POLICE Magazine

MAR 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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12 P O L I C E M A R C H 2 019 T raditional approaches to emergency medical services during law en- forcement tactical operations have historically often proved less than ad- equate. Within the past several years, however, tremendous advancements have been made in what is now referred to as tactical medicine. In addition, if staff are properly trained, the medical component can be staged safely and as close as possible to the site of injury without disrupting tactical operations. Police tactical units must often respond to calls involving barricaded sus- pects, hostage situations, and organized crime. Tactical operations are oc- casionally prolonged, creating ongoing logistical and medical concerns for the team and the unit commander. With these considerations in mind, law enforcement agencies now recognize the necessity of having advanced trau- ma life support personnel immediately available at the scene of any incident involving tactical operations. Despite the increasing nationwide awareness of the value of having an on- scene specialized medical team, the medical consequences of tactical opera- tions are often overlooked or completely left out of the operational plan. In to- day's litigious world this practice is certain to come under close legal scrutiny. e concept of having a specialized medical care unit available during a tactical operation is not new. In the past several years many local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have developed tactical medical programs that operate with tactically trained phy- sicians and paramedics. Many tactical team commanders and law enforcement agency manage- ment personnel now realize that op- erational risks can be greatly reduced with tactically trained on-scene med- ical support personnel. Here is what you need to know to reap the benefits of a tactical medicine program at your agency. Tactical medics must be prepared for low-light and night operations. Conduct regular training involving the entire tactical team and medical personnel in as many different types of scenarios as possible to be ready for any situation. PHOTO: L AWRENCE HEISKELL START A TACTICAL MEDICINE PROGRAM TACTICALLY TRAINED ON-SCENE MEDICAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL CAN GREATLY REDUCE OPERATIONAL RISKS. H LAWRENCE E. HEISKELL HOW TO...

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