EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - When paramedics arrive on the scene of a dangerous situation, providing medical assistance right away is not always an option.
"We don't carry weapons," says Arnie Spiers, Chief Operations Officer for Champion EMS. "So, we depend on law enforcement to clear the scene first."
In the case of a mass shooting, paramedics may not be able to access the scene if law enforcement believes the situation is too dangerous or 'hot'. In East Texas, first responders undergo training on monthly basis so that they can assist in the warm zone, when there is still potential danger.
Spiers, says in the wake of recent mass shootings around the country local paramedics are training with law enforcement agencies to better coordinate their rescue efforts in the case off a mass casualty emergency.
"If we were responding to a building where there is an active shooter, the police department goes in they would clear the first floor and they can say that there's a victim at the end of the hall," says Spiers. "Then we could enter the first floor to get that patient out."
Some law enforcement agencies are also receiving medical training, so that they can assist victims in a situation too dangerous for paramedics to enter. In Tyler, 10 police officers recently got first level EMS certification.
Spiers says Champion EMS recently participated in disaster drills in Tyler, Henderson, and Winnsboro.