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Tactical EMS

                          SWAT Medics                               

Medics Join Forces With S.W.A.T.

Emergency medical personnel will begin working directly with the S.W.A.T. unit, a new partnership designed to bolster the county’s readiness for mass casualty incident.

Six Crawfordsville firefighters/paramedics were introduced Monday as the newest members of the tactical team.

Jeremiah Thompson, Seth McCloud, Cody Haslam, David Carr, Cody Dyer and Sebastian Shriver will be trained to reinforce S.W.AT. officers at major emergency scenes.

“With the changing times that we’re dealing with now, there’s need for tactical units and fire and EMS working together,” S.W.A.T. commander Mike Kersey said during a news conference at the Montgomery County Sheriff Department.

“We’ve got fire and EMS

getting shot, as well as officers responding to scenes and getting ambushed,” he continued, “so we really kind of need to in a community our size ... stay up with what’s going on in the rest of the country because there’s nothing that says if or when certain things are going to happen here.”

Officials spent nine years trying to create the alliance, seeking to join a growing trend among tactical units nationwide.

Kersey credited city and county emergency services and Mayor Todd Barton for working to bring the agencies together.

He said it was rare for a community of Crawfordsville’s size to have so many medics trained as S.W.A.T. officers.

In mass casualty situations, the medics will be immediately deployed to treat victims while officers secure the scene.

The quicker response would likely increase the chance of survival since medical personnel don’t have to wait until the threat is ended to begin assessing patients.

With mass shootings becoming more common, Barton said law enforcement must adapt their response protocols.

“You know, I hear from the public a lot saying well, bad things aren’t going to happen, this is Crawfordsville,” he said. “Well, you could have said the same thing in any of the communities where really bad things have happened, before it happened.”

The medics will also monitor the officers health and participate in community outreach projects.

Barton thanked the new S.W.A.T. members for the time devoted to joining the force.

The process included oral interviews, a physical agility course, stress test, background checks and a firearms course.

Training officially begins next month. Some of the medics are already volunteering with the team.

Kersey said the rest of the medics would be ready for deployment in the next few months.

The medics said the partnership was a chance to build a relationship between law enforcement and EMS.

Thompson said the S.W.A.T. officers take care of the community, “so this is just an opportunity for us to give back to them.”