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Becoming the Badge: First Responders

This week on "Becoming the Badge," El Paso police recruits are learning how to render aid when they arrive at an emergency scene.

This week on "Becoming the Badge," El Paso police recruits are learning how to render aid when they arrive at an emergency scene.

They’re preparing to give medical attention in an emergency.

The 66 police recruits have now entered their third month at the academy. This week, they're learning the lifesaving role officers can play as first responders who rush into emergencies, while others are rushing out.

“If somebody is injured or stabbed or shot the first face they are probably going to see is our face,” said Damian George, recruit and company commander.

This week, recruits learned how to apply different types of tourniquets, pressure dressings and other important first aid skills.

They also became CPR certified.

For former nurse recruit Sarah Tew this is the week she was looking forward to.

“A hospital job is a bit different than in the field even though you have the same intention,” Tew said.

Recruits are also practicing how to get injured victims or fellow officers to safety by perfecting different types of carries.

The female recruits also proved they can carry their male partners to safety.

Then the recruits used what they learned in a scenario training.

“The scenarios were pretty hectic,” recruit Samuel Quattlebaum said.

“It was challenging. But this is what I’ve been longing for, for very long to be at that scene, to be the hero,” Tew said.

Recruits haven't learned tactics yet for clearing a building, so the training this week was solely to test their reactions to assess and carry victims to safety.

“The sole purpose of having a training exercise is to put that stress on them and see how they react to that stress,” George said.

“Right now I’m a little nervous,” ecruit Jesus Lucero said.

Now at the three-month mark, George is working on keeping everyone in line.

“I’m there to remind them not to get too comfortable,” he said.

It's the same for platoon leader Quattlebaum. Outside of being a class leader, Quattlebaum is planning a wedding.

A native of Washington state, he was stationed at Holloman Airforce Base.

“I came down here for a girl,” he said, and now calls El Paso home.

A community he plans to serve and protect.

“I base everything off of morals,” he said.

He said the academy has been more challenging than he expected.

“Coming from the military I guess I had pretty low expectations for the police academy. But it’s been a lot rougher than I imagined, especially academic-wise. It has been torturous,” he said.

Instructors got on Lucero about his physical training after noticing he wasn't doing all of the required repetitions during workouts.

“You mess up something like that instructors are going to be looking at you more often,” Lucero said. “It's my fault. I’ll take responsibility for that.”

This week, recruits took their second quarterly exam.

“I came a little short on the quarterly,” Lucero said.

“I have a hard time with my academics this week, actually,” Tew said.

That is a major setback, which threatens to bring their time at the academy to a close.

“We are still here. We are stilling hanging in together,” Lucero said.

“I think I’ll be making it to graduation,” Tew said.

Next week will be a somber one at the academy as recruits honor fallen heroes and say goodbye to some of their fellow recruits.

That's next Sunday night on "Becoming the Badge."

If you're feeling inspired, the department is now hiring for its next recruit class, which starts in February.

To apply: https://www.elpasotexas.gov/police-department/join-eppd

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