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Training and Qualifications. The resources available to different communities and agencies vary widely across the country. As a result, the optimum configuration of tactical medical support for a particular team will also vary as much as the tactical teams themselves. However, certain basic principles guide the development of a sound medical support program.

 a.         Team medical officers should be trained to at least the basic Emergency Medical Technician level and should be required to maintain current certification by a bona fide certifying body, such as a state agency or the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Furthermore, every effort should be made to provide EMT-Paramedic or ALS level service at the outer perimeter of the area of operation.

b.         Team medical officers must be familiar with, and able to effectively coordinate with the entire Emergency Medical System, from the area of operation to the receiving medical facility.

c.         Tactical medics may be organic to the team, sworn officers, or members of other agencies such as fire departments or EMS services who are specifically selected and trained. These personnel must work with the tactical team on a regular basis and must be trained to understand mission objectives, tactics used, weapons, pyrotechnics and other devices likely to be employed, and communication policies and procedures. In order to function effectively in support of a tactical team, the medic must have a working knowledge of the team, its tools and tactics.

d.         All personnel assigned as tactical medics should maintain their clinical skills by actively participating in patient care activities on a regular basis.

e.            Medical support for tactical law enforcement operations requires a unique expertise beyond medical competence. Not every EMT, paramedic or physician is trained or qualified to provide such support. Team medical officers should complete specialized training, which teaches the skills necessary to operate in the austere environment.