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Police Tactical Medics?

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  • Police Tactical Medics?

    Does anyone know any departments that will take officers with no medical experience and train them to be police tactical medics? I know Fairfax, VA does that, but is there anywhere else in the MD, VA, DC area? Or at least somewhat close? Thanks!

  • #2
    I think most departments give their officers relevant medical training. I was trained to the level of "First Responder", which is more than first aid, but less than paramedic. Basically we were trained to use the contents of a BOK (Blow Out Kit) to treat things like gunshot wounds. Combat tourniquets, Quik-Clot, various types of occlusive chest seals, Israeli bandages, stuff like that. We were not trained on chest decompression needles or nasal airways.

    Keep in mind that a BOK is not to use on other people- it is to use on yourself.

    Also, a BOK is not an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit). An IFAK is for boo-boos on anybody, and a BOK is for gunshot wounds on yourself.

    A BOK would typically be carried on the plate carrier of your active shooter kit.

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    • #3
      In Iowa, there is a 40 hr Law Enforcement Responder course mandated at the academy. Most agencies keep this certification current throughout the officers career
      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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      • #4
        Some SWAT teams do train up a medic....our department found that no matter the training, it was hard for them to get hands on real trauma experience. Instead, we have paramedics from our fire department, send them to SWAT basic so they get the idea of how teams operate, then they train together at the weekly SWAT training days and respond on call outs. The paramedics maintain there skills working the ambulances. It really made the FD and PD closer over all also.

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        • #5
          None come to mind. Training time is always at a premium so to be a "tactical medic" (EMT or higher) most officers have to take the training either through a volunteer fire department or as a cross trained tac team member while being part of a paid fire department. To be a good tac medic you need to be a solid EMS provider first and foremost and that comes from time on an ambulance.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ihope View Post
            Does anyone know any departments that will take officers with no medical experience and train them to be police tactical medics? I know Fairfax, VA does that, but is there anywhere else in the MD, VA, DC area? Or at least somewhat close? Thanks!
            It seems like you're getting way ahead of yourself here.

            You don't have any medical experience, and based on your profile you don't have any LE experience either.

            I'd suggest getting hired first (with ANY LE agency) and getting some years under your belt as a patrol officer before dreaming about specialized units or assignments. That takes time and hard work.

            I highly doubt any agency will simultaneously train a new hire as a paramedic, police officer AND tactical team member.

            Where I'm at, members of the tac med team are experienced paramedics and physicians who received specialized training in tactical emergency medicine. The "tactical" aspect is a heck of a lot easier (and cheaper) to teach than advanced medical care.

            If your primary interest is in the medical aspect, then start out as an EMT and see where it takes you.
            Last edited by not.in.MY.town; 01-23-2021, 09:47 AM.

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            • #7
              There are departments that do that, but as mentioned above the problem is real-world experience. Police medics in most departments almost never use their medical skills.

              Most agencies find it is more effective and efficient to train medic and firefighter volunteers in the tactical side, than training cops to be medics.
              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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              • #8
                In my area, there are 2 departments with their own SWAT/TAC teams.

                One will uses an existing police officer on the team as their tactical medic. Usually this is someone who has current or previous real-world experience as an EMT, paramedic, physician, or military combat medic.

                The other uses volunteers from outside the agency who have that same kind of experience. I know one who was a full-time FF/PM who also became a part-time police officer. He became one of this department's tactical medics. He would attend their monthly trainings and was one of several tactical medics that could get called up for incidents. Since they used volunteers from outside the department, who usually had other FT jobs, they had to have more available to help ensure someone could answer the call-out.

                Not a bad idea to be thinking about it early in, or even before the start of a career, because it's good to have goals. But this is one of those long-term goals that someone would have to plan for years in advance. And even then, there's no guarantee of success. Just like life.

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