It's a typical day on Fort Polk, with soldiers, civilians and family members going about their daily routines when a call comes in to the Directorate of Emergency Services police desk.

It's a typical day on Fort Polk, with soldiers, civilians and family members going about their daily routines when a call comes in to the Directorate of Emergency Services police desk.
"Help," the caller screams. "He has a gun and he's taken hostages."
Based on the information received from the DES E911 systems, the emergency operator notes the call comes from bldg 350 — the Fort Polk headquarters building.
Immediately, the installation special reaction team — a 14-person unit of highly trained military policemen — is dispatched. On the team's arrival, they set up a perimeter and begin assessing the situation. As they move through bldg 350, they find a victim suffering from a gunshot wound. With the area still unsecure, who will tend to the victim?
Thanks to the initiative of team medic Sgt. Jason Pruitt, team members will soon be qualified to provide basic life support, CPR and use automated external defibrillators.
Pruitt, 204th Military Police Company, 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, is not only an MP, he's also a licensed practical nurse. With that background, it's no surprise he's also the SRT's medic. He said expanded first aid training is important for police officers.
"If we're trained as EMTs (emergency medical technicians) or LPNs (licensed practical nurses), we can provide both police assistance and medical care if it is needed," Pruitt said. "And those skill sets can be a benefit in the civilian world or combat."
That's why Pruitt and his teammates received training on the AED and CPR during a class at Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital Aug. 14. Pruitt said it's important that he is not the only team member trained in medical care.
"If I need assistance, the whole team can assist (if trained)," he said. "And if I go down, they can step in."
First Lt. Brittany Bowen, 91st Military Police Detachment, 519th MP Bn, is the SRT officer in charge. She said having team members trained as first responders is a force multiplier.
"When we get a call, we're acting as first responders," she said. "Our immediate mission is to get rid of the threat, then provide first aid. Our job is to protect and save lives."
Bowen said the training soldiers typically receive is combat related.
"This (training) is more real world, what law enforcement in the civilian world would see," she said. "With this training, we'll be able to start care before EMTs arrive on scene."
Team member Sgt. Edward Pfeifer, 258th Military Police Company, 519th MP Bn, said the training allows his unit to help both victims and themselves.
"We need to be able to help everyone — soldiers, civilians and ourselves — get out of a situation alive," he said. "This helps us do that, as well as gives us skills we can use every day in our regular police role."
Team leader Sgt. Joseph Peace, 258th MP Co, agreed.
"As a special reaction team, we're trained to neutralize special threats," he said. "But at any time our job can turn into one of life-saving as well, so it's important to have these (medical training) tools in our pockets so we can take the necessary steps to save lives."
Pruitt said he's received nothing but support from his chain of command.
"Leadership has encouraged me the entire way," he said. "The chain of command wants the whole team to be well-rounded. My goal is to get everyone EMT certified."