ANDERSON COUNTY — Thanks to the Anderson County EMS & Special Operations Division and Anderson County Emergency Services, sheriff’s deputies assigned as School Resource Officers will now be ready for any emergency, including a medical one.
Last week, 14 School Resource Officers completed a 48-hour Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course offered by the county. The six-day program consisted of classroom instruction followed by both a written and practical exam. The officers are now certified Emergency Medical Responders.
“This is a new program but with the next school year rapidly approaching, we thought it wise to provide this type of advanced training to our School Resource Officers first,” Sheriff John Skipper said. “They now have the necessary skills to assist students, teachers, fellow officers and even their own family members in the case of a medical emergency. They are trained to provide life-saving techniques until emergency medical technicians or paramedics arrive on the scene.”
EMS Director Scott Stoller said the SROs were trained similar to how many firefighters are trained.
“And their response during a medical emergency can save valuable minutes and potentially save lives,” Stoller said. “I applaud Sheriff Skipper in allowing us to train these deputies to provide a higher level of emergency medical care beyond what most law enforcement officers possess. This speaks volumes of his concern for our children and our County.”
The course was taught by Sheila Kaiser, Anderson County EMS training coordinator, and Emergency Services Coordinator Todd Tillirson, who is also a paramedic for ACEMS. Both Kaiser and Tillirson have been Nationally Registered Paramedics for over 10 years.
They are certified to train Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Emergency Medical Response.
This was the first of many EMR classes that the EMS & Special Operations Division plans to deliver in partnership with the Sheriff’s Emergency Services Division. Both divisions hope to cooperatively deliver this, and many other classes, to county employees over the next several months.
“Incidents in Boston and Louisiana have shown us that law enforcement officers trained in medical response techniques are instrumental in saving lives, and it’s gratifying to know that our School Resource Officers have been trained to help ensure our children’s safety,” Kaiser said. “It’s also important to note that once an employee receives their certification, in order to keep their skills up-to-date, they will be required to recertify every two years but the Sheriff’s Office has committed to having a refresher every year.”
That’s OK with the resource officers and their lieutenant, Tyrone Williams, who commended his team.
“The course was very intense and we learned a lot of important skills in a short amount of time. I’m proud of them,” stated Williams. “I have a few more officers who took the course and still need to take the practical exam, but they’ll do just fine.”
The EMR program is taught to national standards and certification is through the American Safety & Health Institute, for which the EMS & Special Operations Division is an advanced training center.
Contact EMS Training Coordinator Sheila Kaiser at 864-932-3102 for more information.