New video trains emergency responders to recognize child abuse

FILE - Williamson County EMS (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Williamson County EMS (KXAN File Photo)

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County EMS has put together a 43-minute training video for EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and even law enforcement. It’s more advanced than the basic training they’ve received in the past.

The training will help emergency responders recognize more than physical injuries they’re used to seeing, but the emotional and behavioral signs of child abuse as well. About 500 first responders throughout Williamson County are expected to benefit.

Austin-Travis County EMS also provides training in child abuse. They say it’s important because emergency responders are usually the first on scene to notice if something doesn’t seem right.

“They’re looking at the environmental situation, they can identify other children that may be potentially at risk, they’re able to tell us about interactions of caregivers on scene,” explains Dr. Katherine Remick, interim deputy medical director for Austin-Travis County EMS.

The video will be publicly unveiled Wednesday morning. County leaders will also provide a tour of the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center, where child abuse victims are taken after the abuse, to figure out what happened.

Nearly 800 children were interviewed at the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center last year, many of them as victims of suspected child abuse. Nationally, more than 600,000 children experience abuse or neglect each year, and about 1,500 children die from abuse or neglect.

KXAN’s Lauren Kravets got a new look at the video on Wednesday:

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