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Health First and Palm Bay Police Department Receive National Recognition for Innovative Telemedicine Project to Help Patients Before they Get to the Hospital
Date:5/3/2013

Rockledge, FL (PRWEB) May 03, 2013

Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center and the Palm Bay Police Department recently received the prestigious 2013 Award for Innovation in Local Government from the Alliance for Innovation. The two organizations were recognized for their development of the TACTEL Tactical Telemedicine Program. TACTEL provides police medics in high-risk situations with a direct video and audio link to the Trauma Center at Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center so surgeons can advise them on what to do for specific injuries before they even get to the hospital. This is the first telemedicine program of its kind that links civilian law enforcement medics with trauma teams.

“When someone is severely injured, the actions taken and decisions made within that first hour are crucial to obtaining the best possible outcome for a patient,” said Health First Trauma Surgeon and co-creator of the program Dr. Peter Pappas. “This technology is a way for us to squeeze every second out of that critical golden hour.”

Program leaders say bringing life-saving care closer to the initial time of injury is the key to survival. Following the tragic death of Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Barbara Pill last year, they wanted to do something to provide training to tactical operators who are already in harm’s way.

Through this program, SWAT medics from local law enforcement agencies, along with Health First instructors, attended the Health First-sponsored Tactical Casualty Care Course (TCCC). “With several of us gaining instructor status we are now prepared and able to offer this program to Tactical Medical personnel on an ongoing basis, knowing that lives will be saved,” said Health First Training Center Supervisor David Schmitt, EMT-Paramedic. “Without life-saving care in the field, many victims would never survive long enough to benefit from the advanced care services of the Trauma Center at Holmes
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