Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS)

Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS)

According to the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), TEMS is now a standard of care for law enforcement special operations.

The Medical Response Team (MRT) started in 2008 and consists of 4 TEMS members, 2 of which are graduates of the Mesa SWAT Operators course and the NTOA’s STORM Medic course and each member is certified as an instructor in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC). They are a valuable resource to the community with more than 80 years of combined trauma care experience. MRT works closely with the Gila River Police Department’s, the Gila River Department of Rehabilitation Service’s and the US Marshall’s specialized teams.  They are subject matter experts for Active Assailant (“Shooter”) incident response and are very active in training public safety Active Assailant Emergency Medical Support (AAMS) teams for these types of incidents. They are the communities “Silent Guardians” because of the silent professionalism required of them and you will rarely hear anything about them.
Team member mental and physical requirements:

  • Must be able to perform TEMS functions during prolonged missions under stressful, austere conditions
  • Must be able to perform TEMS functions while carrying approx 60-70lbs of gear
  • Must be able to perform TEMS functions while wearing a gas mask and/or SCBA gear
  • Must be able to be “on call” outside of normal work hours
  • Subject to yearly weapon systems qualifications
  • Subject to yearly physical fitness requirements
  • Subject to yearly CS and OC gas exposure and Taser exposure


Division Chief Kevin Knight and MRT Team Leader Scott Hanson attended and graduated from the STORM Medic course on a grant hosted by the Mesa Fire and Police Departments in Mesa, Arizona. This 4 day TEMS course was as intense if not more physically challenging then the 10 day SWAT Operator course they attended a year ago. Being in full tactical gear for long days was tiring but real world. Emphasis was on treating and moving patients and themselves with life threatening injuries under high stress and often low light (or no light) conditions. Tourniquets were placed on themselves and others hundreds of times over 4 days with the goal of under 15 seconds. The instructor cadre was top notch and the overall training phenomenal.

The competency domains covered in S.T.O.R.M.™ courses include:

1.       Tactical Combat Casualty Care Methodology/Tactical Emergency Casualty Care
2.       Remote Assessment and Surrogate Care
3.       Rescue and Extraction
4.       Hemostasis (hemorrhage control)
5.       Airway
6.       Breathing
7.       Circulation
8.      Medication Administration
9.      Casualty Immobilization
10.    Medical Planning
11.    Force Health Protection
12.    Environmental Factors
13.    Mechanisms and Patterns of Injury
14.    Medical Legal Aspects of TEMS
15.    Hazardous Materials
16.    Mass Casualties
17.   Tactical Familiarization



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