Pasco is one of first in the nation to collaborate all emergency - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pasco is one of first in the nation to collaborate all emergency responders

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PASCO, WA -  Pasco is one of the very first cities in the nation to collaborate the fire and police departments for certain situations. It's certainly worst-case scenario but if some sort of mass casualty situation should arise locally, Pasco first responders are well-prepared to save as many lives as possible.

In most active emergencies, casualties can die because EMT's aren't allowed in to treat them until the scene is cleared. That can take hours. So, Pasco has changed that.

"Takes too long for the police to clear an area to say it's 100% safe. So we identified opportunities to be able to integrate that medical care faster into an area that may not be 100% safe but it's safe enough that with training and equipment we can go in and save some lives," said Pasco Police Sergeant Brian Vaught.

"Luckily our chiefs in both administrations have been really aggressive in letting us do the training, paying for the training, and paying for the equipment to do it right," said Pasco Fire Captain Ryan Scellick.

Almost 100 first responders - police, EMT's, paramedics - have gone through hours of training to work together. Ambulances and medic units carry trauma equipment and trained personnel wear vests and helmets, like SWAT team members.

Incredible, the added responsibility is all voluntary.

"We offered it up to everyone and said, you know you don't have to do this, it's not part of your job description but we're going to put it out there. We had an incredible response saying yeah," said Scellick.

"The idea is to save lives. That's the bottom line. if that wasn't it, then we just wouldn't be taking this extra risk," said Vaught.

Right now Pasco is the only city in our region to be collaboratively trained for those situations. But we're told this is in the works for all of Franklin County and Benton County, as well.