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01/18/04
Savannah Company Trains Tactical Medics
U.S. Border Patrol training in El Paso, Texas
U.S. Border Patrol training in El Paso, Texas

The Department of Homeland Security has selected Rescue Training Incorporated to conduct emergency medical training for the U.S. Border Patrol. RTI was awarded the contract for its experience in training medics for the U.S. Army Rangers, as well as numerous law enforcement agencies.

The tactical medic is a rare breed. When Savannah's Emergency Response Team was called to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist during that tense October stand-off, they had back up.

"Any time that Savannah's ERT is deployed, a tactical medic goes with them," says David Hall, president of Rescue Training Incorporated.

As the name implies, tactical medics are Emergency Medical Technicians with specialized training in Emergency Response Team tactics.

"If you're going to be a medic supporting a Tactical team," says Hall, "you've got to know what the tactical team is doing in order for you to get there as quickly as possible and provide the best level of care."

And that's where Rescue Training Incorporated comes in.

"Having a tactical medic available immediately to be able to take care of a wounded person is a lifesaving skill and that's what we teach," Hall says.

When paramedics are called to respond to a crisis, they're caught in a dangerous catch-22: they must provide badly needed medical care, but they can't move until the situation is brought under control by law enforcement agents. The time spent waiting erodes the "golden hour" - that narrow window of time when EMTs can do the most for their patients.

"In a tactical situation," says Hall, "the [time] required to create that level of stabilization may be enough to cause somebody to bleed to death."

Hall estimates that the training programs for the Border Patrol will bring more than $500,000 to the local economy.

Reported by: David Rousseau, drousseau@wtoc.com

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