press conference (1)By Kathryn Menue


BELVIDERE – On Tuesday, Jan. 12, members of the Belvidere Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Belvidere Fire Department, and OSF HealthCare and OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center met for a press conference at the Belvidere Public Safety Building conference room to recognize the community’s efforts in creating the Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) system for the Belvidere/Boone County area.

OSF conducted the press conference to recognize the Belvidere Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and the Belvidere Fire Department for their collaboration on the TEMS program and to recognize them for becoming the first in the state to receive their certified licenses in tactical medical procedures from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

At the press conference, Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble, Boone County Sheriff Dave Ernest, OSF Media Relations Coordinator Mike Robinson, OSF Tactical Medicine Medical Director Dr. Stephen Minore, Belvidere Fire Chief Al Hyser, Belvidere Mayor Mike Chamberlain, Boone County Board Chairman Bob Walberg, and Belvidere/Boone County Tactical Response Team (TRT) Commander Sgt. Washburn spoke of their enthusiasm for the TEMS/TRT collaboration.

The TEMS program is where firefighter/paramedics train with the Belvidere/Boone County TRT so they too can respond to press conference (2)high threat situations within the county, such as active shooter/mass casualty/hostile situations.

The addition of the fire department’s paramedics allows for the TRT to have trained EMS responders on the scene to administer quicker medical attention to victims and to check vitals of TRT members.

The program participants undergo 120 hours of training a year with the most recent training session occurring on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

“This is the way of the future and we are excited about it and to be a part of it,” Ernest said.

Talks of adding the TEMS program to the TRT began about a year and a half ago, although the TRT has been around since 1994.

“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” Hyser said.

OSF quickly joined in on the collaboration to provide medical support training from doctors who donated their time to aid the TEMS program.

‘“Providing life-saving medical care at the scene of an emergency is the central objective of a new partnership between OSF HealthCare, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center and first responders in Belvidere and Boone County,” OSF Media Relations Coordinator Mike Robinson shared.

press conference (3)“A first-of-its-kind program in the area, TEMS is ready to provide medical care at the scene rather than having to move the patients to another area or an ambulance.”’

Dr. Stephen Minore, OSF Tactical Medicine Medical Director shared his views on the necessity of the program as well.

“When you have capable, trained medical professionals in the field in the first seven to 10 minutes…that can make for a more fruitful outcome,” Dr. Minore said. “Being prepared is obviously the best way to be,” because “it’s not a matter of if it’s [a hostile situation] is going to happen, it’s when.”

Due to the increase in hostile situations throughout the country, the TRT and TEMS programs are always looking to expand. In fact, TEMS recently added another person to their team and will add another two in May.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department has also collaborated by adding deputies to the TRT so they can help Belvidere cover all of Boone County in their efforts.

The overall collaboration comes from each department’s desire to protect and serve the community in the best ways possible.

‘“Tactical Emergency Medicine has the potential to save lives and careers. OSF HealthCare has a long and proud history that press conference (4)includes Tactical Emergency Medicine,” Dr. Jane Pearson, OSF EMS Medical Director shared.

“The addition of the credentialed and experienced Dr. Minore as Medical Director is evidence of our commitment to assist and support the law enforcement agencies in developing this important medical capability. Dr. Minore’s leadership will promote excellence in tactical emergency medicine through education, training and operational support.”’

Through the efforts of OSF, the Belvidere Police Department, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, and the Belvidere Fire Department, the Belvidere/Boone County area will be highly cared for during high risk situations.

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