Emergency Medical Services And How It Began Emergency medical services give care to those who they are transporting to the hospital. The care given is for many different kinds of injury and illness or any time a person believes they need emergency care. These emergency services are better known to the public as ambulance squads, rescue squads, ambulance services, etc. the point of the emergency medical services no matter what form they come to you in is the care of the problem quickly or to transport you to the next stop to get the care you need. This may be a hospital, emergency room, or other places where a doctor can be found. Depending on the type of unit your area uses, they may also help to search and rescue patients from vehicles, water emergencies, and extrication dangers. Emergency services first started with the Bible in the New Testament accounts of the Good Samaritan. Next, the Middle Ages brought to us the story of the Knights of Saint John which seemed to be the starting point for the ambulance squad. In 1487, Spanish Queen Isabella heralded the first ambulance for emergencies pertaining to the troops. Because of the care they received and the way it was given, more countries started taking an interest. By the late 1700's to the late 1800's changes started happening to the primitive ambulance service. Dominique Larrey came up with a horse drawn wagon for taking the wounded farther distances so they could get proper medical care faster and not be left on the battlefield to die. Napoleon's Army utilized these wagon ambulances in 1793. As the need for this ambulance changed, so did the ambulance requirements to meet with any situation or environment. Later on, more advanced styles of the ambulance were starting to show up around the world. London utilized a cholera ambulance in 1832 setting a standard for the time the patient arrived for medical care and the ability to reach patients who were farther away. In 1865, the very first ambulance service was created to bring the patient to the hospital. Cincinnati General in Cincinnati Ohio was the first to pioneer this type of ambulance service. Following shortly after was the Bellevue hospital in New York. This ambulance service saw the need to add other items to their ambulance including morphine, brandy, splints, and a stomach pump. As you can see, this was the start of the emergency services we offer today but with a multitude of many more items for life saving and medical treatment. As time progressed, so did the advancements in the ambulance. With the invention of motor vehicles, the need for a horse drawn vehicle became obsolete. The ambulance services really became prevalent during the wars that followed and provided the soldiers with the fastest care that have ever come to a wartime battlefield. In today's time, ambulances and emergency services have come to a whole new level of care being able to provide complete life support to any patient and providing a quality of care that was not even dreamed of in the past. Emergency Services have evolved into not only an ambulance service today but will also offer other modes of transportation including helicopters. Thank goodness for the dreams that led to the many inventions we have today. imagine where we would all be if we could no longer have the security of picking up the phone and knowing the emergency services will arrive to care for us within a matter of minutes. The Truth About Emergency Services When you decide to become an Emergency Services worker, you have chosen to be a selfless individual in others lives. It makes no difference why you chose this, at some point in your service, there will be some person you will be a forever influence to. I was an Emergency Medical Technician for over four years. In that time, I was truly blessed to find that at the times when it seemed to be the most routine call, the patient affected me in some great way that I never expected them too. In all the training you will go through should you choose to make this great profession a part of your life, you will never truly be prepared for the emotions and memories you will carry with you for your lifetime. Something seems to click inside when that pager goes off and you are on the way to the call. The training sets in and you mentally prepare yourself for each particular call. You may know what the nature of the call is but, nothing is ever as you think it will be. I remember times when the call was simply a routine call and took no special skills to help the patient. I was also their when a few of those patients took their last breath. Realize that as a worker in the Emergency Services, you may be the last face this person will ever see. This is something you will never forget. I hope that I was at least a comfort to them in their last minutes. If you choose to do this, I hope you can provide that comfort also. Some of the time, you get to be the first person an infant will see when they come into the world. I remember one such occasion. I was helping to deliver a child. There was not anything special about the call but, even now, I still wonder how the child is doing and what age they are. I try to imagine what things they have experienced in their lives as a result of coming into the world with me being a part of it. These are things that are never taught in any of the classes or training you will undergo. They will try to prepare you for the tasks ahead but until you have been through them, you will never truly know the sadness and joy that others can cause. You have now become part of this person's life in one way or the other. Becoming an Emergency Services worker is a commitment that you must make before you take the steps to get your certification. Realize that when you choose this profession whether paid or volunteer, you will be working hours that most people sleep through and you may never be thanked for the work you perform. Also prepare yourself for the times when that special patient will affect you so deeply that you may want to find how the results turned out. Unfortunately, most of the time, when the patient reaches the hospital, it is over and you may never know what happened next. As I said before, selflessness is a necessary trait for any Emergency Service Worker and that the work is thanks enough for what you do. EMT: What Are They and What Do They Do? Most people know what EMTs are, but there are some that are not aware that an EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician, and they have no real understanding of what is required of them, or what EMTs do. They are, in a sense, the first response teams that aid victims during a crisis. More often than not, they are required to assist a patient directly at the scene of the crisis, as well as in an ambulance or other moving vehicle, on the way to the hospital. These emergency workers are most usually on-call during the course of their shifts, which can differ from several 24 hour shifts followed by a couple of days off, to a daily shift often lasting from 12 to 15 hours. Due to the stress level and often difficult working conditions, it is imperative that these workers maintain a professional, calm and decisive manner at all times. Quick decision making is a must, and leaves no room for error. In many cases, an EMT is required to treat the victim immediately, these calls for the ability to accurately assess the severity of the problem at hand, and determine which treatment is most suitable. Once the EMT has escorted the victim(s) to a medical facility, they are required to report their observations, their plan of treatment up to the moment of arrival, and they sometimes give additional assistance if needed. There are four levels that are registered with the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) and these four levels are dependant upon the persons knowledge, skills, and successfully completing the proper certifications and courses for each respective level. The basic capabilities that all EMTs are required to know and have the ability to perform are a few as listed: treat wounds, CPR, administer oxygen, deliver babies, control bleeding, apply bone splints and anti-shock suits, have the ability and knowledge to properly subdue people displaying violent behavior, as well as be able to treat allergic reactions. The rest of the skills are dependant on which level the person is certified to practice. The four levels, as previously mentioned, that are registered with the NREMT are the First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. The first level EMTs is the level that covers emergency workers, fire fighters, and police, as well as some volunteers. This level includes the most basic of first aid skills, and does require courses for certification, but these are mainly short courses that are for basic first aid only. EMT-1 or the EMT-Basic class of EMTs are capable of managing a victims breathing, heart and handle trauma emergencies as well as on-the-spot diagnose the victims condition and make decisions regarding the proper responses for treatment either at the site of the crisis and/or en route to proper medical facilities. The EMT-2 and EMT-3 (EMT-Intermediate) has the necessary skills to perform the skills required by level EMT-1 and along with those skills, they are required to have the ability to administer intravenous fluids as needed, and shock stopped hearts using defibrillators. Their skills also include the ability to apply their knowledge of advanced airway techniques to assist victims with breathing problems or airway blockages. The highest level, EMT-4, the EMT-Paramedic are those skilled and certified to perform the most extensive care prior to the victim arriving at or being admitted to the medical facility. This level of EMT has the ability, skill, and knowledge to perform all of the previously listed skills as well as minor tracheal surgery, which is inserting a tube into the windpipe of a victim to assist them in breathing if it is necessary. EMT-4's are certified to administer drugs, and use a myriad of additional complex medical equipment as well as read electrocardiograms (EKG's). All levels of these EMTs are qualified to work as/with police officers, fire fighters, in hospitals or other health care facilities. Emergency Medical Technician Defined An Emergency Medical Technician also known as an EMT is defined as a responder trained in emergency situations and who can give you the emergency care you need when you are severely ill or have been injured. In the past, the Emergency Medical Technician was thought of as a simple ambulance attendant and nothing more. In today's world the Emergency Medical Technician has evolved into a more important and supportive position. They are now able to do more than they previously could and are being exposed to many things that were not known about before. The Emergency Medical Technician is able to deal effectively with not only those emergencies occurring as a result of a medical condition but have now been trained to work in more advanced situations. For instance, the Emergency Medical Technician is trained to deal with child abuse emergencies, to help deliver