Posted on Sep 01, 2017
Dan Schoonmaker, City of Poulsbo Chief of Police, on Community ResilienceDan spent 27 years as an officer in Westminster, CA, mostly on SWAT. Along the way he earned his BS in Emergency Management and Masters in Criminal Justice. He moved to the Northwest in 1990 and was elected to his current post in Dec. 2016. His career took an abrupt turn on April 20, 1999: the day of the shootings at Columbine HS. It changed his mind about the way police handle community police actions. On that day, police officers arrived on scene and waited for SWAT to arrive to handle the situation. That was SOP then. Bystanders also don’t react as quickly as they should. They don’t call 911, they don’t apply first aid or help the victims, they video the action. Police and Fire Departments began to think about how to close the gap between the inception of an incident until units arrive on scene. The First-Care Provider concept was born: a pilot gave teachers training and skills to respond, not as ER personnel, but as first responders. This gave them the skills and confidence they could do the right thing. In tests, response times dropped dramatically. DHS now has a “Stop the Bleed” program. Previously, tourniquets were a bad thing, but they can really save lives. YOU can make a difference! Call 911. Stop the bleeding! Provide comfort until emergency responders arrive. Check Poulsbo Facebook page for information. Get involved!