During a 16-hour course held Monday, Sept. 23, and Tuesday, Sept. 24, members of the Chillicothe Fire Department learned mental and physical defense tactics in order to deal with aggressive individuals.
According to Bret Peine, Director of the Missouri Southern State University School of Technology Department of Emergency Medical Services, attacks on EMS personnel are becoming more prevalent.
"Through research and news reports, 52 percent of our responders have reported being attacked," Peine said. "That's only the ones who have reported it. We have studies that show these responders are 22 times more likely to be attacked than than a police officer or prison guard."
Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright explained the importance of the training for his crew.
"We just want to make sure our people are prepared," Wright said. "We want them to be prepared do the best job that they can to take care of themselves and the patients."
Peine said the members of CFD were trained to win four "battles." The first battle is the battle of the mind.
"That deals with the mental preparation, survivor mentality and having our mind right so we can respond appropriately," Peine explained.
The second battle is the battle of the street.
"That really comes in with the physical skills," Peine said. "When they are confronted with physical violence, they'll have the tactics and techniques they need to respond to the violence."
The third battle is the battle of the media. This battle deals with public perception.
"We know that it would be a shame for everybody to win in the street then loose in the court of public opinion," Peine said. "We give them the tools. We're a non-aggressive system. Everything we do is seeking to win, but our win in this case is to escape. We're not trying to finish an opponent. We're not trying to take control of somebody. Our goal is just to get out of the situation so we can go home safe to our families.
The final battle is the battle of the courtroom.
"If they are compelled to use force during a violent encounter, they will know the laws of what they're allowed to do," Peine explained. "They will know how to document everything an know how to relay and articulate why they felt they had to use force to protect themselves."