November 15, 2013

TSA officer bled for 33 minutes before medical attention at LAX

For all but five of those minutes, there was no threat from the suspected gunman

By Tami Abdollah
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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This June 2013 photo released by the Hernandez family shows Transportation Security Administration officer Gerardo Hernandez. Hernandez, 39, was shot to death by a gunman who went on a shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport, Nov. 1, 2013.

The Associated Press

Responding to a situation with a shooter on the loose has changed since the 1999 Columbine school massacre, when officials huddled outside to formulate a plan while shooters continued firing inside and a teacher bled to death without timely treatment. Now police immediately charge in to stop the shooting as quickly as possible; officers are trained to step over the wounded and stop the gunman first, then tend to victims.

During active shooter training last month with the LAX police and LAPD, Los Angeles city firefighters wearing ballistic vests and helmets dragged survivors to areas where they could provide treatment.

Because police are often the first at the scene where there are injuries, California law requires officers receive first aid and CPR training in the academy and regular refreshers afterward.

A recent audit by Los Angeles Police Commission Inspector General Alex Bustamante found that the LAPD had a zero percent compliance rate. Only 250-sworn officers in the Metropolitan Division out of the department’s more than 9,900 sworn officers received the refresher training, it states. Airport police have the training.

On day-to-day crime scenes, firefighters wait down the street until police clear the scene, usually in minutes, and allow them in, Los Angeles County Fire Battalion Chief Larry Collins, who’s a member of a Los Angeles interagency working group creating best practices for mass casualty incidents.

“When we have an active shooter, we can’t hold back a block away, we’ve got to go in” because clearing the scene could take hours.

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