The police vow to serve and protect us, but who is looking after them in hostile situations?
The tactical emergency medical support team, or TEMS, hopes to do just that.
“Its a group of medics that’s deployed with the SRT, or the special response team, to provide advanced medical care to the SRT operators or any other civilians or even suspects who sustain any kind of injury,” said TEMS Coordinator, Lieutenant Stephen Shink.
The team is comprised of seven firefighter paramedics, who undergo an additional week long training each year, and over 20 hours of specialized training each month. They even learn proper medical care for Max, one of Naperville’s K9 officers who assists the SRT.
All this extra training helps prepare them for any possibility.
“That spans from high risk warrants all the way down to the marathon, where we’re all in stand-by mode. We are also trained to operate in a active shooter environment through a rescue task force,” said Lieutenant Shink.
Traditionally in dangerous police circumstances, paramedics must remain in a safe zone. But the TEMS team can be close behind officers, ready to administer care.
“They deserve the peace of mind, and their families deserve the peace of mind, knowing that when they go into a very bad place or an austere environment, they’re going to have medical care right behind them, literally within seconds behind them,” said TEMS Team Member and Firefighter Paramedic with the City of Naperville, Scott Howell.
But the TEMS team is not focused on the police alone.
“Its going to help the public too, because when you come down to it, if we ever had a big incident in town, we’d be able to address that on multiple levels,” said Howell.
This collaboration between the fire department and police was created with the safety of everyone in Naperville in mind.
“This gives us an opportunity to help the officers or civilians if need be, to get faster and quicker care and could be the matter depending between life and death,” said Tammey Morris, TEMS Team Member and Firefighter Paramedic with the City of Naperville.
The team began training in July and officially went active in January.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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