Tactical Medicine. Photo by Herman R. Lumanog

The Tactical EMT

As an EMT instructor I come across students from all walks of life, from young adults fresh out of high school to adults looking to start a new or second career. But like many EMS, police, and other uniformed careers out there, the EMS field tends to attract a decent number of former Military personnel.

These Military folks come to our programs with very unique experiences and skills sets as well as an understanding of the world that our citizen, non-military students have never had the opportunity a acquire.

One thing in particular that seems to always be brought up when we start working on trauma and bleeding control and shock management is not only the way they handled those events while in Iraq and Afghanistan but the advanced tools and techniques they had at their disposal.

As EMS in the United States progresses and becomes more advanced, we find that the influx of Military techniques and equipment eventually finds its way into our skills and jump bags. A prime example of this is the quicker use of tourniquets during bleeding control and shock management, all due to the proven results from our soldiers and corpsmen while in combat overseas.

But in many cases, these veterans, as well as many civilian students, want to learn NOW and get acquainted with NOW, the more advanced tactical and combat medical equipment and skill-sets BEFORE they reach our local EMS systems.

One way in which to acquire these more advanced tactical EMT skills is by attending advanced training courses that are offered throughout the country and taught by former military personnel, instructors with the NAEMSE, NAEMT, or other highly accredited and respected organizations.

Many of my former students who wanted dearly to attain these advanced skills after they had received their EMT license found that the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (“TCCC”) course, offered by the NAEMT and found at locations across the country, fits their needs nicely.

Now please understand that I am in no way endorsing this program or any program over another. I have one former student with fire-arms training who completed my EMT program 7 months ago, got his EMT license the day after he was put into the NREMT system, attained his TCCC, PHTLS and LEFR certifications and now is a strike team Tactical EMT with the DEA. This young man is making tremendous pay but more importantly, he doing what he always wanted to do with the excitement and adventure many of us can only dream about.

I’m not saying tactical training is for everyone and that all of you out there can easily attain a job such as this the way my former student did, but with determination, desire and a total commitment to what you want to do, anything is possible.

Find what you want to do, get the certifications, licenses and experience necessary and go out and get the job you really want.

Because the first step in your career is your EMT license, the next step, is up to you.

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Jack Murphy
Jack Murphy is a licensed firefighter, EMT and EMS Instructor in Michigan and California, holds a JD in real estate law and BA in History as well as numerous industry related certifications. These days Jack teaches a Hybrid EMT program at a small College in the Los Angeles area.

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