babies, to deal with mental issues in the patient, and to deal with problems arising from the multitude of hazardous materials used today. The higher levels of Emergency Medical Technicians are able to administer life saving medications that otherwise would not be available in any other way. This by no means covers the wide scope of practice they fall under. The Emergency medical Technician is the first medical care provided to a patient when there are no doctors and nurses available. They work together with them to give you the best care while you are in route to the hospital. From the Basic EMT up to the more advanced Emergency Medical Technicians, the whole idea is to give the patient a chance of survival when there is a lower chance of that happening without care. Situations occur when there is a need for rescue operations and not just the treatment of the patient. Emergency Medical Technicians are trained to be able to get the patient out of a vehicle, to save them from water emergencies, and to deal with situations that arise within the mountains and higher elevations. This training is usually done with the help and joint effort of the fire services and other specialty agencies when necessary. The EMT is the first one on the scene most of the time and will need to be qualified to deal with any emergency they may encounter. The most important thing is that medical care be given within a certain amount of time to give the patient a better chance of recovery. Many facets of the job are what make an Emergency Medical Technician such an important part of the entire medical team. Every EMT is trained with a certain amount of guidelines to follow in patient care. This provides a structured emergency scene where all involved know what is happening. The EMT needs to be able to assess the patient quickly and administer the care they need. This means that the first things focused on are the patient's ability to breathe properly, their blood circulation and bleeding control, the need to resuscitate a patient, and whether or not a defibrillator is necessary to revive the patient. An EMT providing this care within the first hour of the patient needing help can give the hospital a good start when the patient arrives and may very well be the key to patient survival in most cases. Have You Ever Thought Of Choosing Emergency Services Professions? Does your life give you the pleasure you thought it would? Have you reached the level of satisfaction you had hoped to? If you find the answers to these questions somewhat not what you thought, you might consider a career in the Emergency Services profession. Believe that you are not the only person in the world who has had the same answers when looking into their lives and where they are in that life. Each of us is looking for something to make us feel vibrant, useful, and needed. Emergency Medical Services can give you such things but only with dedication and hard work. This profession can change your life as it has so many other men and women over the years. With a little training and a large amount of heart for the job, you can become one of the many levels of EMT or Emergency Medical Technician. There is a person out there who may need your help some day. Once you choose to become a part of that special service of EMT, there are a few things you need to know. The Service is split into different levels of certification. The first one and the one most common is the regular EMT. You can choose to become state certified or nationally certified. One is just about the same as the other except with a little bit more study, you can be recognized by the National Registry of EMT's and be able to work in more than one state. Not all states are compatible with your certification so you will need to check about requirements. If you are not planning on working anywhere but at home in your own state, a state EMT certification is the only thing necessary. The next level of EMT is known as the EMT-D. This certification grants you all that the EMT certification does but with one exception: it allows you to use a defibrillator on an unconscious cardiac arrest patient. These two levels are usually reserved for the fire service or for a simple rescue squad. The next level of EMT is known as the intermediate level. This is the level where medication is introduced on a small scale and some procedures that were not allowed are. The amount of training and class hours will go up but this is necessary to prepare you for the stress and tension you are about to undergo. The final level of training in the EMT Services happens to be the Paramedic level. This brings with it a multitude of responsibilities including an extensive list of drugs you are now able to administer with doctors approval. The procedures you can now perform are no longer those that are simple in nature but have increased to a level that can only be described as "life saving emergency care". This may mean opening an airway by inserting an inhibition tube or by giving an IV to a dehydrated patient. These two levels of EMT are found mostly in the ambulance services and hospital emergency rooms. This profession is one of the best but you need to also consider that not everyone can handle it. There will be times when the blood or injuries may be too much for you to handle. Think on this before you take the time and effort to get your certification. If you choose to continue and are one of the special heroes that make a great EMT, GO FOR IT! Become An EMT and Save a Life. What are you doing with your life? Have you achieved all that you planned on achieving, and you can sit back and relax? Chances are you are probably in almost the same circumstances as most of the rest of the world. You are searching for something that makes life seem worthwhile, and necessary. Have you ever tried saving someone's life? It takes a lot of work and dedication, but the brave men and women that do it every day more often than not say they would not change it for anything. These people are EMTs or Emergency Medical Technicians. Becoming an EMT is not as simple as some people would have you believe. If you are currently a police officer or fire fighter, you are halfway on the road to being a registered EMT. The survival skills and the basic first aid you were taught is along the same lines as the novice class of EMT. The four levels of EMT training. Novice or EMT beginner is certified, but does not require registration with the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians).You are taught basic first aid at this level, and mainly assist others that are treating victims at the scene of a crisis. EMT-1 (Basic) requires a certain number of classroom hours with additional hours served in a medical emergency room. Upon successful completion of this level, you will receive certification as an EMT-1 and you will be required to register with the national registry. Your job options are more open at his point, but are limited due to the level of expertise acquired. The skills learned with this level include basic first aid, patient assessment, clearing obstructed airways, bone splints, etc. EMT-2 or 3 (Intermediate) requires all applicants be registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians as an EMT-1 following successful completion of that level, and to fulfill an additional number of hours classroom time, as well as additional hours hands on time served in an emergency room at a proper medical facility. The skills learned at this level include those previously mastered in the EMT-1 level, and move to a higher level. They are more in depth, requiring greater skill and thought, a calm manner and presence is imperative due to the stressful conditions you will be working under. EMT-4 (Paramedic) is the highest level you can be certified for as an EMT. This level most usually leads those that have successfully completed it, to physician's assistants jobs, and some even go further up the medical ladder. The skills acquired at this level are a compilation of those from the other three levels, as well as learning to administer medications, intravenous fluids, emergency surgery to clear blocked airways, treatment of shock, and many other skills. This level EMT is able to assist a doctor, directly or indirectly, and requires the person that has successfully completed the level, to obtain certification, and be registered with the NREMT which must be updated usually every two years. Refresher courses and continuing education are available at every level, in all 50 states in the United States, and also the District of Columbia. Although it may seem more difficult that what you are thinking of, you cannot compare the benefits with any other job. These jobs, as an EMT, are direct interaction with humanity at its best and worst. You will experience joy and sadness, laughter and tears, but it is the very fabric of life that most people never experience. You have the chance to help people, to change lives everywhere and yes, even to save someone's life. It is not the circumstances that matter as much, it is the lives and people, and whether or not you can save them. Your have to have the heart to serve the public and want to help those who desperately need it with no rewards in return. Search and Rescue Emergency Workers Although it sounds like a simple title, these titles are perhaps among the most difficult to maintain. Search and rescue workers are what they sound like. When a disaster occurs, these people are called in for either their help or their expertise, dependant on the level of their skills and knowledge. There are basically three categories that cover most of the field, those three categories being the beginner (novice), support personnel, and field personnel. Keep in mind the fact that all states are different, and the local requirements will vary with each state. Beginning with the novice, or the beginner search and rescue emergency worker, the general qualifications of these workers do not normally include specific duties mandated to solely them. They are mainly placed where they will perform the best. These workers are required to be in excellent health both mentally and physically to suit the task at hand, and they must be knowledgeable of at least the basic search and rescue skills necessary to perform the required task. The general qualifications for the next category of personnel, the support-qualified workers, are similar to the novice workers, as well as some additional qualifications that also vary from state to state. Again, the support-qualified personnel are required to be in excellent condition concerning mental and physical health suitable to complete the job. Their knowledge for the job must include an understanding of the skills that are equivalent to the field search and rescue personnel, but do not have to have the experience nor the physical abilities of field-qualified personnel. First aid knowledge, covering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, protection from the elements, controlling bleeding in all instances both severe and mild, how to handle immobilizing bones, and most importantly, how to protect themselves from blood