Meridian, Miss. The Lauderdale County Training Facility in Meridian was host to a unique form of hands on training that provided law enforcement officers as well as medics the tactical training needed to perform in a dangerous situation. SERT or Special Emergency Response Training as it is known was participated by about a dozen of professionals from across the Southeast. Those individuals took part in real-life scenarios to better equip each man with the knowledge and skills needed in a real-life situation.
"So what they're learning is how to work within a tactical team, so the team can meet their objective of whatever that may be, hostage rescue, active shooter," Emergency Medicine Physician Andy Anderson. "At the same time learning how to do their skills in a tactical environment."
Those who took part in the training went through a step process that built up to the final scenario, each step allowed them to learn from mistakes made as a group and as a whole as well as where one could see where improvement needs to be made.
"Well you have to learn to crawl before you walk and walk before you run and that's their motto here, their training philosophy," Arkansas Paramedic Billie Ullrich said. "So that's what we've been doing, taking it slow, learning the basic elements and then taking it up a notch and bring it into the live fire and live scenarios. It's about keeping everyone safe and that way it's repetitive, you keep learning the same tactics and training over and over again."
The final training involved a live fire situation where all the tactical and medical skills gathered during the week were put to the test during a grueling 45 minute scenario. It's training exercises such as these that prepare men and women for real life situations.
"Learning to take the medicine and apply the police tactics because as a paramedic we usually post out a couple of blocks from where it's happening, but if you're a tactical medic you're going to have to be doing all the medical things on scene and there may be danger and be live fire," Ullrich said.
The SERT group also offers numerous training opportunities throughout the year for both law enforcement and civilians.