that they can continue the lessons on their own as a department.
CPR and Stop the bleed: Two lifesaving skills that the Columbus Division of Fire is certified to teach.
“All of us, if we don’t stay sharp on that, it’s a perishable skill and we need to be refreshed in that,” said Battalion Chief Steve Martin.
He says they’re working with CPD to ensure the force has its own instructors for continued training.
“There’s nothing worse than trying to help but not knowing what to do so the fact that we’re getting this refresher training, it’s going to give officers a newfound confidence,” said Sergeant James Fuqua with CPD.
The training, and periodic re-training, of basic medical skills, is now required because of Andre’s Law. The ordinance is named after Andre’ Hill who did not receive immediate medical attention after he was shot and killed by a former CPD officer last December.
It also calls for police body-worn cameras to be on during enforcement actions and rendering or calling for aid, in instances of serious injury during the use of force.
“Right now, we’re training anywhere from 30-50 officers a day because we want to make sure we get as many officers [trained] as quickly as possible. We recognize how vital this truly is. We’re going to stay on this pace until we get to everyone in patrol and everyone in the division,” said Sgt. Fuqua.
Chief Martin says fire purchased a program a year ago that puts their firefighters through basic medical training every three months.
“We are mandated to go in… there’s a written lesson, there’s questions and answers like a quiz, but then there’s also physical CPR on the CPR mannequin — both an adult size torso and infant,” said Martin.
And that same training program will be used by all members of CPD.
“They will have something in place that will keep them current on those skills and they can do it at a substation, kind of in their own schedule when it allows instead of coming back down here,” Martin said about the program.
The goal is to have training completed for officers by September.
Those who will be instructors within the department will be certified under the American Heart Association Heartsaver program.
It’s a program CDF teaches year-round and is available for all residents.