Police officers are not just peace keepers, according to Pea Ridge Police Chief Lynn Hahn, who recently honored several of his officers for saving a life and for completing additional training.
Lifesaving is not something they may sign up for, Hahn said, reflecting on the number of times officers have used Narcan to save lives of people who have overdosed on an opioid. "I don't think it's the front of their mind, but we do a lot of medical calls."
"We do a lot of stuff besides being peace keepers.
"We're marriage counselors, family counselors, clergy ... we do a lot of different things. There are so many hats to wear that sometimes it's really stressful for them to have to know so much ... it also makes it hard sometimes for me to get volunteers for new stuff," Hahn said.
Hahn said he shared information about the Emergency Medical Responder class and had three officers sign up for and complete the class.
Officers Jake Steele, Thomas Morris and Andrew Day recently completed EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) training through the Arkansas Fire Training Academy.
"The EMR course was approximately 80 hours long and was taught twice weekly for two months. It was a very challenging course with a 44% failure rate. All officers who took the class passed," Hahn said. "I'm very proud of them."
"These officers now have the knowledge and skills to provide immediate lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS resources," Hahn said.
Mayor Nathan See pointed out that Hahn had also taken and completed the EMR course.
"I want to point out something else about these three guys," Hahn said while recognizing three police officers for successfully completing an 80-hour long course.
"Something we've been doing over the last few years, in our recruiting, is we've been really trying to focus a lot on character as opposed to experience," Hahn said. "They mayor and I spoke about this. What we find through the years is that a lot of times we hire people because they have great experience and then we fire them because of something in their character."
"These three gentlemen started later in life in law enforcement with us. We put them through the academy. They volunteer for this extra duty because they want to help people. That's why they wanted do it. And, they're also my three most pro-active officers on the force. They get out there every day and they work very hard," he said.
Classes included training about respiratory care, heart problems, child birth, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, major trauma to help them respond better in a medical emergency.
"A lot of times, they can be there fast. It's not something to replace our heroes in the Fire Department, but to help them," Hahn said. "Now, they have skills to immediately perform life-saving intervention on people while we wait for our Fire Department friends to show up."