Paramedics join tactical response efforts
The team is an offshoot of the Paramedic Services Incident Response Unit (IRU), which is responsible for providing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear medical response. With the new team the unit can now provide tactical medical support to police tactical support agencies. Under the direction of a team leader, tactical paramedics will provide field medical care in a tactical environment including immediate, advanced medical care to police, victims, innocent bystanders and accused.
“Paramedics provide an important community service and have a unique, highly trained skill set that allows them to work effectively in high stress situations,” said Andrew Robert, director and chief of County of Simcoe Paramedic Services. “We are very pleased to partner with the Barrie Police (Service), as well as other first responder units, to enhance the safety and health of our residents and communities with a collaborative approach that is beneficial for everyone.”
The partnership allows Barrie police to better service the community,” said Barrie’s police chief, Kimberley Greenwood.
“We are now linked with other larger police services’ units that have implemented this co-operative approach with great success and we look forward to working with the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services team to enhance the safety of our citizens.”
The tactical component of the IRU will consist of five advanced care paramedics and two supervisors. The selection process involved a written component, a task specific physical test, and an interview. Each member received two weeks of training with Barrie police and tactical medical experts.
The IRU tactical members received specialized training in ballistic wounds, airway management, hemorrhage control and patient extrication in a tactical environment. They also received basic training in weapons, high risk vehicle stops and canine tracks. The IRU tactical component became operational on June 2
“The goal of this partnership is to raise the level of medical care during our tactical deployments,” says Barrie Police Tactical Support Unit Staff Sergeant Dave Jones. “With the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services Incident Response Unit embedded in our unit, a higher level of care is now available not only for our officers but for any person in the community who is involved in a tactical incident.”