borne pathogens. Perhaps the most difficult phase of this category is the knowledge of operating a helicopter. These second level emergency workers are expected to understand and know proper operating procedures for a helicopter. This is accomplished by completing a basic course that has been given approval by the emergency management division. If it becomes absolute that the operation of a helicopter is necessary, the support worker must be able to demonstrate his or her knowledge and ability to handle a helicopter, as well as complete both the intermediate and advanced courses (also approved by the emergency management division) before being allowed to complete the duty. The final category, field search and rescue emergency workers, is a position that necessitates top mental and physical performance by the worker, due to the conditions that they may be under at times. Some of these conditions may require survival techniques, which are required, and knowledge of outdoor living at its most difficult. The first aid section covers the same requirements as the second category, those being: knowledge of protecting oneself and others from being contaminated by blood borne pathogens, the ability to control bleeding either minimal or severe, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, protecting yourself from any elements, and handling broken bones. Along with outdoor living, this category requires a definite knowledge of wilderness living, involving map reading, compass usage, and additional methods of navigating as needed. This category also requires the knowledge of operating a helicopter as well as the proper completion of the basic course followed by successful completion of the intermediate and advanced courses if the duty calls for helicopter operation. The emergency management division must approve of the helicopter courses completed for satisfactory fulfillment of the requirements. Search and rescue techniques are mandatory for this category, along with the ability to handle a crime scene by recognizing it as such, and carrying on as necessary to complete the investigation or containment of the site until additional experts arrive. As stated before, these are merely general requirements at most, and should not be followed as rules. Each state differs according to their governing laws and needs. Research into your states requirements concerning these jobs and the different categories will give you a clearer understanding of all that is necessary to become a search and rescue emergency worker. Who Rescues the Rescuers? We all know who to call when there is a fire, an explosion, and yes, even sometimes the odd cat in a tree. We call our local fire department, and they respond to rescue us or those in danger at the scene of the crisis, however, who rescues them from the dangers they face with each rescue or fire control they perform? What do we really know about when it comes to the dangers the firefighter's face each time they respond to a call? Not only are they facing physical dangers that are potentially life threatening, but also they are facing long term threats to their health and the length of their lives. There have been far too many deaths of firefighters that, sadly, could have been avoided if there had been some minor changes made, or other life saving equipment made available. Unfortunately, there are difficulties in obtaining some of the equipment that our firefighters so desperately need. Some of the reasons for this are a lack of money, lack of support, and quite honestly a lack of concern. The old adage, "out of sight, out of mind" seems to ring true when it comes to the fire departments across the United States. Most political authorities take no notice of the men and women that run the fire departments, unless something happens to bring them into the limelight, or unless they are needed at some point in time during said politician's tenure. They are the emergency workers that sacrifice silently in the background, to change and save lives everywhere, but they are also perhaps the most forgotten when it comes to financing or support. Some of the financial cutbacks that occur from time to time in every city or town are more often than not felt in schools and emergency related departments. One has to question the wisdom in these decisions, considering that the schools are our future by teaching our children -- ruin them, we ruin our children, hence our future. The fire departments are the ones that save our property and lives -- in true politician style; this is biting the hand that feeds you. The financial cutbacks make it difficult for the fire departments to obtain proper equipment for their firefighters' protection, which risks their lives even more each time they respond to a call. Will it take them returning your 911 call for help, by calling your phone and saying, " I'm sorry, we are unable to respond to your house fire, due to a shortage in proper fire retardant uniforms, but if you would consider asking your town mayor to grant money to our local fire department, we would be more than happy to respond to your call." While being completely ridiculous to imagine, it may not be as far from the truth as you would first think. Why should they be expected to save our property and our lives, and suffer unnecessary risks to themselves? The key word here is "unnecessary". If we rallied for community support and moved for approaching our local government to demand grants for the fire department, we would then be able to say, we are rescuing our rescuers. These men and women respond to crisis calls daily without a thought of their own safety, and most of them have families that wait nervously for their return. Call your local fire department and see how you can make a difference. There are far too many things to be done by only a few people, so get involved. Get involved in your community, in the care and support of your local fire department. What you put into your community is what you will get back. Write letters to your local politicians to request more support for the fire departments, and volunteer your help wherever they need it. Put your heart into the support, and make it public -- we need to rescue those that rescue us. Personal Protection For Emergency Technicians The use of personal protective gear is not only mandatory in some departments but is necessary of the safety of the individual EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). The personal protective equipment gives the EMT a barrier between them and the infections and injuries that can occur. Certain types of personal protective gear can give you a layer of protection against some very nasty chemicals. Each Emergency Medical Technician has been thoroughly trained in the use of universal precautions and how to use their personal protection gear properly. Listed below are a few of those items that are so essential. The first and easiest precaution to take is simple hand washing. Special hand cleaners are designed to kill germs that regular soap and water can not. After each call, it is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of germs from the patient to the technician or others. When stocking supplies in a medical bag whether for the service or for their own personal use, adding a bottle of antibacterial hand cleanser that uses no water and one that does if water is available is not a bad idea. Besides the hand washing routine the Emergency Medical Technician should institute, gloves are a sure barrier against those nasty germs. There are three major types of gloves to choose from and named so for the material they are made of. They are nitrile, vinyl, and latex. Certain individuals find they have an allergic reaction to latex products so the other options might prove to be a better choice for them. For those germs and infections that travel through the air, there are special face masks and CPR masks available. When coming in contact with large amounts of blood or body fluid, it is best to place a face mask between you and the life threatening pathogens (germs) in it. The masks are there to stop any spray from getting on the skin and to stop the fluids from entering the mouth, nose, and eyes which will be a sure and direct route for the infection to take up residence in the body. CPR masks provide a barrier between the unconscious victims mouth and nose and the Emergency Medical Technician working on them. Electronic and manual equipment exists so that no human to human contact occurs but in some cases the EMT arrives before the equipment does. In those cases preparation is key and a CPR mask is needed. Safety glasses also provide some protection from the germs and infections and can ensure that objects stay outside the eye where they belong. Much other protective gear exists to help protect the individual from the hazards out there but these are some of the most important items used today. Complete body coverage is also used to prevent injuries from occurring in more dangerous situations. For all calls the Emergency Medical Technician can encounter, the gloves, hand washing habits, masks, and eye protection are most essential. Those Emergency Medical Technicians who follow these simple precautions are around to make a difference in many lives over the course of their service to the community. It is in being safe that help is given best and by utilizing these simple items, it can be given safely to each and every individual. Emergency Medical Technicians: Do You Qualify? If you are looking for a fast paced medical job that requires hands on practice of your medical and first aid skills, you may want to consider becoming an EMT which is an Emergency Medical Technician. These people have many different fields they are able to assist in, and there are different levels of skills and certification available. The qualifications vary for each level of EMT, and from state to state. The first qualification is that all applicants must be at least 18 years old, and possess a valid driver's license for the state they are applying in. It is not mandatory, but it would benefit those in high school to attend driver education, science courses and health courses. These will aid them in the future in regards to completing courses for EMT classifications. Being stable emotionally and mentally is of course required, as well as excellent dexterity with good physical abilities. You need to have the ability to handle heavy loads, both lifting and carrying, as well as excellent eyesight. Corrective lenses are accepted, but they may not impede your performance. The three levels of EMTs are EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. These levels require different skills with each that progress in detail and difficulty with each level completed. The entry level positions are mainly geared toward emergency workers that are also referred to as First Responders, these are the police, fire fighters, and others that are more apt to respond first to the crisis. This level includes basic medical first aid, and often leads to the person completing higher courses. These levels of EMT training are available in all 50 states