Valley first responders focus in on human trafficking - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Valley first responders focus in on human trafficking

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Las Vegas area law enforcement agencies collaborated with an anti-exploitation organization to train first responders on how to assist sex trafficking victims in the field.

“We see them all the time but we don’t recognize the signs or victims of it,” Community Ambulance Paramedic Melanie Bangle said.

The week-long training session focuses on outreach and impact through a victim-centered approach to end human trafficking.  

First responders with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force attended the training organized by the group iEmpathize. 

“We’re basically taking the field providers and the emergency room and putting them under one umbrella,” Las Vegas and Fire and Rescue Paramedic Matthew Driscoll said. “We want to fix this problem and at least start having a conversation about it.”

The victim-centered approach focuses on the needs and concerns of a victim as opposed to their circumstances. According to experts at the event, a victim-centered approach will minimize re-traumatizing and ultimately help victims get out of trafficking.

“This is huge for me,” Bangle said. “It’s changed my life. The only way to stop it is a collaboration. The village has to be involved,” Bangle said.

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