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