in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia. EMT-Basic requires approximately 110 to 120 actual classroom hours and 10 hours of internship work in an emergency room in a proper medical facility. A list of the instruction provided can be obtained from your local state website, but most of them are general as far as listing airway obstruction, cardiac arrest, bleeding, and many more skills. The applicants that successfully pass both the written test and the skills examination that is given by the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) will receive their certification as a Registered EMT-Basic. Although it varies from state to state, the next level of EMT is the EMT-Intermediate. For successful completion, this level requires additional education of 35 -- 55 hours past the EMT-Basic time frame. Covered in this classroom time are details concerning rapid victim assessment. Administering intravenous fluids, and using more complex airway devices. To qualify for this level of EMT training, the applicant must first be registered as an EMT-Basic through certification by successfully completing all the requirements for the basic level. Those applicants that successfully complete and receive their certification for both the EMT-Basic and the EMT-Intermediate are eligible for enrollment and completion of the final level of EMT-Paramedic. The requirements of this level are an additional 750 -- 2,000 hours of training and skills education. This level is the most strenuous, as well as being taxing, mentally and physically. Once the applicant has successfully completed this final level and has received his or her certification, they are registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Most states require EMTs to keep their registration current, which requires them to re-register, most usually, every two years. This requires them to currently be working as an EMT at some level, as well as meeting their state's set requirements in regards to continuing education. Courses and continuing education are offered in all 50 states at all of the levels of EMTs. If this is a job you are interested in, research your state's requirements for your chosen level. Successfully completing one or especially all of these levels of EMT training will benefit you when it comes to a job search for jobs paying higher wages. Do You Still Dream of Saving Lives? Most people had big dreams when they were young. Can you remember back to when you were just a child, or perhaps your own children have done or said the same thing, "I want to be a fire man or a police man when I grow up." An EMT is not far from that very aspiration. The desire to save someone's life is something, I believe, to be a normal part of growing up, but sometimes along the journey of growing up we lose sight of those childhood dreams and passions, and sadly they are left behind with our many dreams that most people labeled as useless or impossible. Look inside yourself, find that dream and dust it off. Bring it back into the open and think about how you can achieve it. Saving someone's life can be as simple as a phone call or a hello at the right time, or it can be as complex as physically saving their life by administering intravenous fluids or inserting an airway device for someone unable to breathe on their own. These skills are ones you will learn when you begin the EMT courses to receive certification as an emergency medical technician. If you are planning on becoming a police officer, or a fire fighter, you will be required to obtain certification of the beginner or novice level of EMT training. This level includes knowledge of basic first aid skills, as well as simple assessment of a victim and the proper course of action to take for them. This level of EMT is most often referred to as the first responder EMT due to the fact that those that most usually receive certification at this level are either police officers or fire fighters, and they are more often than not the first to respond to a scene. The first official level for EMT certification is EMT-1 or EMT-Basic. The skills acquired at this level are those of the first responders' level, as well as additional skills for treating broken bones, emergency baby delivery, how to handle blood borne pathogens, etc. By successfully completing this course, you will receive your certification and be registered with the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) those that choose to continue their education in EMT, will move on to the next level. The next level, EMT-2 & 3 or EMT-Intermediate, requires more classroom hours in addition to those fulfilled in the basic level. The skills are increased in their detail as well as intensity. The applicant, after having successfully completed the course, will receive certification as an EMT-Intermediate, and will be registered with the NREMT as well. To begin this level, you must be registered with the NREMT already as an EMT-basic. Along with the skills increasing, so do the responsibilities, and you are taught an entirely different way of responding to crisis' you encounter. By continuing to the next level, you will increase your opportunity of finding a better paying job, due to the experience you will get as well as the knowledge and skills you will learn. The final level, EMT-4 or EMT-Paramedic, is the highest level you can achieve as an emergency medical technician. Achieving this level requires approximately 2,000 classroom hours, 100 + hours served in an emergency room at a hospital, as well as registration with the NREMT. Those that make it to this level, most usually continue on as physicians assistant, or even higher. Successfully completing this level heightens your chances of finding better job opportunities, and puts you more directly in contact with crisis situations and people needing your help. Saving lives may not be your ultimate goal when you begin the EMT courses, but eventually you may just end up saving someone's life, and simply because you made the choice to educate yourself, they will have a second chance at life. Join the people that are EMTs, enjoy your life -- save someone else's. Heroes Need Help Too There is no doubt that when trouble arises, no matter what the situation is, there is always going to be some agencies at the ready to help you. This means that the fire department, Emergency Services, and the law enforcement agencies will come when you call. Now consider the agencies itself. When they need help, who is it that comes to their rescue? There is no denying that the ones who are selfless in coming to your aid may some day find a situation that is too dangerous or turn into life threatening situations causing real harm. The death rate of these individuals in the police and fire services alone is enough to make you stop and take another look at this question. There is also the risk tot eh health and well being of the individual that could prove to be a problem later on down the road. You can try to ignore the facts in front of you but that does not mean that it will just disappear or go away. Some of the affluent government agencies are in the belief that it will. This is often true until something on a large scale happens and then one of two things occurs. Either they sweep it under the rug and act as though it was never there or they take the situation and use it to their advantage to further themselves and their careers. At what point are these men and women who give of themselves going to be the main focus and when is it going to be an ongoing thing and not just when catastrophes happen. These workers are giving everything they have for the citizens of this great United States and now it is time to do what we can to be the ones to save them. As one of those citizens who feel they need to make a difference, the easiest way to show you are in support is by sending a note or card to your local fire, EMT. Or police stations and just let them know you appreciate what they do every day. The next thing you can do is to give monetarily to help provide the necessary gear they need to make them safer. Think of this not as wasting money but as an investment into your future safety. With the right equipment and supplies, these heroes may save your life one day. Finally, make sure you let your government officials know just how important this is to you. Write a letter to the Mayor asking them to take a special interest into the services and see if they can help in ways they may not be doing now. Some times these heroes are just not thought of and left in the shadows. Never do we consider that when we need help, we are on our own. Each day there are thousands of police, fire, and EMT's who go out to provide you with the help you need. They ask nothing in return and take nothing for granted. It is our job, as citizens of this fine country to make sure that all of those heroes are taken care of and have someone to be there when they find themselves in an emergency. Why not give back to them what they give to us each day; Peace of Mind.
Police Officers And The Hats They Wear Most people, when talking about law enforcement and police officers, believe they know everything about them. Although they may admit they are not certain of the actual job description that is basically where their knowledge ends. Not many people understand the myriad of sub-titles involved in most police departments nationwide. Most of the positions carry the same weight of responsibility adhered to the phrase "To Protect and Serve", but they are all different in many ways. As an Investigative Detective, you will be required to maintain your composure while investigating high profile and difficult crimes usually during unusual hours. The conditions are, at times, hazardous as well as high stress and require a clear state of mind for decision making either on the spot, or elsewhere. This position has been colored as glamorous by movies and television shows, however, real life often differs dramatically and none of the work is glamorous. The next two 'hats' are slightly less dramatic, but necessary all the same. They are the Bicycle Patrol Officer and the Community Resource Officer. The former of the two requires, of course, biking skills as well as the ability to react quickly. Performing this job, you are able to interact with the general populace in a more personal manner while enforcing the basic laws of the town or city. The latter job consists of interacting with society as a spokesman for the police department, as well as portraying them as having a desire to reach out to the community and neighborhood organizations, as well as schools and groups. This officer makes appearances with the intention of educating people on a myriad of topics while at the same time, bridging good relations with society as a whole. Requirements of this position vary from force to force. As a Narcotics Officer, you are required to be knowledgeable concerning narcotics usage, effects, street worth, etc. Involvement in criminal investigations, witness/suspect interviews, and court appearances (both state and federal) are mandatory. The hours vary, but are most usually irregular, and you are