Firefighters form tactical medic team

The new Tactical Emergency Medical Support Team will receive protective gear and emergency response training allowing them to respond to large scale emergencies

The Naperville Sun

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Naperville Fire Department is creating an elite team of firefighters to help with disasters, large gatherings and SWAT team operations, city officials said.

The Naperville Fire Department's new Tactical Emergency Medical Support Team is a joint effort between the city's fire and police departments, city spokeswoman Linda LaCloche said. With new protective gear and emergency response training, firefighters soon will be able to follow police into an active shooter or other SWAT team situation and tend to injuries earlier than what is now allowed.

"They could go in and begin triaging," LaCloche said. "They'll be able to remove people from the building sooner."

Additional equipment includes high-end medical supplies and bullet-proof body gear, LaCloche said.

The team also will help with large gatherings, natural disasters and other situations deemed necessary from Naperville police or law enforcement in surrounding areas, LaCloche said.

Each team member will receive 204 hours of specialized training each year, according to a city statement. Each will be certified in pre-hospital trauma life support by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and as "tactical paramedics" by the International Board of Specialty Certification.

The new equipment was paid for by the Naperville Fire Department and the Naperville Foreign Fire Insurance Board.

"Public safety for Naperville citizens is of the highest concern," Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said in a news release. "The TEMS team and partnership between the Fire and Police departments is just another example of how the City strives to serve its citizens in a time of extreme need by working together."

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