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The Hamilton County Police Association (HCPA) Regional Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team Medical Support Program (MSP) began with the inception of the team over 25 years ago in Hamilton County, Ohio. Dr Edward Otten founded the medical program on the basis of his experience as a corpsman in Vietnam. The MSP has grown to include both physicians and paramedics who volunteer to train and to operate as an integral part of the SWAT Team.
Medical members are chosen after successful completion of a rigorous selection process that includes physical fitness assessment, interviews, psychiatric evaluation, and medical skills assessment. Each member then undergoes initial specialized training in tactical medicine and then participates in monthly refresher training on a variety of medical readiness topics. Emphasis in medical training is placed on delivery of care under tactical conditions and global team preventive health measures. Medics also participate in all tactical team training to become proficient in the basics of weaponcraft and tactical movement.
During operations, the tactical medics are incorporated into all levels of the SWAT response-the inner perimeter for immediate care, the outer perimeter for medical surveillance, and the command post for medical intelligence. Medics carry firearms during operations if they are jointly trained as sworn law enforcement officers. Medical control is provided at an incident by the Medical Team Leader or his designee. Medics work closely with local emergency medical services, hospitals, and aeromedical evacuation services to optimize resource support on scene during a callout.
The HCPA SWAT MSP is always striving to provide for the safety and welfare of the tactical team during training and operations. Their commitment and dedication to their teammates is reflected by their willingness to place themselves at risk to deliver care where and when it may be needed most.
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