A training program helps police officers and trauma teams at hospitals understand each other’s roles and improve cooperation in the field.
Constable Paul Breeze collaborated with the Tory Regional Trauma Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital to develop A Police Officer’s Guide to the Trauma Room that offers an in-class session complemented with videos featuring trauma protocol and procedure.
He based the training, which has been rolled out to most Traffic Services officers, on the great experiences he has had working well with hospital staff and learned more about what officers could do to ensure they work in harmony with trauma teams.
“The guide lists the things to do and things that should not be done when officers are in a trauma setting at a hospital. Officers now know what they should do when a patient is being x-rayed and that they shouldn’t turn on their phones when an ECG is being done.
Breeze said the new guidelines are also beneficial to hospital staff.
“They are now aware of why we are there and the information we need,” he noted.
Sandra Ramagnano, the manager of Sunnybrook Trauma Services who collaborated with Breeze on the project, said her staff has a better understanding of how they should work with police.
“The training videos showed missed opportunities for evidence such as staff throwing out an article of clothing that may seem insignificant to them, but is of great importance to the police investigation,” she said.
Now, a young officer with about six months on the job can go into a trauma room and know exactly what he should and should not do. Previously, no official training existed for something like this
The program was designed over an eight-month period.
“We now have a clear set of guidelines for police officers who are attending trauma rooms,” Breeze said. “Now, a young officer with about six months on the job can go into a trauma room and know exactly what he should and should not do. Previously, no official training existed for something like this.”
Ramagnano agreed that the program will be extremely beneficial for young officers.
“Often, they have never been in a hospital trauma unit before,” she said. “They don't know who is who and what their role is and that can be overwhelming. This program guides them to the right people in our unit.”
Nearly all of Traffic Services officers have so far received training
“All the platoons, collision officers and members of the motor squad were trained,” said Breeze, who spent 12 years with the British military before joining the Service in 2006.