An active shooter scene was recently set up at an abandoned building on the old Port Arrowhead campus in Lake Ozark for Lake Ozark Fire Department EMS personnel, a representative of the Lake West Ambulance crew and University of Missouri-Kansas City Police Department.
Perish the thought that an active shooter, or shooters, would wreak havoc on anybody or any institution at the Lake of the Ozarks.
But it could happen.
And a team of specially trained combat care technicians wants to help emergency response personnel in Missouri and adjoining states be prepared in case of not only a shooting incident but any critical care situation.
The Valley TEMS (Tactical Emergency Medical Service) is a tightly knit group of men and women from central Missouri who have either experienced combat care in Middle East skirmishes, or on the job through emergency medical care. TEMS holds real-life-scenario training for fire and police departments and others in emergency response.
An active shooter scene was recently set up at an abandoned building on the old Port Arrowhead campus in Lake Ozark for Lake Ozark Fire Department EMS personnel, a representative of the Lake West Ambulance crew and University of Missouri-Kansas City Police Department. A dozen or so bloodied manakins with various types of wounds were scattered inside the building, the victims of a shooter who had already been captured by police officers.
EMS personnel arrived on the scene to frantic yells of "help" from within the building. They gathered equipment and entered the building to begin a triage of the victims. Some injuries were slight, some more serious and a handful of the victims had been killed. Ambulances and medical helicopter service were ordered and the victims prepped in order of injury severity.
All the while they were being monitored by members of the Valley TEMS team to assist in training.
Brody Eller, an Osage Beach firefighter who also served as a combat flight paramedic in Afghanistan, heads the group of 12 instructors which includes military medics, fire department and ambulance personnel and tactical medics. All of them have some level of critical care and blood control tractic experience.
The 16-hour course includes about 12 hours in the classroom and the balance on-the-scene.
Valley TEMS, the brainchild of Dr. Jon Vashaw of Missouri, was formed three years ago, but it took two years for the group to become properly certified and trained by the National Association of EMTs, which brought in staff to validate the instructors' experience and skills.
"Everything we teach from how to use combat gauze to bleed control tactics is based on real life situations and experiences," Brody explained. That includes trauma care and bleed control tactics.
Valley TEMS is one of four critical care teams that teach in Missouri, and Brody says is probably the most active as far as scheduling and completing classes. January was especially busy for his group which conducted four or five classes.
Brody says he hopes to expand the group's training to include school districts, manufacturers, malls and other areas that could be the scene of a shooting or major incident.
Valley TEMS has conducted training for personnel from Missouri, Illinois to include Chicago, Arkansas, Kansas and Iowa. Most of the training is focused in the Jefferson City and Lake of the Ozarks areas. Groups with which Valley TEMS associates include Law Enforcement First Response Tactical Casualty Care (LEFT-TCC), Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC).