Wausau’s Tactical EMS team provides medical care in critical situations

The Tactical Emergency Medical Services team in Marathon Co. consists of 12 fire and law enforcement personnel
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:48 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments have teamed up to make sure officers get the care they need in dangerous situations. The Tactical Emergency Medical Services, or TEMS program, provides law enforcement with first aid for instances when major tragedy strikes.

The TEMS program extends the medical and rescue capabilities of the Wausau Fire Department into the hostile and adverse environments inherent in law enforcement operations.

“When we go into buildings or structures that would be considered unsafe for some EMS to show up or ambulance crews, they go right into the buildings with us and have on armor and a bunch of med supplies to treat us if any of us go down,” said Deputy Matthew Bell, team leader of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

So far, there are 12 members of the TEMS team who follow law enforcement into risky situations. The TEMS team is made up of first responders from the Wausau Fire and SAFER Departments. There are also members from the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, Wausau Police Department, and Everest Metro Police Department.

”Criminal barricades, hostage situations, active shooter events, we have pre-planned, high-risk search warrants. So things of that nature where there’s violence and criminals involved, we’ll respond to those, and TEMS will come with us,” said Deputy Bell.

Specially trained paramedics help law enforcement if they suffer trauma-related injuries.

”So it would be addressing massive bleeding or airway compromise,” said Lieutenant Ted Tautges. “We bring along specific medical equipment that we utilize to do some of the same treatments and interventions that we would do on the ambulance or regular EMS service.”

“I’m honored to have them on our team and it makes me feel comfortable that there are people to save us if bad things happen,” said Deputy Bell.

The TEMS team also teaches law enforcement how to provide medical aid to anyone with an injury.