Sudbury police and paramedics announce new Tactical Emergency Medics Program
By Canadian Press
By Canadian Press
Sept. 2, 2021 – The Greater Sudbury Police Service and the City of Greater Sudbury Paramedic Services in Ontario celebrated the official launch of the new Tactical Emergency Medics Program on Sept. 1.
Members of the media were invited to attend a demonstration at the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre in Azilda where the new tactical paramedics unit participated in a simulation of an injured person rescue.
The unit worked with members of the Greater Sudbury Police Service’s Emergency Response Unit to recover an officer and a civilian from the scene while the suspect—considered armed and dangerous—was still at large.
The demonstration was meant to highlight the Tactical Emergency Medics (TEM) team’s ability to provide emergency medical assistance on the scene during critical incidents in conjunction with the police.
“The new tactical paramedic unit consists of nine members that are specially trained to provide on-the-spot care for Emergency Response Unit officers, victims, and others affected by a critical incident,” said Deputy Chief of Emergency Services Paul Kadwell.
“A critical incident may include, but it is not limited to barricaded suspects, hostage situations, active shooters or high-risk warrant executions. Having specially trained and equipped paramedics standing alongside Emergency Response Unit officers will help ensure fast and appropriate medical care for everyone involved in the scene.”
Insp. Marc Brunette of the Greater Sudbury Police Service said local police and paramedics have always had a close working relationship.
“The program takes our combined efforts one step further in ensuring a collaborative response during really high-risk, critical police incidents,” said Brunette.
“The members of our Emergency Response Unit represent some of our police service’s most trained police officers. They provide support to our frontlines with a variety of skill levels.”
The TEMS program has been in the works since 2019 when Greater Sudbury Paramedic Services presented a business case for a tactical paramedic program during the 2019 budget process.
City councillors threw their support behind the project, and over the last nine months, members of the new unit have acquired additional training and knowledge to prepare themselves for their new role.
All nine members of the unit were selected from Greater Sudbury Paramedic Services based on a variety of factors, including interviews, as well as practical, physical and psychological testing.
Last summer, the York EMS Tactical Paramedics traveled to Sudbury to deliver a tactical combat care program and simulated training for paramedics in the Emergency Response Unit.
Local paramedics and police officers alike believe the TEM program will make a real difference in emergency response in Greater Sudbury.
Paramedics will be able to provide immediate care during situations when it might be needed most.
“This endeavor has been long overdue. A lot of effort has gone into this,” Staff Sgt. Ed Stiller, team lead for the police service’s Emergency Response Unit.
“In critical incidents, seconds count. Having the appropriately trained personnel working directly with us side-by-side, being available for immediate care makes absolute sense.”
Members of the tactical paramedic unit will not be armed, but they will wear protective equipment and be clearly identified with a paramedic marker while they are in the field.
“The Emergency Response Unit activates whenever fairly serious or potentially serious events can happen,” said TEM Team Lead Shawn-Eric Poulin.
“We’re talking about knives, guns, explosives _ that type of thing. Knowing that we can be there and start providing care immediately gives us (some) solace because we have the skills and I know that it makes police officers more comfortable, as well.”
When not assigned to a critical incident, the tactical paramedics will be responding to emergency and non-emergency calls within the community while continuing to develop their skills through training.