on call twenty-four hours a day. Close to, but different from is the Gang Crimes/Investigation Officer. You will work closely with the criminal investigation division in relation to gang related crimes. Gang activity will be noted and tracked, as well as handled as necessary. FTO (Field Training Officer) position assists in educating new recruits or re-educating current officers concerning issues that are deemed important by a higher up officer. They are responsible for teaching the courses that maintain the highest performance level possible for their respective departments. The Traffic and Motor Officer job description includes but is not limited to, being a member of the Traffic Safety Unit, enforcing proper traffic control, as well as investigating accidents. This officer patrols bike paths and assists where needed in helping to educate the general public concerning issues of traffic safety. They have the authority to enforce tickets and warnings to individuals breaking the laws. Another important position is that of the K-9 Handler. This officer has the responsibility of maintaining his or her K-9 and their health, including training of the dog. They are expected to interact with the general public to heighten awareness of the use of K-9's in police work, and to assist any law enforcement agencies that require the expertise of the K-9's superior senses. These officers are in near constant contact with their assigned K-9 and are expected to interact on a personal as well as a professional level with them. These are only a small number of 'hats' that are worn by the respective police officers. Many of them wear several at the same time, and manage to perform their jobs in a professional manner that bespeaks highly of their abilities, along with their dedication to men, women, and children everywhere. Although they fill multiple jobs at the same time, the one they count most important is their motto -- "To Protect and Serve". Police Officer Requirements Have you felt the call to duty, to aid in protecting your home and the citizens around you, while maintaining peaceful relations everywhere? If you have, perhaps you should consider joining your local police force. Before joining, there is information you need to read and become familiar with, involving the requirements, rules, and regulations. Although every state varies in their requirements, as do each city and county as well, there are many requirements that are similar from force to force. The first requirement listed concerns the age limit. The average legal age to apply for a spot on the police force is 21 years old at the time of filling out the application. This enables the person applying to list their status as a legal adult. Following the age requirement is the education level that is acceptable for all applicants. The average education level required is at least a high school diploma. Some police departments require two years of college as well. If the applicant has had higher schooling, that is considered a benefit and these applicants are more prone to procure the better job positions. You are required to be a US citizen to join any police force here in the United States and have either a birth certificate or legal proof of your citizenship, and must possess a current license to operate a motor vehicle. This license should be accident free, as well as insured. Background checks are of course, mandatory. These are in depth checks, and have a tendency to go back as far as each state or city chooses to search. As an applicant, you should have no criminal record, and your reputation is researched as well. You must be a law abiding citizen currently and in the past. Your interaction with people and under circumstances is checked out as well. Included in this background check, is a financial check. The applicant must demonstrate both in the past and present, the ability to make appropriate decisions. The applicant's health is also a main consideration in whether or not they meet the minimum requirements for joining the police department. The heal section covers the applicants over all health, which must be excellent, their vision, height/weight, and hearing. A vision test is administered, and must be passed for the applicant to be considered for employment. Along with health and vision, is the height and weight of the applicant. There are not many states that have a specific height/weight; however they do require your weight to fit your height and build. Your hearing must be excellent, to enable you to hear whispered conversations, to localize sounds, and to hear in noisy backgrounds. Once you have passed this first part of the requirements, you must undergo written tests and education, as well as pass physical tests, that cover your abilities, endurance, and your presence of mind under stress. These are mainly written tests, but there are tests that follow, that take you through a rigorous action course. If you as the applicant, have made it this far, it would be a travesty indeed to give up just yet. Following being hired, you are required to undergo extensive physical, mental, and psychological training in a Police Academy. Because the job is stressful and demanding physically, passing the Police Academy with an above average rating is a definite plus for you and the position you hold. There are certain benefits and perks packages offered to the new recruits and their families, as well as current officers. These are listed in most of the information packets you will receive once you have completed all the requirements and become a police officer. As an officer of the law, you will take on the responsibility of the safety of the people in the town or city you are employed by, and will be required to swear to uphold the law. This job is not one to be taken lightly; the lives of the citizens are quite literally in your hands. General Job Description for a Police Officer For those of you who are considering a career in law enforcement, it will benefit you to be clear on the job requirements and the official job description if you are applying for a job as a police officer. The average person has no idea what entails being a police officer and very few people understand what is expected of them. This article is written with those of you in mind that is considering a position on your local police force. Keep in mind, this is merely a general description, some towns/cities/states vary widely from others. To completely understand what is required for this job, you will need to procure a job description information packet from your intended employer. The basic description for their jobs is something of an umbrella statement. Police officers are required to patrol both residential areas as well as business establishments. In doing, they are to provide, when requested, protection of citizens and their property, the security of these people and businesses, and last but not least, emergency assistance. If you are looking for a job that has earned the title as 'jack of all trades', it was never more fitting than for a police officer. Once you are past the "over all" description, you find the detailed listings, which for some cities are more like a book in length than a description, that cover the general duties that are expected of police officers. These duties are considered routine, but are not limited as the only duties that will be given at any one time. Because the world is ever changing around us, and communities are growing, these duties are constantly growing and morphing to fit the needs of the community and the people in them. With this in mind, we begin our small dissertation of the numerous duties assigned to the average officer. First and foremost, they are expected to maintain peace and lawfulness wherever they are. They are meticulously trained to be constantly aware of their surroundings, and to be knowledgeable of all the current laws. The are required to observe and apprehend any people that attempt to violate the law, either in traffic, or general law. At all times they must be observant of any criminal activity around them, and be able to handle it as is legally expected. Through the duration of their respective shifts, they are to practice individual decision making skills in relevance to each incident they encounter during this time, and following a full shift they are required to draw up a full report on their activities during their shift and of all situations as they occurred. Along with these incidents in their Activity Report, they are required to fill out their respective state's Incident Form pertaining to each incident, whether traffic stop, or criminal activity. When processing evidence, each officer is required to complete all forms mandated by the respective department, as well as logs or summaries that are included in the process. They are responsible for keeping the information up to date in any ongoing investigations, as well as logging new evidence as it may arise. Once all of the above paperwork has been completed, the officer is required to make necessary decisions regarding the placement or contact of individuals to/about the city's Social Services Department, or any other organizations, both public and private, that may assist in the current situation. In concordance with local law, each officer is responsible for appearing in court to justify his or her decision in cases brought before a judge. Along with the previous requirements, all police officers are also required to perform, to the best of their ability, any other duties that might be assigned to them by their superiors. These may include, but are not limited to, policing duties, community duties, and other duties as well. These are simply the general listings, as with any other information, they will vary from department to department. Teaching Your Children About Police Officers as Community Helpers Without realizing it, you may have given or are giving your children biases and opinions concerning the men and women on the police force in your town or city. Are you able to look back and know, with a clear conscience, that you have done your utter best to teach them respect and appreciation, or have you colored police officers as annoying individuals to be feared. Most people either do not realize or do not care how they react toward police officers, and most of society as a whole, fails to recognize their importance as individuals as well as being officers. The teaching begins at an early age with something as simple as pointing out police cars to your child or statements like, "Sit up and be still, there's a cop behind us! Do you want them to put us in jail?"At this point, your child is beginning to associate fear and dislike with police, even if only on a minimum level, and will grow if fed. It is imperative to teach them to respect police officers, but not to teach your child to be afraid of them. Many towns and cities attempt to allow their officers to interact with every day society under normal circumstances, such as, visiting schools to help educate children about a myriad of different topics. Many police officers visit the schools to teach the children about stranger