Special Operations Branch
The Special Operations Branch works to advance evidence-based medical practice in technically specialized areas of out-of hospital medicine. These include dive rescue/hyperbaric, tactical/operational, heavy urban rescue, hazardous materials, and disaster/mass casualty medicine. The branch provides support both for patients and emergency responders.
The Milwaukee Fire Department’s Dive Rescue Team performs search and rescue operations on and below the surface of the various waterways in the region. Emergency Medicine physicians support the Dive Rescue Team by assisting in development of medical policies and protocols, and by offering an on-scene physician capability when needed.
Tactical medicine is the field of out-of-hospital medical support for law enforcement and military operations. This unique area of EMS blends emergency medicine, primary care, occupational/preventive medicine, and public health. Several faculty in the Special Operations and Disaster Medicine Branch serve as tactical physicians, providing field medical support for a number of local and federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, the Section provides the Medical Director for the Tactical EMS Program of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Departments.
Heavy Urban Rescue
Heavy urban rescue involves the rescue of persons trapped in building collapses, confined spaces, or high angle locations. The Branch provides medical support to the Milwaukee Fire Department’s Heavy Urban Rescue Team (HURT). Physician support includes review of medical procedures, as well as the potential for an on-scene presence.
Hazardous materials are chemical, biological, or radiological substances that have the potential to contaminate and cause harm to people. The field of hazardous materials management seeks to contain, identify, remove, and neutralize such dangerous substances. Medical management of hazardous materials victims is provided by members of the Department of Emergency Medicine.