Tactical Medic, Fort Worth Police Department
Officer Brandi Kamper started her career in medicine in 1999 in the United States Army as a combat medic and nurse. She left the Army after 11 years as a staff sergeant and worked at the county hospital as a pediatric nurse before going to the police academy in 2007.
She worked patrol for three years, but her desire to serve in the medical field led her to co-create a class called Tactical Lifesaver that teaches self-aid/buddy aid to police officers.
Her mother is Renee Kamper, a deputy chief in the Fort Worth Police Department, as well as Brandi Kamper’s role model.
“I will never forget going to her with this crazy idea that we should be utilizing our former medical personnel turned police officers as cross-trained medical personnel,” said Kamper. “She told me, ‘If your dream job doesn’t exist, create it. Do the research and make your case.’ ”
That’s just what Kemper did and they have now trained several thousand officers in life-saving pre-hospital trauma care, resulting in many officers and citizens having their lives saved.
The Tactical Medic Unit now consists of seven cross-trained Fort Worth police officers, all paramedics. The unit is responsible for answering all SWAT callouts, and high priority calls (i.e. shooting and stabbings).
She spends her free time with her two boys, and volunteering. She is the vice president of the nonprofit Hallie’s Heroes, which helps kids with rare diseases and cancers. She is also a member of the nonprofit group Humanizing the Badge, which travels the country doing community service projects.
She holds the following certifications and education: paramedic, tactical medic, masters in criminal justice administration, bachelor’s in criminal justice, basic SWAT, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement instructor and Master Peace Officer.
When Officer Matt Pearce was shot in the line of duty it was Kamper who attended to his wounds in the field.
Her awards and recognition include Balfour Beatty Officer of the Year (2016), Fort Worth Police Officer of the Year (2016), Women of Law Enforcement RISE Award for Bravery (2016), Knights of Columbus Humanitarian Award (2017), National Association Police Organization Top Cop (2017) honorable mention, Sons of the Revolution Medal of Heroism Award (2017), STAR of DFW (2019).
– Rick Mauch
What advice would you give women rising to a position of prominence?
We spend way too much time in our lives muting ourselves or holding ourselves back because of what others think of us. The more successful you become, the more polarizing you will be to the people around you. Push ahead in the goals you set for yourself. God tends to weed out people and things that distract you from His purpose right before He levels you up.
What book or TV show influenced you growing up? Why?
At some point someone gave me a copy of Dr. Ben Carson’s book, Gifted Hands. I was fascinated with his story, and with medicine from then on. He came from poverty and his mother made him read every week. She believed in him and loved him enough to teach him success skills. I believe success can be taught, and I hope my children grow up to be successful, God fearing, altruistic men like him.
What would you like for us to know that we might not know to ask?
There is a critical shortage of bone marrow donors in this country. Somewhere a parent is relying on the kindness and bravery of a stranger to register with DKMS.org so that their child can be saved through a lifesaving bone marrow donation. It is a simple cheek swab that you mail in. There are children with cancer and rare diseases that can be cured with your donation.