safety, car safety, etc. This time allows the children to see them as knowledgeable figures of authority that while deserving our respect, are also human, and very approachable. Children need to know they can go to police officers for help or assistance when they need it, but if we allow the negative influences around them to help shape their opinions of the police, we are only serving to stunt their growth as mature citizens, and this can lead to problems in the future. Educate your children about the services and duties the police officers are responsible for carrying out. They need to know what to expect and what not to expect. In today's world, we are being forced to alienate our children from much of societies' influences, due to the negative qualities and effects they have on people everywhere, some of these negative effects are, in fact carried out by rogue or bad police officers. Although they are few and far between, those few have given most of the good officers a bad name. By teaching your children in the right way concerning expectations from the police and what the children are required to do, by law, you are helping to protect them from people that may want to harm them. Check in with your local police department and find out what they offer toward helping educate your children about them as being productive community helpers. You could possibly arrange a tour around the police department, to show your child the jobs that are carried out on a day to day basis. Although you may want to show them the county jail, I wouldn't advise it for younger children. Remember, the idea is to educate them, not terrify them. Many police departments are willing to work with the community to educate the citizens, both young and old, about the important role they play in society. Understanding their job a little better may just be the way to corral community support for your local police officers. Once again, it all begins with you and how you relate to the police officers around you. By being a law abiding citizen, you are not only teaching your child how to behave as responsible adults when they are older, but also you are showing them by example, how to treat people around them, regardless of whether or not they wear a badge. The police officers in any town or city need our support, and teaching your child at a young age to realize this, is one way of promising a better future for them as well as yourself. Police Protection: It Could Be The Death of You Almost daily, we open our newspapers or turn on our television sets, only to hear or read of some new travesty dealing with police officers and a victim that is either dead or in hospital as a result of an 'alleged' crime. How long will we as law abiding citizens allow this to continue? How can we turn our faces away and ignore an ever growing problem across America today. I am referring to those instances like one in 1998, October 18th, an African- American man passed away just over five days after having been beaten, brutally, by St. Paul's police officers that had stopped him for a traffic violation. Perhaps the most shocking piece of information about this incident is the fact that Mr. Graham's hands had been handcuffed behind his back during the beating, and the officers involved claimed he had been attempting to flee the scene in his vehicle. A large majority of the complaints are based on racism, and ethnicity, however, there are in fact incidents that involve Caucasian people as well. In Minneapolis, a white woman was shot to death by police officers that had broken open her locked door in her apartment. After not only breaking open the entry door, but also forcefully entering her personal bedroom, the officers shot her to death. This woman suffered from mental illness, and her crime as stated by the responding officers -- she had her radio playing too loudly. There are far too many stories like these. People, later proven innocent, that suffered drastically at the hands of the very ones that swore to uphold the law and to "Protect and Serve" the community and the people in that community. A young boy, 23 years old, happened to be visiting a friend in Minneapolis in 1994. Police arrived and shot the young man from a distance of approximately 25 feet. This young man died at a hospital, a little over an hour later. According to the officers on the scene, he allegedly had a knife in each of his hands -- this was vehemently disputed by several witnesses. Where does the law that governs society and the law that governs law enforcement officials, end? Are they not one and the same? How can we allow those that claim to be guardians of the law, to twist and tarnish the laws they do not believe apply to them? Granted there are going to be difficult situations and circumstances, but reacting by beating people or killing they should still be punishable by law, even if you are a police officer. We might not like what we read, but how much longer can we show a blind eye, or turn a deaf ear to the tears and crying of innocent souls everywhere. Society as a whole, must band together to see that justice is served for those that are unable to speak for themselves, or are simply ignored. Many have suffered at the hands of an over-zealous police officer, whether it was physical or verbal, none of it is correct. If we continue to allow this behavior and not see that it is punished, we are in a sense, condoning it. There are many organizations throughout the United States that are operating for the sole purpose of making right the wrongs that have been done to so many people. One organization in particular is UCAPB (United Communities Against Police Brutality). This website is mainly for the Minnesota area; however they do provide links for those that wish to find the nearest group that offers support for those that have wrongly suffered at the hands of the police. If you or someone you know has suffered a legitimate mishandling, the web site for reporting such instances is policewatch.us. This site assigns an agent to your case for review concerning the specifics of the situation. Demand justice, demand your rights! Police Brutality: Have We Punished the Wrong People? Today, society as a whole has a tendency to define most actions taken or carried out by police officers as forms of brutality. To fully understand the implication of the word, one must look at the beginnings, of said word. The word brutality originates from the Latin word Brutus, which translates to brute. Brutality would be the act of all of the above. When breaking down the word as such, it begins to take on a far more serious tone, possibly even frightening, when applied to some of the simple circumstances that occur to day. Is it just what we hear in the news and in the paper or is their a real issue here that needs to be taken seriously? Do the police have a choice or are there some certain times when a more forceful action needs to be taken against some of these criminals. Some critics view most of police actions as being cruel, bordering on brutal. How can they use such terminology to judge the countless men and women that risk their lives daily for the safety of everyone, regardless of race, sex, or orientation? These men and women have undergone extensive training, physical and mental, as well as psychological. Some of what they have had to endure, to fulfill a position performing a thankless job with little pay and very few benefits, may well have toughened them up, but they are still human. They make mistakes in judgment calls the same as anyone else. Some calls are purely based on survival and how do we as citizen's judge something like this when we have never been faced with such raw evil. Often, some of the verbal, and too often physical, abuse they must persevere throughout the course of a normal day would border on the definition of brutal; however, society forgets those instances. They find it easier instead to judge them by certain standards, yet ignore what is done wrong against them. Perhaps it is the lack of support for police officers and the jobs they do, that we, as a society, are forcing them to sever any emotional ties they once had for their jobs, and making it almost necessary for them to react as strongly to any situation as they are able. With little or no support, they are virtually left on their own to survive in a world that most people do not even realize exists. Instead of applauding their achievements, we publicly criticize their actions and decisions, only helping to further the dislike, distrust, and disrespect of police officers everywhere. They and their families often feel ostracized from normal society, and sometimes resort to forming their own 'societies or families'. Perhaps it is time we take a step back and look at the terms us so freely use against them, and in all certainty knows what is being implied at any given time. Labeling them as brutal is implying they are no better than animals -- would you call on your animals to handle car accidents, homicide calls, or domestic situations? Of course they are not. Laugh at the idea, but that is in fact what is being said. We might just have the definition of 'police brutality' down to an exact science, but are we pointing our fingers at the right perpetrators? Police officers suffer daily, through all types of abuse, and they are expected to maintain a professional attitude at all times, while wiping spit from their faces, or enduring a string of obscenities from a simple traffic stop. What then is this called? I say it falls under the label of 'police brutality' only it is being done to them, not by them. If we want a change, it has to begin with us. Show support of the police officers, follow the laws and take a stand against those that do wrong. They guard us with their lives -- the least we can do is support them during ours. How Understaffed Is Your Local Police and Emergency Department? I am certain you, along with many others have often wondered at one time or another, exactly where the police officers and emergency workers are after you have called them. Sometimes it takes, literally, hours for them to respond, which results in tempers flaring, and an altogether unwelcome attitude when they finally arrive at the scene of whatever situation is at hand. Believe it or not, with the exception of an odd case or two, they really were not at the donut shop, nor were they sitting parked a couple of miles away, listening to your frantic calls and laughing. These brave men and women are, in short, understaffed. With crime rates as well as the number of emergencies (most of which being crime related) rising steadily in some areas, and the number of badge carrying police officers and certified emergency workers declining, this can only make a bad situation worse. The decline in police officers is due to many different reasons, to name a few: injuries on the job, deaths on the job, and at times, misconduct on the job. However much we try to believe they are supposed to maintain perfect lives they are after all, only human. Some of them are going through or have gone through more drama in their personal lives alone than most people see