MISSOULA – Law enforcement officers know what to do when someone is in danger and soon, they’ll know what to do when someone is critically hurt.
This Salute the Badge report features a Missoula County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy who also answers to Doc.
Packing up for a day of duty isn’t a simple task for Reserve Deputy Doctor Mike Kremkau. He’s the medic for the Special Response Team (SRT) and is also an ER doctor at Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
“While I was in medical school, I worked as a firefighter and EMT and when I moved here, I was interested in working with emergency medical services and the sheriff approached me and asked if I’d be interested in working with the tactical team,” Dr. Kremkau said.
As the medic for the SRT, Dr. Kremkau is not just there to save lives in a law enforcement emergency, but to create the medical plan of attack for SRT officers in any situation. it’s that level of preparedness that saves lives.
“The biggest benefit is having someone there who has pre-planned all the medical contingencies and is able to use the local resources to support these types of operations and that carries over to everyday deputies on patrol,” Dr. Kremkau said. “So at least they’re thinking about what’s my primary plan if someone gets injures, what’s my alternate plan?”
Dr. Kremkau trained officers on the proper use of tourniquets they either wear on their vests or have in their medical kits. That training has already saved life and limb — as was the case in a summer crash on Interstate 90 — and now that medical training is about to get even more intense
“One of the newest things I am doing with the county if working with all the EMS agencies in the county to develop an active shooter response,” Dr. Kremkau said.
“We got a very large grant from Homeland Security. We’re going to be using [it] to equip every first line fire apparatus, every ambulance, every patrol car, every law enforcement officer in the county with additional medical equipment and training,” he added.
“I’ve always had a very strong component of service and my background from the fire department to medicine and I’ve had a chance to work with all aspects of pre-hospital care and it’s something I’m passionate about,” Dr. Kremkau concluded.
Dr. Kremkau not only has to keep up on medical training but also has to remain certified to be a Reserve Deputy so you’ll often find him at the firing range.