Operator Training and TEMS Support: A Survey of Unit Leaders in Northern and Central California

Jason B. Young, Joseph M. Galante, Matthew J. Sena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Members of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams routinely work in high-risk tactical situations. Awareness of the benefit of Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) is increasing but not uniformly emphasized.

OBJECTIVES: To characterize the current regional state of tactical medicine and identify potential barriers to more widespread implementation.

METHODS: A multiple-choice survey was administered to SWAT team leaders of 22 regional agencies in northern and central California. Questions focused on individual officer self-aid and buddy care training, the use and content of individual first aid kits (IFAKs), and the operational inclusion of a dedicated TEMS provider.

RESULTS: Respondents included city police (54%), local county sheriff (36%), state law enforcement (5%), and federal law enforcement (5%). RESULTS showed that 100% of respondents thought it was ?Very Important? for SWAT officers to understand the basics of self-aid and buddy care and to carry an IFAK, while only 71% of respondents indicated that team members actually carried an IFAK. In addition, 67% indicated that tourniquets were part of the IFAK, and 91% of surveyed team leaders thought it was ?Very Important? for teams to have a trained medic available onsite at callouts or high-risk warrant searches. Also, 59% of teams used an organic TEMS element.

CONCLUSION: The majority of SWAT team leaders recognize the benefit of basic Operator medical training and the importance of a TEMS program. Despite near 100% endorsement by unit-level leadership, a significant proportion of teams are lacking one of the key components including Operator IFAKs and/or tourniquets. Tactical team leaders, administrators, and providers should continue to promote adequate Operator training and equipment as well as formal TEMS support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of special operations medicine : a peer reviewed journal for SOF medical professionals
Volume13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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