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Life-saving Medical Care for Law Enforcement Officers

When a police officer taking his fitness test during SWAT school at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Ohio, dropped to the ground suffering from cardiac arrest, Brian L. Springer, M.D., jumped into action and resuscitated the officer.

“We had an automated external defibrillator on him within minutes and got his pulse back after a shock,” Springer said. “He was helicoptered in critical condition. Twenty-four hours later, he called me on my cell and thanked me for saving his life.”

As director of the Division of Tactical Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Springer and Jason R. Pickett, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine, work with regional law enforcement special operations teams in aviation, bomb disposal and SWAT teams that work in dangerous environments where injury is a constant threat.

The division, a component of the department’s Center for Prehospital and Operational Medicine, supports medical care of law enforcement agencies’ special operations through qualified faculty serving as tactical medical providers. Springer and Pickett are medical advisors and liaisons, providing lifesaving measures in the tactical environment and initiating medical care as necessary. They teach the officers about self-care and buddy-care and tactical emergency medical support.

“We know that the sooner that treatment is initiated, the better the odds of survival,” said Springer, who also is an attending emergency physician at Kettering Medical Center.

Read the full story in Vital Signs.

Last edited on 04/19/2017.