Immediate Paramedic Tactical Response Unit in a Civilian Emergency Medical Service: The First Year Experience

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Kamarainen A, Virtanen J, Lintunen J, Kolkkinen J, Nykopp I, Isotalo M, Valimaa J, Uotila T 21(1). 90 - 93 (Journal Article)

Purpose: An immediate paramedic tactical response unit was implemented into a civilian emergency medical services (EMS) system. This was compared with the preexisting traditional tactical EMS support (TEMS). The primary aim of the study was to evaluate the effect on tasking frequencies. The secondary aims of the study were to assess mission timings and the effect on patient encounters. Methods: Paramedics with tactical emergency medical training provided immediate response on a 24/7 basis. They responded to support police in high-risk TEMS scenarios and incidents in a Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) role. Tasking frequencies, timings, and clinical input were compared between the first year of immediate response and 3 preceding years of TEMS. Results: The number of TEMS dispatches increased from an average of 5 to 54 annually. The median time from dispatch to scene arrival decreased from a median of 54 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] 39-65) to 17 minutes (IQR 11-26) (p < .0001). The overall mission duration decreased from a median of 3 hr 13 min (IQR 2 h 29 min to 4 h 40 min) to 1 h 12 min (IQR 34 min-1 h 18 min) (p < .0001). The number of treated patients increased from one minor injury annually to 13 severe and six minor injuries annually. Conclusions: Implementing immediate tactical paramedic response significantly decreases response time and mission duration and increases the number of activations and resultant number of treated patients.

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