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Clayton man among first to receive specialized EMT training

Special photo
Left to right: Paul Beamon, Spalding Regional Medical Center EMS director; Sgt. Travis Towler, Georgia Army National Guard; Mike Cobb, Spalding Regional EMT; and Sgt. Chris Bell, Georgia Army National Guard.

Special photo Left to right: Paul Beamon, Spalding Regional Medical Center EMS director; Sgt. Travis Towler, Georgia Army National Guard; Mike Cobb, Spalding Regional EMT; and Sgt. Chris Bell, Georgia Army National Guard.

A Jonesboro emergency medical technician was among the first civilians in the nation to be honored for completing training in “tactical casualty care” — in other words, how to tend to victims while the bullets are still flying.

Mike Cobb, an EMT with Spalding Regional Medical Center in Griffin, was among nine paramedics and techs who took the Army-designed course in March.

Earlier this month, he and the others were presented with certificates and commemorative coins from representatives of the Georgia Army National Guard. The coins are particularly cherished: Army leaders have been presenting them since before the Civil War to soldiers for outstanding accomplishments.

Cobb, who has also been a Forest Park fireman for 20 years, said it made him “feel proud” that they thought enough of their accomplishment to award them with coins normally presented only to military men and women.

Paul Beamon, EMS director at Spalding Regional, said he pushed for the training because of what happened at Columbine High School in 1999, when two students killed 13 and wounded 23 before taking their own lives.

“A lot of the students that died at Columbine died of superficial injuries, but they bled out because nobody could get to them,” Beamon said.

With the training, Cobb and the others now know “what their position and role is in that environment,” according to Beamon. “Before, they would just be sitting off in the safe zone waiting for the patients to come to them.”

Spalding Regional’s Tactical Medical Group will now be available for service in Spalding, Henry, Butts, Lamar and Pike counties.