New training in Davidson County raises awareness of strangulation

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 21:21:35-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It is one of the deadliest red flags. Abusers who strangle their victim are 750 percent more likely to kill that person in the future. A new training in Davidson County aims to raise awareness about strangulation response.

The strangulation response committee was created in order to standardize a community-wide response to strangulation incidents in Davidson County. The Office of Family Safety partnered with different agencies on a series of training surrounding strangulation, how to recognize the dangers and signs. Agency partners include Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville Fire and EMS.

Officials say 50 percent of strangulation victims don't show any visible physical signs or symptoms, but they could have internal damage. Some victims may also not remember what happened to them. By asking the right questions, first responders can better help victims.

Strangulation is any time someone cuts off your breathing. It could be using hands around their neck or even sitting on someone's chest.

"It can take as little as 90 seconds for someone to die from strangulation," said Becky Bullard with the Office of Family Safety.

From January to March 2019 all of the Nashville fire department's 350 personnel and paramedics received a one hour training on strangulation identification and response.

"Our ability to ask the right questions to interview our patients correctly make them feel safe allows us to get more information and take them to right facility and get the right kind of care," said Fred Smith, assistant Chief of Nashville Fire.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call the at Metro Office of Family Safety at 615-880-1100.

You can visit them at 610 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.