Organization Title


Tactical Emergency Medical Services

Tactical Casualty Care and Tactical Medicine

In California, two distinct categories exist for the medical support of law enforcement operations: Tactical Medicine and Tactical Casualty Care. Tactical Casualty Care is further subdivided into Tactical First Aid and Tactical Lifesaver.

Tactical Casualty Care and Tactical Medical Training Framework:

Tactical Casualty Care and Tactical Medical Personnel Levels   [pdf]

POST/EMSA Approved Training Programs
California State Tactical EMS Advisory Committee
Tactical Medicine

Since May 2010, Tactical Medicine guidelines provide baseline development and implementation standards for Tactical Medicine programs developed as required by the Peace Officers Training and Standards (POST) and described in the SWAT Guidelines approved in 2005.

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) is responsible for setting the statewide medical standards utilized by POST. As such, guidelines are intended to serve as a template for the development of operational programs that are developed by any public safety agency in California, and to serve as the minimum standard for initial tactical medicine training.

Tactical Medicine guidelines are also meant to serve as a companion document to the POST Operational Guidelines for SWAT (2005). It describes the critical role that tactical medical planning and threat assessment plays in the overall contingency planning as part of the SWAT operational plan. The public safety agency developing a tactical medicine operational program should conduct a needs assessment to determine the level of emergency care required by the SWAT team to support the mission and operations.

The operational program must consider the need for medical oversight and coordination with the local EMS agency, medical direction, use of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics and other advanced life support personnel, and minimum training and equipment standards. The agency should develop policies and procedures for medical support during tactical operations.

Approved tactical medicine training programs, which provide initial and refresher or update tactical medicine training to personnel, shall adhere to the minimum training guidelines and standards outlined in the guidelines. The goal of the guidelines manual is to describe minimum core competencies and define the written and skills testing necessary to achieve the standards prescribed by POST and EMSA. The guidelines have been approved and are available on the POST website.

California Tactical EMS Guidelines
  • Tactical Casualty Care (TCC) Assessment and Treatment Model (2015) [word] [pdf]
  • Tactical Medical Planning and Threat Assessment Checklist (2015)  [word] [pdf]
  • EMS Integration with Law Enforcement during Active Shooter Events (2015)  [word] [pdf]
Tactical Equipment Vendors

The following is a list of recommended tactical equipment vendors:

For Further Information from EMSA

Please contact Daniel Smiley, Chief Deputy Director or Kim Lew, Tactical Casualty Care Program Analyst.

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