Tactical paramedics are trained to save lives in high-risk situations and provide patient care, first aid and administer drugs to those who are seriously injured. The field of tactical medicine is designed for those who are working with law enforcement officers, departments and agencies in a war setting or other situations where there is a high risk of life-threatening injuries. Tactical paramedic training programs prepare students to work with law enforcement, the military and other special units working on special rescue missions. These programs are only available at tactical emergency management schools and training centers, and typically train students who already have at least EMT-I or EMT-II certification.

What Do Tactical Paramedics Do?

Tactical paramedic training programs teach Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and others who work in emergency medical services, how to respond to emergency medical situations in a high-risk setting. This is different from the standard paramedic or EMT training program because the students must learn how to respond to situations during combat. These paramedics typically work with SWAT teams, military units and on Special Forces assignments.

Tactical paramedics are trained to provide basic life support, transport the sick and injured, assess injured patients, administer the right type and quantities of drugs, and work with other emergency medical professionals in a high-stress environment.

Tactical Paramedic Training Programs

Those interested in completing a tactical paramedic training program may be able to complete an intensive, two-week boot camp training segment at their training center, or a longer training program that spans over the course of a few weeks. Tactical paramedics and EMS professionals are taught basic self-defense skills, how to handle an officer down rescue, and how to support a Special Response team.

Some of the key concepts taught in tactical paramedic training programs include:

  • Medical mission planning
  • Remote assessments and treatment
  • Ballistics injuries
  • Lethal weapon injuries
  • Patient care under fire
  • Injuries associated with SWAT/SRT operations
  • Providing care in low light or no light situations
  • Use of cover
  • Rescue techniques using ballistic shields

Courses for Tactical Paramedics

The courses required for completing tactical paramedic training programs typically include both classroom training and hands-on training. These types of courses cannot be completed online because students must learn a number of skills and techniques in a combat setting. The instructor-led, hands-on training portion is often the most intensive part of the program and may require more than a 100 hours of training.

Common courses in tactical paramedic training program include:

  • History of SWAT
  • Containment Procedures
  • Assaults
  • Penetrating Trauma
  • Rapid Remote Assessments
  • Medical Threat Assessments
  • Sensory Overload
  • Weapons Training
  • Care Under Fire
  • Active Gunman
  • Explosives and Biohazards
  • Chemical Environments
  • Blunt Trauma
  • Medical Control Issues

Career Options for Tactical Paramedics

Those who successfully complete a tactical paramedic training program may find work with the following types of organizations:

  • U.S. Government
  • Ambulance Service Providers
  • Army Combat Units
  • Medical Organizations
  • Special Forces
  • Police Departments
  • Fire Departments
  • Military