The instructor stands in front of the class, introduces himself, and then opens the class with a video. The video is the all-too-familiar police “bodycam” footage we have all seen before. The scene is tense; we watch a man jump into a police cruiser and begin attacking the officer inside. Things immediately go from bad to worse as shots are fired. The event leaves the attacker dead and the police officer shot in the arm, bleeding profusely. The injured officer’s partner immediately applies a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. The instructor pauses the video just as the bleeding stops. He then asks, “What happened?” This begins a discussion as the students talk about what they just saw. Everyone is now fully engaged in the class and begin to realize the topic of the class - tourniquets.
“I know the video was graphic but I wanted to get everyone’s attention,” Winslow Harrison said. “I wanted to show how fast a life-and-death situation can happen, and just how stressful it can be.”
Harrison is an emergency medical technician (EMT) and has been a member of New York City’s Hazardous Material Tactical Unit for the last 18 years. He’s been an EMT since 1993. He is attending the Instructor Training Course (ITC) here at the CDP. ITC is a five-day course that prepares emergency responders to deliver lectures and hands-on training in their local jurisdictions.
“It is a fantastic course and the instructors are just awesome,” Harrison said. “They have years and years of experience, and they bring it all back to the classroom.”
The course is conducted in two phases - fundamental principles and applied principles phases. During the fundamental principles phase students receive an overview of adult learning, task analysis, learning objectives and lesson plans, communication skills, and after action reviews. During the applied principles phase, students put what they have learned into practice through a series of practical exercises. Students are required to identify their training objectives as well as the tasks that feed into their training objectives to develop their overall lesson plan.
“I’ve never had to produce an actual lesson plan,” Harrison continued. “We literally started from scratch.”
During the course students give a total of three lectures. The first is a 15-minute “warm-up,” where the students can tell a short story in front of their class. After the warm-up lecture students are required to give a 20-minute case study brief, and then on the last day they give a full 30-minute training class.
However, ITC isn’t the only instructor course available to first responders. Jason Henson, a seven-year veteran of the Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, had the opportunity to attend an instructor course in his home state.
“The course in Texas would have been completely law enforcement-specific but here at the CDP I’m in a class with firefighters, EMTs and city planners,” Henson said. “It really gives me a unique opportunity to see things from other perspectives outside of law enforcement.”
Henson is member of the SWAT team in Montgomery County, as well as the lead active shooter instructor for the county. He said that this course will improve his ability to teach life-saving skills to his fellow police officers.