WENTWORTH, N.C. -- In the wake of yet another school shooting and a year after Newtown, a local sheriff's office is preparing deputies for any disaster.
The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office implemented its Trauma Care program following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.
Sheriff Sam Page spoke to WFMY News 2's Patrick Wright about the program Saturday. He says every second counts in cases like Newtown.
"Three to five minutes can mean the difference between life and death," said Page.
Sheriff Page's goal is to have all of his officers go through the program by Thursday, Dec. 19. That includes civic officers, deputies and detectives.
"We don't know when the next mass shooting situation is going to occur," said Page. "But, I want my deputies to be prepared, and we're doing our part."
It's a two-day training program that teaches officers combat techniques and how to care for bleeding victims. The techniques are similar to those used by American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lt. John Deane, who spent more than 21 years with the U.S. Army, teaches the course. He says officers have to be prepared for anything.
"A lot of times law enforcement's going to be the first on scene. The clock is ticking," said Deane. "Your life is literally in the balance, and you have an opportunity to make a difference right then to try to save a life."
Page hopes his department's Trauma Care program can be a model for agencies across the country.
"This puts this in the hands of every deputy in the field, every detective in the field," he said. "And I think that's doing a great thing to improve the level of care and service in our communities."
The Sheriff's Office is partnering with Rockingham Community College to train Rockingham County officers.
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @ptwright
Rockingham County Sheriff's Office