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Tactical Medicine

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by Dr. Dukes, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. Dr. Dukes

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I have a question about tactical medicine. On Dallas SWAT (the best and worst show on TV), there is an MD (I believe he is an EM attending @ Parkland) who is also a member of the SWAT team. I also know a DO Trauma Surgeon in Maine who does Tactical medicine.
    Does anyone know how to get into this? In looking at EM residencies I've seen random one sentence mentions of EM residents have a patient care role with the local SWAT team, but it is never really articulated fully. I know most SWAT teams have EMT-Ps on them, but I was wondering about Docs, and how to get into it.
     
  2. NinerNiner999

    NinerNiner999 Senior Member
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    We have established a relationship with the Maryland State Police to provide SWAT team medical direction with our department of special operations. This was difficult to establish, but has been very interesting and fun for those of us who participate. If you would like more information, please PM me.
     
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  3. MedicFL

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    I work on the EMT-P side of things and we have a few DOCS involved but they here are only for medical control they dont have anything to do with the SWAT side of things, but I have done training with teams that there Docs are full members of the team, to do this however you must go through a swat school and at least be a reserve officer with the department legal reasons incase you shoot someone or get shot yourself...
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Dr. Dukes

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    I must plead ignorance here...how long/hard is the path to become a reserve officer and go through SWAT school. I assume it isn't trivial (they give you a badge and a gun) but are we talking days, weeks, or months for reserve cop school?
     
  5. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    It depends on the agency. A state police agency will likely require you to go through their entire academy training. Federal agencies (e.g., DHS, FBI) will also usually require the fully academy training. Local police agencies may just require simple things.

    Niner, you guys also provide coverage for the Secret Service and DHS ICE, right?
     
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  6. aliraja

    aliraja Troublemaker
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    There's a bunch of EM residencies who are doing a lot with tactical medicine these days. At the last ACEP Tactical Medicine section meeting we went around the room and introduced ourselves and I was amazed at the number of people doing the same things that we are. All you've gotta do is ask... chances are good that someone in the area you're in is doing something with a local team. This can vary from simply being on call when the team goes out to actually going to the door.

    Here, we've got 5 residents and one attending who work primarily with Cinci SWAT but also spend time with the FBI HRT, Secret Service (with Ohio being a battleground state, they roll through town a lot), and County team. In 2006 we did 240 callouts amongst the 6 of us... averaging just under one a week. We train with the team monthly, which involves passing the same PT tests and the same firearm tests (handguns and rifles... no sniper stuff) as the rest of the guys. Since we're in the stack and go to the door the thought is that we don't want to slow down the team at all and it's a matter of pride with us that we can keep up with guys who have been doing this for years.

    To get into it locally, either talk to folks who are doing it around you or approach your local team directly. Offer to volunteer your time and ask to come to a training or two so that they can get used to having you around. Our guys tell us daily how reassured they are that we're there and there's no better feeling than working with these guys who put it on the line on a daily basis.

    We're not reserve officers though... and while we all have concealed carry permits, we're not required to carry. The Academy is 6 months here in town so to become officers (or even reserve officers) would just take up more time than we have to give. There's a lot of foks nationwide who are though and it definitely might be something to explore either before or after residency...
     
  7. pushinepi2

    pushinepi2 Bicarb chaser
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    Hate to give mad props to the OTHER institution on Baltimore's east side, but they do have a well developed and established division of special operations. For EM physicians so inclined, there's actually quite a few opportunities for "tactical medicine" training. There's a program in texas that offers a fellowship in government-type EMS support, and many EMS fellowships incorporate tactical medicine into their curriculum. One of our combined EM/IM residents has a thing for tactical medicine, and he just completed some combat medical training with the Maryland State Police as well. Many EMS fellowships that are disaster based offer paramilitary type experience in the form of DMAT and USAR deployments.

    Some websites:
    JHU Division of Special Operations
    http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/emergencymedicine/divisions/dso.html

    Government EMS Fellowship at UT-Southwestern
    http://www.swmed.edu/em/html/_____fellowships.html

    -Enjoy

    p
     
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