Special Projects For 57

FAST40 2011

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Back home, former Army medic still saves lives A s an Army medic, Corey Russ understood the challenges of trying to save a soldier's life on a chaotic battlefi eld. He also knew he could make a medic's job easier and potentially save more lives, which is the founding principle behind Combat Medical Systems LLC: Find or develop products that simplify medical treatment for the military. Russ and two partners founded the Fayetteville- based company in 2008 with about $40,000 in savings and no prior business experience. But he spent 20 years in the military, including a stint as a Delta Force medic. In that time he also picked up valuable experience in purchasing for the Department of Defense. That meant he knew not just what medics needed but how the department went about sourcing and buying supplies. Within 10 months, Combat Medical won its fi rst big military contract for gauze it treated with a blood-staunching chemical. Every soldier now carries some in a fi eld pack. The company's been awarded several other $10 million-plus contracts from the Pentagon, nearly quadrupling annual revenue between 2008 and 2010. The number of employees grew at the same pace, from three in 2008 to 12 in 2010. Eight more were added this year. Some of its products include a needle that originally came in fl imsy paper but is now wrapped in plastic and attached to a sterilization device. The company also develops its own specifi cations for products, including a battlefi eld ventilator the size of a cigar box, and contracts out production. One new product is the Combat Ready Clamp, a small device that closes pelvic arteries after high-leg amputations where tourniquets are useless. "The goal is that an 18-year-old National Guardsman from Arkansas can provide emergency-room-level care on the battlefi eld," Russ says. Combat Medical's Combat Ready Clamp is used to close pelvic arteries exposed after high-leg amputations. In fi eld tests conducted by the company's research- and-development team, fi ve of fi ve medics successfully applied the clamp to cadavers in 45 seconds or less after just 15 minutes of training. It is now being tested in Afghanistan. Newer products include a line of helicop- ter- and ground-vehicle evacuation equipment used for patients. The company has about a dozen devices in development, with several almost ready for market, Russ says. It's also looking into becoming an "expertise" subcontractor, consulting with large defense contractors trying to build medical-equipment businesses. "We'll be a one-stop shop for military medical expertise." Combat Medical Systems LLC 5845 Yadkin Road, Fayetteville, N.C. 28303 DECEMBER 2011 7

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