Cleveland Police Add Paramedics to SWAT Unit


 
 

Mark Puente | | Wednesday, January 30, 2008


CLEVELAND -- Cleveland paramedics will soon be dodging bullets with the police SWAT unit.

The Cleveland Police Department is following a nationwide trend of assigning paramedics to its SWAT team. The four medics selected from the 32 EMS paramedics and firefighter-paramedics who applied could be on the streets by May 1. The first series of tests started Monday.

Across the country, law enforcement agencies have developed similar programs. Two doctors on the Dallas SWAT team are credited with saving the life of a police lieutenant who was shot in the neck during a raid last October.

Being a tactical medic doesn't just mean wearing body armor and waiting for a hostile situation to end. They will join SWAT members in serving high-risk warrants and dealing with hostage situations.

Having medics near the SWAT team could save lives, said Laura Palinkas, assistant director of Public Safety.

The four members will be chosen after agility tests and interviews with SWAT team leaders.

The medics will train with the SWAT team for about two months. They also will attend the International School of Tactical Medicine in California for two weeks.

The city's assistant medical director, Dr. Matthew Evenhouse, from MetroHealth Medical Center, will supervise the medics.

The medics will not carry weapons but will be shown how to use them, said Sgt. Dan Galmarini, a SWAT supervisor.

Paramedic Shanna Stosak, 28, was the only female to apply for the position. She has been employed by the city for one year and is looking for a challenge.

"This is something new and exciting," she said.

Candidates on Monday had to perform physical tests, including pull-ups while wearing a 25-pound vest, climbing a four-foot wall and a six-foot fence and dragging 200 pounds about 40 feet. The final test was a 1.5-mile run under 16 minutes.

One paramedic had to be wheeled out on a stretcher after injuring his knee while climbing the fence.

Fortunately, three paramedics were nearby.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: mpuente@plaind.com, 216-999-4141


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Operations and Protcols, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Details on Discipline Released in D.C. Investigation

Interim fire chief claims punishment was not severe enough.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters Recovering from Injuries

One of the four remains in critical condition.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Three Kentucky Firefighters Injured in Ice Bucket Challenge

Campbellsville tower ladder comes in contact with power lines.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

NAEMT: Transforming EMS

A look inside at the Mobile Healthcare Paramedic system.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >