Officers and staff members of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) from around the state often become actively involved in the development of projects, programs and initiatives to contribute to the direction of policing within the organisation in the near future.
These projects have previously included innovative solutions to combating alcohol fuelled violence, community engagement strategies as well as crime prevention campaigns.
One such project, recently recognised on the world stage, is the Tactical First Aid Project.
Coming away from the World Class Policing Awards with the winning title earlier in the year, this project is showcasing an innovative solution to a growing topical issue in the world of modern policing.
The outcomes of this project are achieving meaningful results in crucial and high-pressure situations on a day-to-day basis amongst front line police.
The positive effects of this project are extending past the operational capabilities of the officers who are exposed to the Tactical First Aid training, also benefiting the general community the officers have sworn to protect.
This project has involved years of work, curriculum writing, research and input from industry professionals to evolve into substantive Tactical First Aid (TFA) training, now being taught to officers from all across the state.
The 11,000 officers who have been trained in TFA so far, are equipped with a range of vital skills, both physically and mentally, enabling them to competently handle life threatening trauma.
Officers receiving the training are taught the various techniques and correct procedures for the application of tourniquets, trauma bandaging and chest seals.
The project not only provides officers with life-saving skills but also assists them in upholding the oath made when they were sworn in, to protect and serve the community.
The outcome of the training that officers receive through the project goes beyond standard CPR and essential first aid.
Senior Constable Osborne said the effects of the project have a huge ripple effect.
“The effects of the medical treatment initially administered by officers of course has the flow on effect with overall reduction in health care costs, ultimately benefiting and decreasing the impact on the health care system,” Senior Constable Osborne said.
“The training affords officers the technical knowledge and skills to treat penetrating trauma and severe haemorrhaging.
“We’ve been able to use what we learn in the training to make a real difference in the early stages of a medical incident.
“Since the project commenced, casualty recovery and rehab time have dropped significantly.
“The overall positive impact of the project has been obvious and stems from early intervention.”
It’s obvious that policing has come a long way over the decades in terms of fair and equitable treatment and the TFA project is uplifting the light in which officers are seen by those external to the organisation.
“I see this as a huge step forward in modernising the way we maintain our oath to protect life and serve the community.
“I’ve seen a real change in public perception on use of force since the project commenced and I think it has the potential to continue shaping that perception.
“We made that oath to protect and serve all within the community and that includes those we apprehend as well.”
Being the first responders at a multitude of different scenes, having the ability to medically help those they come across with severe injuries before paramedics arrive, provides police with the sense of empowerment to be able to do their jobs and protect lives.
While there is already a mandatory number of trained first aiders in the QPS as per legislative requirements, those trained in TFA are complimenting those and adding to the Service’s capability in the first aid scene, with recruits right through to commissioned officers partaking in the training.
From personal confidence to relieving the feeling of stress and helplessness when on scene as first responders to a medical incident, the Tactical First Aid Project is really adding to the Service’s responsiveness and ability to serve and protect our community.
We hope to see it continue to make a positive impact in the near future.