Dave Spear began his medical career in the field and "in the street" nearly three decades ago. Always proud to be known as an "ambulance driver", he went on to become an EMT, then a paramedic prior to completing medical school and emergency medicine residency. Dr. Spear has never forgotten his roots in EMS and prehospital care. He has implemented innovations in EMS through the years that have been adopted by EMS systems around the world. As the medical director for multiple EMS systems, Dr Spear has more square miles of the state of Texas under his medical direction than any other medical director. His special projects bring new concepts and advanced procedures to the field. Dr. Spear is a recognized world expert and leader in emergency ultrasound. He is a founding member of an international based group of closely knit emergency ultrasound specialists known as WINFOCUS. In addition, he is one of a handful of emergency ultrasound specialists in the world who are on the forefront of emergency medicine ultrasound. His subspecialty in emergency ultrasound is venous access and emergency procedures in adults and children. As a pioneer in the field of prehospital ultrasound, Dr Spear first planned out how to implement field use of sonography. Portable machines became in late 1999, and Dr. Spear immediately placed them into ambulances. Under his leadership, the Odessa Fire Department was first EMS in the United States to implement such use of ultrasound in emergency vehicles. In addition, Odessa’s prehospital ultrasound program has been recognized as the first paramedic ultrasound program in the world. This program will lead to ultrasound being standard equipment on emergency vehicles in the future. Ultrasound provides assessment and diagnosis of certain serious medical conditions prior to hospital arrival. Dr. Spear is constantly developing new modalities for implementation in the prehospital setting and with the help of UT Southwestern will continue to pursue this interest. "The 911 EMS system has given very much to me, and I want to give a lot back"


Medical School Wayne State University (1985)

Research Interest

  • Aeromedical Vascular Access
  • Cardiac Arrest Ultrasound
  • Pediatric Central Line Placement
  • Prehospital Trauma Ultrasound


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Emergency Ultrasound
John Ma, Michael Blaivas 2008 Spring 2008 Textbook EMS Utrasound Utilization

Honors & Awards

  • Special Recognition in Milan, Italy
    World’s First Paramedic Prehospital Ultrasound Program (2005)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Board of Emergency Medicine