Commentary by Scott Fadness
We, as residents, ask a great deal of our public safety professionals. We are reminded by the national news that it is increasingly more important to ensure that our emergency responders are thoroughly trained and able to make split-second decisions. Both the Fishers Police and the Fishers Fire & Emergency Services departments have instituted a culture of continued education, and as a result lives are saved, families are offered comfort and our community is safer.
Recently, a group of Fishers firefighters were participating in dive training exercises in southern Indiana in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources. The evening they arrived to prepare for the training ahead of them, the group was notified of a possible drowning nearby in a rural area. As they were the closest dive team by at least a couple of hours, they gathered their gear and serviced the call.
The situation was a difficult one. Information was limited. Emotions were high among the witnesses. Our crew went to work, and dive operations continued until early morning when the victim’s body was recovered. It is my hope that the fast actions of our team helped bring closure to the victim’s family in a timely manner.
On another night, our police officers responded to a call regarding an individual having a severe mental health episode that had become violent. Through a partnership with Community Health Network, Fishers officers are trained in Crisis Intervention Team training. In this instance, our officers were able to invoke de-escalation techniques, subdue the individual using non-lethal means and get the person the care needed.
These outcomes were possible in both instances because our public safety teams have been properly trained. Adequate and appropriate training of our public safety employees is what sets our police and fire departments apart from so many others. At times, you will hear people discuss the amount that is spent on training for these individuals. When they answer your call for help in Fishers, I can assure you that you will see a return on your investment.