More Doctors Helping Police, Victims at Crime Scenes

More Doctors Helping Police, Victims At Crime Scenes

SWAT team medics accompanying law enforcement are tending to wounded officers, treating civilians and even advising what to tell suspects holding injured hostages. And insurers are taking notice.

Policeman and bruised man with handcuffs in hospital

These doctors bring house calls to a whole new level.

When you picture a SWAT team, you may be thinking about police wearing protective gear, weapons at the ready, during a hostage standoff or some other crisis. But that team might also include doctors, poised and ready to rush to a wounded officer’s aid or dispense advice on what to tell a suspect who is holding an injured hostage.

Or they may be treating an officer exposed to a powerful opioid such as fentanyl, which can be extremely hazardous when touched or inhaled.

Doctors joining SWAT teams have become a fixture of law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. Some even volunteer, feeling a sense of civic duty to help those who protect and serve.

“It’s my way of giving back and making sure that my law enforcement colleagues have a chance of going home at the end of the night,” said Andrew Dennis, a trauma surgeon in Chicago and a police officer himself, on a Clinician’s Roundtable podcast. The podcast features top thought leaders in medicine.

Strong decision-making skills make a difference

Physicians’ years of training and experience can help them prepare to make extremely difficult medical choices in a crisis.

“There are certain medical decisions that only a physician can make,” says Bob Marinelli, risk control manager for Argo Group’s Trident Public Risk Solutions, a leader in the public sector insurance and risk management marketplace. “Having a doctor trained in emergency medicine dealing with traumatic injuries adds to the capabilities of other first responders such as EMTs and paramedics.”

Insurers are paying close attention

Insurers including Trident are keeping a close eye on doctors joining law enforcement agencies out in the field. Part of what Trident insures, for example, are instances where law enforcement officers get sued for allegedly violating someone’s civil rights.

“It would show that they’re making an effort to provide immediate medical attention,” Marinelli said. “That they’re trying to do the right thing. Hopefully that could be a mitigating factor in some types of claims.”

Trident is also exploring creating guidelines law enforcement agencies can consider when using doctors in the field. That includes ensuring they have adequate training and coverage.

Learn how Trident Public Risk Solutions has public entities covered when it comes to risk management at www.argolimited.com/trident.

For more timely articles and insights into public entity risk, follow us on LinkedIn.

Website links referenced within the content of this document may lead to other sites that Trident Insurance Service, LLC (“Trident”) believes may be useful or informative. These links to third-party sites or information are not intended as, and should not be interpreted by you as, constituting or implying Trident’s endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of the third-party information, products or services found there. Trident does not maintain or control these sites and accordingly makes no guarantee concerning the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information appearing on such sites.

The insurance policies, not this descriptive article, form the contract between the insured and the insurance company. The policies contain limits, exclusions and conditions that are not listed in this article. All coverages are subject to individual underwriting judgments and to state legal and regulatory requirements. This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Policies for this program are issued by one or more insurance companies of Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. Trident is a registered service mark of Argo Group International Holdings Ltd.