On Sept. 29, 2017, 30 police officers, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics attending the NTOA’s Tactical Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, graduated from the NTOA’s course in Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS). This 3½-day course includes didactic, practical skill stations, and practical simulations intended to train medical care providers in lifesaving interventions associated with wounding associated with police operations, including active shooter events and acts of terrorism. Attendees mastered how to triage and assess casualties and intervene to control exsanguinating hemorrhage, establish an airway, and support respirations and circulation using medical principles established by the Committee for Tactical Emergency Care (CTECC) and Tactical Casualty Care Committee (Co-TCCC). In addition to learning how to perform potentially lifesaving interventions, attendees learn the principles of supporting the health and safety of police officers during large-scale, high-risk, and extended law enforcement operations.
The NTOA’s Position Statement on TEMS recognizes that police officers are often the initial responders to active violence incidents. The ability to control life-threatening hemorrhage, triage casualties, establish secure casualty collection points, and coordinate care with existing EMS responders should be considered core law enforcement skills and all police officers should have the basic medical skills and equipment to save the lives of victims, bystanders, police officers, and suspects in the event they are wounded.