Tactical Emergency Medical Services
During the initial planning for each Urban Shield, the question is asked, “How are we going to ensure the safety of participants?” Considering a model of care that is evolving, an evaluation is conducted, a plan is developed, and equipment/supplies are acquired based on a risk/hazard assessment. The event proceeds, care is provided and an After Action Report (AAR) is completed. This sequence of events has occurred every year since 2007.
The Medical Team of Urban Shield has evolved, each year surpassing the performance benchmarks of each prior year. Our Mission is to ensure that our participants have the best possible medical oversight and care to ensure that they can go home at the end of the day. This goal has been the driving force behind the Medical Branch of Urban Shield, with the motto of the Medical Team being “Keep ‘Em In The Game.
The following are some highlights of the Medical Branch.
1) Medical Oversight- Urban Shield has had a Medical Director since 2007. Dr. Brian Blaish, Commander of DMAT-CA6, and CDMSA as well as Dr. Dan Kate has, and continues to fill this role.
2) Medical Contingency Planning: Months of preparation, collaboration, and multiple hazard/risk assessments are conducted to ensure the well being of participants and support staff. Medical Site evaluations are conducted to ensure access to care. Resource allocation and utilization of numerous medical personnel source pools are procured.
3) Operational Support: Each year SWAT teams are surveyed during check-in to determine medical assets and resources that arrived with participating tactical units. In prior years, these personnel were an untapped resource. Identifying them allowed for them to be briefed into the overall Incident Command Structure (ICS) for Urban Shield. They are briefed on procedures pertaining to triage and treatment and transport of participants, thereby adding another level of safety to the event.
4) Quality Improvement and Post Incident Analysis: Pre-event medical questionnaires, baseline physical assessments, medical risk identification and health surveillance are tracked throughout the event. Documentation of each encounter and all medical communication with the Departmental Operations Center (DOC) is collected, evaluated, and some data trended. Each year has seen progressive improvements and new utilization of this data. In 2011 an FDA approved research study was done on a stratified sample analyzing the hydration status of these extreme athletes over a sustained operation.
5) Training, Education, and Sustainability: Urban Shield lends a unique opportunity to insert tactical medical training into the event. In 2011, a module of instruction was conducted at four Medical Aid stations simultaneously during the first operational period. The topic was penetrating chest injury in body armor, triage, assessment and treatment. Teams were then presented with a number of realistic “officer-down” scenarios in which the team utilized the products and techniques they had just learned, allowing for simultaneous clinical practice to bolster the theory they had just been taught. We will again be including a module of instruction in 2012.
6) Medical Equipment Acquisition and Maintenance: Urban Shield is an outstanding venue to showcase different products utilized in a tactical environment and evaluate its effectiveness 30 to 31 times in 48+ hours. Multiple benefits are had by all:
Teams: Obtain hands-on exposure to supplies, products and applications. Teams can take back experiences for individual department evaluation.
Vendors/Sponsors: Get products in the hands of medical professionals and have the products field tested in a unique environment. Feedback is provided and information sharing occurs. Vendors/Sponsors can take feedback of items being used in a tactical medical environment back to their Company for product improvement.
Medical equipment is procured and utilized year after year and is available for real world deployment.
Medical Staff: Receives ongoing hands-on experience with this equipment throughout the event. Other medical resource staff can utilize and train on their equipment and pool resources. Exposure to this array of equipment and the utilization of this equipment for assessment and treatment purposes increases the confidence level of medical staff.
Urban Shield 2012 will prove to be a further improvement of last year’s process, with the continuation of the facilitation of new relationships with medical resources, and further provision of critical medical skills training to all SWAT participants.
Our goal is to utilize an out-of-hospital system of care dedicated to enhancing the probability of special operations law enforcement mission success and to promote public safety. It is an honor to support the training of these brave men and women.
This is the Medical Mission of Urban Shield 2012.