in a lifetime. That added to the daily drama they work around, can have a negative impact on some people, leaving them jaded and angry at the cards they've been dealt. Some of the understaffed statistics, nationwide are shocking in their severity. The more rural areas also tend to have far fewer police officers or emergency workers than are required by the governing bodies. There are many reasons that affect this shortage of officers and emergency personnel, and one main one is how each city regulates the pay and support of their employees. Many cities have mayors that do not stand behind the police departments or their officers, or do not support the decisions or needs of emergency workers. Although they have some of the most difficult jobs to do, they receive the least amount of support, both financially and morally. Cuts in budgets most often reveal themselves in local police departments through a lack of proper accessories pertinent to performing their jobs, as well as pay cuts. Recruiting new police officers and emergency workers is proving to be a vast dilemma in most cities and states due mostly to the lack of sufficient funds to offer excellent incentives or benefits packages. Money, although mainly important, is not the only determining factor in whether or not new recruits will sign on with each respective department. The lack of support, both legally and morally is at an all time low. If police officers and emergency workers are made to feel un-appreciated, they are slowly forced to withdraw emotionally and physically, resulting in a lack of human contact in their jobs. This not only heightens the chances of potentially harmful circumstances, but also allows the criminals to see a break in unity, possibly encouraging them to perform criminal acts more brazenly. It all begins in the city or state government. Rally for support for your local police department and emergency workers. They need all the help they can get, and the more people that show their support and appreciation, are liable to effect a change in the laws that govern pay and benefits for police and emergency workers. Follow the workings of the city council, and keep up with the changes made. Do not let your city fall into the hands of criminals, that although they are in suits and ties and they were elected to their position, they are criminals all the same if they are cutting the budgets for police departments. Being understaffed is a big problem, and it will not go away until it is dealt with properly. What is Community Policing? Community policing is a well known term for those who serve in law enforcement. Most community citizens do not even realize the depth of what policing the neighborhood entails. Community policing in simple terms means that when the police are doing their jobs to protect your neighborhood or community they are not just going out without a plan in place. There are strategies and ideals that are followed to make sure uniform procedures are adhered to. When interacting with the community, it is essential to understand that the police force is not alone in what they do. It is imperative that the community is also an integral part of helping to keep crime down. When the members of the community join in the fight by coming forward with information and not holding back when a wrong has been committed, it brings about a joint effort to prevent crimes from happening again. This is the essence of community policing. Try to understand that the law enforcement is not a separate entity from your community or neighborhood. Most of them live right in the same town you do. The community police agencies are not only there to deal with crime but also to work to better the community itself whether in the city or county you reside in. the general idea that face to face interactions with the police and the community is vital to a successful neighborhood policing effort. This means that more and more agencies are bringing their officers out to serve on bicycles, horses, and on foot. It is hard to meet others when you sit in a car all day. Getting to know the community on a personal level as well as the police officers more intimately can give you a trust that can not be felt if you are afraid or uncertain about what to expect. On the part of the officer who is expected to be part of the community policing effort, it is essential for them to come into this type of policing with a willingness to serve and a spirit that is open and also not swayed by those he knows. The officer needs to be in a frame of mind to care for what is happening and those it is happening to. When situations arise that the officer may or may not agree with, they need to be able to listen without judgment and be fair to all involved. The officer needs to be sincere about how he treats the community members and not be false in dealing with them. This is the most important part of the neighborhood policing strategy. Community members need to try to understand that for a successful effort to be made, they also need to be unbiased about their opinions of the police in general. Even though they may have had certain situations arise in the past that were not exactly positive in their dealings with law enforcement, it does not mean they need to assume or judge the whole agency in the same way. When the police and the community come together in a community policing strategy, it not only serves to better the trust between the two but it gives a peace in knowing that you truly are protected from the bad elements. Police Search And Seizure There is a term within law enforcement that is known as search and seizure. It is a legal procedure allowing law enforcement officials who have suspicions of criminal activity occurring to search an individual's property and to take anything related to the crime itself. There are rules in place for such search and seizures to make sure that not only are the law enforcement officers covered but also the citizens have their rights rotected. The Constitution of the United States is the particular document ensuring these rights to all involved. Unreasonable search and seizure is not allowed and also defined within the Constitution. This means you have a right to keep your privacy and not have it invaded by anyone who wishes to take it from you. To ensure that privacy is kept, a search warrant is issued before any search and seizure procedure is undertaken. To be more specific, the Constitution of the United States has listed this search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. More common to the whole of society is Fourth Amendment Rights Violations. This Amendment gives the average citizen security in knowing that their homes, personal effects, important documents, and even their own bodies can not be invaded with a just reason. For a search warrant to be issued, probable cause must be shown to the judge or court as to why the search and seizure is necessary. Not all search warrants are issued because of insufficient evidence to show probable cause in a situation. Since the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is, at best, a vague writing, more specific requirements have been instituted by courts dealing with cases of searches and seizures. The ruling has brought about changes that affect the specifics of the Amendment. When a search warrant has been issued, even though there may be probable cause, there are certain exceptions that can occur as to the validity of it. The individual may have questions as to whether or not proper consent has been given to carry out the search. If the individual allows the search to occur without the warrant in place then they must agree voluntarily to it. Unfortunately, there are no set rules as to what makes a search voluntary. In this case, a court will need to decide whether or not the voluntary consent was valid by looking at the entire situation. Law enforcement does not at any time have to inform the individual they have the right to say no to the search. In cases where another person has legal rights to the property along with the suspect in question, they are allowed to give permission to the search without the consent of the other party. The idea behind the search and seizure is to protect the community when a wrong has been suspected. It is also true that the privacy rights of the individual suspect need to be respected and protected. Nobody wants to feel violated in any way and this is why the Fourth Amendment is in place for such situations. To keep yourself safe when faced with any type of law enforcement issue, it is a wise idea to make yourself aware of your rights and to learn what you can about it all. The best thing you can do to make sure this never happens to you is to make sure you are a law abiding citizen and keep yourself out of trouble. How The Police Protect Your 5th Amendment Rights The situation in which a Miranda warning is necessary is in times of arrest or when the suspect is in custodial situations. This means that the suspect does not have a free right to leave if they so choose too but they are not yet under arrest for anything. Miranda Rights are standard before any questioning is done of a suspect about the crime. If anything is said by the suspect to admit guilt in a crime and no Miranda Rights were given and the suspect waived those rights in a voluntary way, the confession or comment is usually not admissible or usable in court. Questions about your address, birth date, and name can be asked without a Miranda Warning being given. Miranda Warnings were authorized to be a mandatory reading as they are now because of the court case of Miranda versus Arizona. This case was ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966 to help protect the 5th Amendment rights of all individuals including suspects and to ensure self incrimination was not coerced out of that suspect. The specific words of the Miranda Warning were not set down by the Supreme Court but were given as a general guideline to follow. Basically, the Miranda must state that the rights of the suspect are; to remain silent, what they choose to say without a lawyer present can be used in court to find them guilty, to have a lawyer with them when questioned and to represent them, and that lawyer can be provided with no cost to the suspect if they can not pay for it. Miranda warnings are not designed to be read or spoken in any order as long as the rights are given and understood. Miranda must be given in such a way as to be understood and it is essential to ask if the suspect understands the rights given to him. A silent suspect is not a waiver of the rights however, if a clear answer is not given, it might present problems later in court. The case involving Miranda versus Arizona was against a man named Ernesto Miranda. He was being accused of rape and kidnapping. While he was being questioned by the police, he confessed tot he charges. Unfortunately, there was no lawyer present and his rights under Miranda were not given to him before the confession was given. Because of the confession only and no other evidence to support the guilt of Ernesto Miranda, he was found guilty of the charges. Three