Winnipeg Police and the Fire Paramedic Service have created a new shared unit known as the Tactical Emergency Medical Support or TEMS.
Prior to the creation of TEMS, Winnipeg police required their Tactical Support Team to contact the fire paramedics service and ask them to be placed on standby.
The new unit, staffed by an elite team of paramedics, will accompany police to directly potentially violent situations instead of waiting on standby.
These folks have volunteered for these positions, they've actually competed for these positions,” said Fire Paramedic Chief John Lane. “The physical standards were very high; the training was very demanding; they weathered through it all to be successful in the end.”
Lane said the Moncton massacre demonstrated clearly the dangers police face daily in the line of duty.
“We're just so pleased that we can bring the officers of the Tactical Support Team that much more peace of mind,” he said. “That high quality paramedical service is completely integrated and right alongside them as they are conducting these tactical operations.”
In 2013, there were 155 operations where an ambulance was needed at the scene, police said.
Mayor Sam Katz applauded the move.
“I am proud that our front line responders have aligned with many jurisdictions across Canada to implement a tactical emergency medical support program in Winnipeg,” Katz said in a release.
“Through the TEMS program, paramedics will be embedded members of the team with specialized training to provide medical support and assistance in high risk tactical operations, increasing the safety for both citizens and front-line responders,” said Katz.