TEMS instructors say you don’t have to be a first responder to be a hero.
At the Ohio Fire Academy in East Columbus, the sound of gunfire filled the air Friday followed by desperate cries for help. It was only a training exercise.
A company called Tri Medic Tactical is training firefighter paramedics from across the country to become TEMS, or Tactical EMS.
The goal is for medics to provide emergency first aid to SWAT officers engaged in dangerous missions.
Norwich Township Fire Medic, Jake Caito, said it’s his chance to give back to law enforcement.
“They always take care of us, and it’s kind of a way for us to make sure they’re safe,” said Caito.
The TEMS concept caught on in Columbus back in 2008, when two Columbus Police tactical narcotics officers were shot during a drug raid at an abandoned home on East Rich Street.
Both officers survived, and the gunman, Derrick Foster, was sentenced to five years in prison.
The Columbus Division of Fire created a TEMS unit that continues to back up the CPD Narcotics In-Tac Team and SWAT team.
Shawn Jeter volunteered for the TEMS training scenarios on Friday. Jeter said he’s a regular guy with a regular job who signed up for Citizen AID. It’s a program that teaches civilians life-saving first aid in the event of an active shooter attack.
“I just did it to make sure that if something ever happened, I could be helpful,” explained Jeter.