HOUSTON— Harris County Reserve volunteers face the same dangers as police, but without the pay.
Now some Houston doctors are volunteering their time to help keep the reserves safe.
Doctors Aashish Shaw and Cameron Decker have organized a TAC-MED volunteer unit to provide immediate medical treatment to injured reserves.
"For me, it’s all about service," said Dr. Shaw. "I had an opportunity a long time ago to try and go into the military and I didn’t do it at that time. I am at a point in my life where I can’t necessarily go into the military with a family and a career, but this is the way I can give back."
The volunteer doctors ride along on high-risk arrests. Their goal is to have at least one doctor and two paramedics assigned to each case.
Dr. Gary Chilukuri is a new member of the Harris County Reserves. He recently rode with deputies in the wee hours of the night as they rounded up wanted felons and transported them to jail.
"I’m learning the ropes and seeing what these gentlemen are doing and what sacrifices they are making with their valuable time," Dr. Chilukuri said.
The experience gave him new respect for the reserves and the dangers they face.
"I think fear is there and you should always have some in the back of your mind, but it’s about using extreme caution and being aware of your surroundings," Dr. Chilukuri said.
There are eight TAC-MEDs on rotation, and they hope to add more.
The reserve program has been around for more than 40 years and members go through the same training as full-time sheriff’s deputies.
The reserve deputies have other careers, but they must work 16 hours a month to keep their law enforcement license.