years after the conviction, the Supreme Court decided that Ernesto Miranda was being frightened by the one investigating him and therefore gave the confession not of his own voluntary choice. Because of this, Ernesto Miranda was released only to later be retried and this time witnesses and evidence was used to convict him and caused him to have to serve eleven years in prison. One a weird twist of fate, the man that was to kill Ernesto Miranda in prison was given the Miranda rights and he chose to remain silent. The television police shows have given all of us a view of the Miranda warning in a way that we have grown to expect this reading to occur in every arrest situation. This has become the normal course of things tot he point that most people can recite their Miranda Warnings from memory. Miranda is necessary only when the police are going to interrogate a suspect and keep them detained at the local station or in the police car after detention. Suspects can be arrested and not be given the Miranda. If interrogation is necessary after that arrest, this is the time for Miranda to be used. It is important for citizens to know those rights and when they are to be given that way, their Fifth Amendment Rights are protected. Cameras Installed In Police Cars There is some police show on television each day that reminds us of the fact that a camera is watching our every move. They're very common to all of us now but, really did not surface until the later part of the 1990's as a result of the need for more definitive ways to reduce racial tensions and to prevent lawsuits from being filed. The Community Oriented Policing Services of the Department of Justice in the United States was the first to jump in and offer help to the police agencies that needed funding for the camera installations. The created an incentive program for the In-car cameras which gave monetary aid to any state or highway patrol to ensure they could purchase the cameras they needed. In 2000, the first monetary funds were given. Three years later, forty seven states had been granted over twenty-one million in funds for the camera program. Before the program started, only eleven percent of there law enforcement agencies had a camera in their vehicles. Because of the program, that number has risen to seventy-two percent and is still going up. A national survey was done in 2002 to see just how well the camera program was working and if having a camera in the vehicle was making a difference in a positive way. Only twenty states were used to complete the study of the cameras. To ensure a well rounded course of study seven areas were assessed. These were under the headings of performance and professionalism, the safety of the officer, complaints filed because of police behavior, the opinion of the public, and leadership in the agency, the training, and homeland security. Whether or not you approve of the camera program is a matter of personal preference and choice. It seems to have raised only a little opposition to it as a result of worries over personal privacy. Is it fair to say that a camera in such an open space being used to file the great outdoors would cause a person to be invaded privacy wise? At what point do we have to say that this is just not an issue and needed more for the safety of everyone who is involved. Imagine the amount of money the cameras save each year by reducing the number of false accusations and the court proceedings necessary to rule on such affairs. Because of the camera in the car the general public seems to be more confident in the police and able to trust them more because of the watchful eye on them. Citizens know that if bad behavior occurs on the part of the officer, there will at least be a record of the wrongdoing against them. It is also helping to provide police and law enforcement agencies the protection and piece of mind they need to combat those suspects who are suing due to wrongdoings at the time of arrest. Officers have said that the cameras are great although they seem to be dependant on them more for the facts than they used to be and really want to be. It seems that the cameras are working to better both sides of the spectrum and are helping to ensure fairness in police dealings. K-9 Are The New Breed of Cops We have all seen them in movies, some have even experienced their work up close and personal, and some have wondered -- what are these dogs actually used for? Are they in fact going to be the 'next generation' of police officers? While their expertise is definitely welcome in the law enforcement world today, I doubt they will replace humans, but there are many police officers that prefer working with K-9's and rank them as the highest on loyalty and trustworthiness. The training of K-9's is a meticulous and often strenuous process. There is quite a lot of education that goes into their training, as well as training the handler of the K-9. It all begins with the selection process of each and every dog that is hand picked for training as a police tracking dog. Not all dogs chosen will actually succeed, but the high majority of them do. It takes a special dog, quick witted, healthy, and mentally efficient, to graduate from any course as an official K-9 police tracking dog. Currently, the most popular breed of dog chosen as K-9's are firstly, the German Shepherd, then following close behind is the Belgian Malinois, and for passive police work, Labrador Retrievers are commonly used. German Shepherds are commonly chosen for police work, mainly for their amazing level of intelligence as well as their size and stamina. They are known for being enduring animals, and lasting through much more than the average breed. Not only are they intelligent, they are also capable of being aggressive when necessary. German Shepherds are trained to use their noses the same way, but far better than, the way we use all of our senses. This is required for the ability to track down perpetrators by following either a fresh or cold trail. Some of these dogs have been known to follow a cold trail, and end in success. The aggressive part is necessary as protection for themselves as well as protecting their handler. Not only are the K-9's used as drug finders, but also as explosive finders, as well as simply being a partner to their handler, and protecting them much in the same way another human partner would. The breed of Belgian Malinois looks much like a German Shepherd, but slightly more sleek and smaller in size, but not by much. These foreign dogs are imported from Holland, and are known for their keen sense of smell, as well as their high intelligence rate. They are the second most popular breed preferred for police work, due to their agility as well as their speed, and their endurance. They are used abroad as sheep dogs, which enables them to be natural herders. This used with police tracking training, makes an excellent combination. Labrador Retrievers are sometimes used as K-9's, but mostly in non-aggressive situations. These dogs are well known for their retrieval instincts, and their gentleness. They are the best choice for interaction with children or community jobs. When using labs as police tracking dogs, they have shown success in explosive retrieval, and narcotics retrieval. They are more widely accepted by people in general due to their being one of the most popular choices by families as a companion for their children. Although it may seem slightly dramatic, more and more law enforcement agencies are adding to their police force by incorporating K-9's into their daily duties. Using K-9's can be expensive for any department, considering the purchase price of the dog, as well as upkeep added to frequent training courses with a professional trainer, to keep the K-9 in top form. Both the handler and the K-9 must be trained properly, and will more often than not, be partners for life. Using dogs as a compliment to actual officers on the police force just might be one of the more genius ideas known to man. K-9's are definitely rising in popularity, and could very well be the next 'breed' of cops. Teaching The Next Generation To Respect You may not think so but, the way you ask towards your local law enforcement is making a lasting impression on the views and opinions of the younger generation. The local agencies are made up of men and women who live right where you live. How can you even consider negative feelings about your neighbors who are only there to serve you? What does this teach the younger ones about respecting authority and how to respect your neighbors? Maybe more than ever, we need to reevaluate just what it is we are teaching the children about the roll of law enforcement. It seems that if something is not done soon, it might mean the children of today could be the criminals of tomorrow. None of us want that to happen. If you have a child who is at a very young age, now is the time to make a good impression. Take your child to see the police station in your town. Let them meet those people who make up this special agency. Never give you child any reason to be afraid of these people just because they are in a uniform. Make sure they also understand that if they do the wrong thing, these people are there to make it right. If you child is at the age where they attend school. They will be able to interact with law enforcement with some of the programs they offer. Law enforcement may visit your child's school to teach the children about how to be safe when walking home, how to deal with strangers, and many other useful things. If we do not teach our children about the positive ways law enforcement helps, they will never feel comfortable enough asking for help when they need it. This is most important. Make sure your youngster knows what the law enforcement can help them with. Try to help them to understand what can happen in certain situations. Try to explain to your child that the individuals in law enforcement are no different than you or I; they are just here to help us. Knowing that they are not superheroes may take some of the expectations of perfection off these individuals and provide them a more realistic view. They will have a less frightening experience. Teach them that television shows are not true when it comes to the real thing. They need to understand that bad things happen and when they do, there are no second chances. Show them that law enforcement is the first step to providing a safe place so those bad things do not occur. You local law enforcement can give you a list of programs they offer for children and ways to educate them better on this subject. Older children may need a trip to the jail in your town to get a first hand look at what really happens there and not the television version. You do not want them to be afraid of the law but you also want them to understand that there are consequences tot heir actions. For those who have no children or who just want more information about law enforcement agencies and the people who serve, contact your local agency. You may also take a look on the internet or in your local library for more information.
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