How tactical medics responded to the Planned Parenthood shooting

The Colorado Springs Fire Department tactical paramedics pulled victims away from the hot zone, which helped save lives


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hundreds of first responders tried to stabilize the scene inside a Planned Parenthood clinic Nov. 27, after a man entered the building and started shooting.

Colorado Springs Fire Department’s tactical paramedics responded with the SWAT team, and pulled victims away from the hot zone, which helped save lives.

"The majority of time you don’t register exactly what’s going on. You rely on your training and you act before you even think at times. You are rendering aid," Chuck Long, one of the tactical medics who responded to the shooting, told FOX31.

The department has had a tactical EMS unit since 1993. The TEMS team responds to about 120 calls a year, but their contribution is substantial. Getting to patients quickly, they can improve survival by 90 percent.

Tactical medics go into the hot zone armed with tourniquets, combat gauze and airway management supplies.

"When there’s a hostile situation or a situation where somebody is critically injured and bleeding heavily, one of the biggest things that we do is be able to stop that bleeding," said Lt. Kurt Dennison. "We trust each other 100 percent.

"It’s not a matter of the number of people who are injured, we take one life at a time and we take it very seriously."

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