SEBASTIAN COUNTY ( KFSM) - - Sebastian County EMS is taking on a larger role when and if an incident were to happen, but to do this they had to create a new team. They call themselves the SPEAR team. What they do is step in when an emergency event is happening and help victims who have been hurt when the scene is still active.
In the past, when an emergency call came in that involved a weapon, the paramedics could not go straight to the scene to help victims, but would park blocks away and wait until officers could clear the scene of any danger. This extra amount of time means potential lives could be lost.
The Special Purpose Emergency Action Response Team (SPEAR) will close the gap and allow medical personnel to enter what medics describe as the Warm Zone. In the Warm Zone, they will be able to stabilize the patient and remove them from any danger. They will then take them to the Cold Zone where they will be safe.
For example, if an active shooter was in a public facility, the SWAT team and law enforcement would enter first and clear the area. Then the SPEAR team would be able to move the victims into the Cold Zone so they can be treated for their injuries. Paramedics want to do this so they can be right there on the scene of an incident and quickly save victims lives.
"We want to be able to come behind them and pull victims and to treat them on scene," said Jeremy Ibison Paramedic Supervisor with Sebastian County EMS.
According to Ibison, "We want to actively care for them even though the situation hasn't stopped."
Sebastian County has already purchased some equipment for the team including body armor and helmets. The equipment came from a grant from the Arkansas Trauma System.
The SPEAR team will work with the SWAT team, the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office, Greenwood Police Department and will also assist the Fort Smith Bomb Squad.