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Equipping the Tactical Medic

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 30 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2006 Pages: 36-38,40
Lawrence E. Heiskell M.D.; Bohdan T. Olesnicky M.D.
Date Published
March 2006
4 pages
This article describes the types of equipment that tactical medical personnel (medics who serve with special weapons and tactics units) should take into the field for typical and special types of operations.
For each operation, the tactical medic must decide what items and tools will be carried to the scene and what equipment will be left in a vehicle or in a larger medical kit. Generally, medics carry two sets of medical equipment. One set is for immediate care and is typically worn in a small backpack or load-bearing vest. The second set is carried in a larger backpack or duffel bag in the support vehicle. This article provides guidelines for what should be in each pack. Personal protective equipment (PPE) should include masks, eye protection, gloves, and gown. PPE should be carried on the medic's person in an easily accessible location. Each SWAT team members should carry a "self-help kit" with medical supplies in order to relieve the load carried by the medic. This kit should be vacuum-sealed and contain supplies for basic trauma care and intravenous access. Team medics should carry a basic medical module (BMM) that contains splinting and dressing material, along with basic airway tools and a pocket mask. The intermediate medical module should include equipment and supplies needed for advanced life support. The support vehicle module should include airway adjunct devices, fiber optic scopes, nebulizers, surgical trays, chest tubes, cervical collars, backboards, peroxide, and replacement materials for field packs. Medics with advanced training would carry additional equipment that they are qualified to use. This article also lists the medical equipment needed when a deployment has the risk of contact with various types of weapons of mass destruction.