EMS Annual Report 2017 Home > Responding to Emergencies

Responding to Emergencies

Medics taking stretcher out of ambulance
Austin-Travis County EMS Field Operations are the front-line men and women of the organization dedicated to delivering the highest level of pre-hospital medical care to the citizens of Austin and Travis County. Our Department’s service area covers 1, 110 square miles including the City of Austin and Travis County as well as parts of Hays and Williamson Counties.

Special Operations

The mission of ATCEMS Special Operations (SPECOPS) is to provide cutting edge pre-hospital patient care on land, water, tactical, hazardous materials environments. With the ever growing population in Central Texas, there has been an increasing demand for specialized rescue responses. The nationally recognized ATCEMS SPECOPS team responded to 659 specialty calls in 2016 (405 specialty calls in 2015).
SPECOPS rescue medics, in addition to department medical credentialing, maintain high levels of physical fitness, State and National certifications in land, water, boat, tactical and helicopter competencies. Many rescue medics have further sub-specialties in highly technical competencies such as cave, hazardous materials, confined space and wilderness medicine.
Noteworthy responses:
  • January 12, 2016- M21 does a Ketamine assisted extraction from the Greenbelt.
  • January 24, 2016- M21 does a patellar dislocation reduction in the Greenbelt.
  • March 14, 2016: Special Operations Tactical Medics provide highly successful “Active Shooter” drill for multiple Central Texas Law Enforcement agencies and Hendricks High School staff and students. 
  • April 17-22: Special Operations crews (Harner, Heintz, and Gordon)deploy with TXTF1 to southeast Texas. Special Operations crews complete boat recon missions and assist Texas National Guard with High Profile Vehicle extractions of citizens (and pets) in flooded neighborhood. 
  • April 13, 2016- HAZARDOUS Materials; M21 responded to a cardiac arrest (H2S) on the University of Texas campus. M21 managed the cardiac arrest for over 30 minutes while in bunker gear/SCBA’s.
  • April 17, 2016-M21 walks a victim out of the greenbelt that had been trapped by flooding.
  • April 17, 2016- BOAT94 sent for 2 individuals stranded on top of a truck in a creek.
  • May 13, 2016- M26 performed a water rescue with ESD8 and TCSO on Lake Travis on a combative female trying to swim to her death.
  • May 25-June 5: Special Operations crews (Larsen, Heintz, and Garcia) deploy with TXTF1 on Swiftwater Rescue deployment. These rescues occurred at night, during a “100 year” flood event. They performed a number of other boat recon missions that first night. Special Operations crews coordinated 2 wide area searches Utilizing sound search practices and hydrology knowledge the victim’s body was recovered in under 2 hours. Another event found Larsen coordinating another search element. This time Heintz and Garcia were in a boat with other TXTF-1 boats. The submerged Suburban, and victims, were located in under an hour. The Special Operations squad then was sent to Fort Hood. The Team rescued 2 victims from trees and also supported the mission as the Air Ops Branch Director. All missing soldiers were found. During the course of this deployment, the squad put over 1000 miles on our vehicle. 
  • Special Operations boat crews deployed to other local areas, including Dripping Springs during this first significant flood event of 2016. 
  • At the State of Texas level, Special Operations Captain Josh Todd was deployed with the Plans Section of TXTF1.
  • June 14, 2016- Water rescue on Lady Bird Lake for a man swept downstream trying to retrieve his dog. Special Operations crews were performing boat training in the area and effected the rescue. The victim and his dog were retrieved in the boat and delivered to APD waiting on Red Bud Isle.
  • July 17-22, 2016 Special Operations Tactical Medics provide Law Enforcement medical support for Republican National Convention, Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • October 9, 2016- M26 had a high angle technical rescue at Reimer’s Ranch where the patient was extracted via a horizontal haul in a stokes.
  • November 3, 2015- M17 effects a high angle rescue with AFD and SF at Mt Bonnell.

  • Moved 115 patients from the old University Center Brackenridge Hospital to the new Dell Seton Medical Center
  • Completed the conversion of all sworn staff from a 48 hour work week to a 42 hour work week
  • Initiated a Beta Test of an Alternative Transport Unit (ATU) for patients low acuity patients still requiring transport to medical facility.
  • Deployed EMS Special Operations Medics to conduct search and rescue operations in effected areas due to Hurricane Harvey (Port Aransas to Houston).
  • Deployed EMS Medics and the AMBus to evacuate patient with medical needs from nursing homes and hospitals due to Hurricane Harvey.
  • Deployed EMS Medics to provide Incident Management support in forward operating areas and state operations center.
  • Worked with local Emergency Management personnel to setup and run medical support for sheltering operations at multiple sites and supported in logistics and medical of the Mega-Shelter.
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