SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - When Medstar pulled out of EMS service earlier this month it affected Savannah's SWAT, bomb squad and even dive team's tactical medic program.
Some of the medics from Medstar didn't make the transition to Southside so it left the teams short with the number of tactical medics they needed.
Thursday some Southside Fire EMT's tried out for those positions.
Sgt. Robert Vonloewenfelt with Savannah-Chatham Metro Police's bomb squad says tactical medics are crucial in keeping officers safe. "If I was doing something on a device and it blew up and I was injured, then no medics can come to my assistance. Another bomb tech will come down and make sure the route is safe and either drag me back or then let a medic come down. There's all that valuable time that's been wasted," said Sgt. Vonloewenfelt. "With tactical medics on my team if something happens, God forbid I have a bomb tech and a medic clearing the route to me so I can get immediate life saving care as I am feet away from whatever blew me up. That's vital. Those crucial seconds can save your life."
This is just the beginning of the tryouts. If they qualify after today with the bomb squad, they'll come back and have to go through similar training with our SWAT team.