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Tactical EMS team approved by Wausau Council Tuesday

Ambulance image copyright Shutterstock, Inc.
Ambulance image copyright Shutterstock, Inc.
Josh Finke discusses Wausau'... (Download MP3)

WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  Marathon County will soon have a new emergency response team for very special situations. It’s called a Tactical Emergency Medical Service or TEMS team. Josh Finke helped coordinate the proposal with the City of Wausau, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department, and members of Aspirus Medivac staff.

He says the team will combine emergency medical technicians with SWAT team members to have emergency medical help on scene during dangerous missions. "Our part of it is from an EMS standpoint providing tactical EMS care with our primary focus being to an injured officer if there would ever be an injury during a tactical event.”  Care could also be provided for other victims at the scene.

Finke says the medical team members will use the same protective gear in the field as the SWAT teams without the weapons, and both officers and medical staff will be cross trained.  "It teaches EMS personnel tactical movements, so more police related movements and it teaches police some EMS care,so it's kind of a combined class that teaches both ends of the environment, and it focuses on trauma care."

Wausau City Council approved the TEMS team Tuesday night. Finke says implementing the program shouldn’t take long now.  "We're hoping to get something going here in the next 60 to 90 days.  We've had a lot of discussions already with the Sheriff's Department and we're very close.  We've worked with the state to get a license for this program already.”

The TEMS team will service all of Marathon County once training is complete. Finke says the concept was developed on the west coast and is becoming popular now in the midwest. This is the thirteenth licensed TEMS team in Wisconsin.