The San Antonio Police Department’s Tactical Medic Unit has only been around a few years, but already the program has helped more than 300 people in life-threatening medical situations.
The unit, modeled after a similar one used the United States Border Patrol, allows members to serve as both officers, and licensed medical technicians.
One of those officers, Jose Garay, is being recognized on April 30, for saving the life of a woman hit by a wrong way driver in September.
“I don't want to see anybody die, especially in front of me,” Garay said. “In my short career, I'm used to people dying in front of me, and I wanted to help them but didn't know how, so the department gave me the opportunity to learn.”
Garay and about 40 officers comprise the Tactical Medic Unit, who serve throughout the force in various capacities.
Aside from Garay’s life-saving work in September, he also responded to a separate incident in December which required his medical skills.
In addition, his paramedic training was put to the test on Tuesday, when he responded to a call for a domestic dispute and assisted paramedics in saving the life of someone who had been stabbed.
“I didn't know at the time if he was the victim or the offender, but he lived,” Garay said. “A life is a life.”
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus will give Garay and 14 other officers the Lifesaving Award at a special ceremony at the end of the month. Of the 15 officers receiving the award, seven of them serve on the Tactical Medic Unit.