TEMS Paramedic

jh504

Explorer
So, I finished my paramedic course with a lot of encouragement from folks here on the board. I have another question now for anyone who has experience with this topic. Has anyone here been through the 200 hour Tactical Emergency Medical Specialist program? I have looked at several tactical medic programs over the past couple of years but I wanted to wait until after I had passed paramedic. The ones that I had looked at before were mostly in the 40-50 hour range. The TEMS course seems much more in depth and like a more rewarding course than the shorter courses offered. Anyone ever had experience with any of these? Military medics are welcomed to chime in as well.
 

OneTime

Adventurer
Here we go again

Maybe we can run another 23 page thread for 2010! Im getting ready to take a TEMS course in the spring. I have to switch to plan B since my state is about to go broke here in AZ. I can't lateral over to our state police and fly on the SAR helicopter as a medic as planned. Plan B is try and get on our SWAT team as a tatical medic. Right now my department uses a dedicated Fire engine company to stand by when we have a scene


There are a many options out west for TEMS courses. I few right here is AZ. There is a school called WarriorSchool in Tucson. I was contacted last week by my paramedic school director and approached about a new school that is opening up here, just outside of Phoenix. Apparantly they have a bunch of new DOD contracts that have been pulled away from Blackwater.

I dont know the name of the new school but they are entering into a contract with the junior college I attended so that guys can use there GI bill funds to pay for classes.

There is also a good school in Palm Springs CA. Ill try and post up the links to the schools. I also remember reading about a school somewhere is the South.

I know I gave you no info whatsoever. Just found it funning that we are heading down the same path again.

Edit: Here are some links

Palm Springs School: http://www.tacticalmedicine.com/

Tucson School http://www.warriorschool.com/
 
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jh504

Explorer
Haha, yeah our other thread has stayed alive for a while now. Thankfully we both stayed alive in the class as well! Sounds like you would have a pretty good opportunity there with your department since you are already a sworn officer and on the payroll. I have not been through BLET so it will be a little bit of a different ballgame for me. I plan on staying full-time with EMS and pursuing the other as a side gig.
There is a TEMS course offered in Greensboro, NC that I am looking at. Fortunately it is fee exempt for public safety personnel, like my medic course was, so it will only cost me ammo. It starts in May and last through the fall, one week a month.
I had looked at the Blackwater (US Training Center) course a while back, but it was pretty expensive. It wasnt realistic for me to spend that much on it without a definite placement opportunity, but with the course in Greensboro I dont have much to lose.
 

OneTime

Adventurer
Seems the trend now if to train EMS personnel in tactics and have them on a part time members of SWAT teams as opposed to training SWAT guys as medics. I guess its easier to learn to shoot then start lines. Most of the smaller agenicies here in AZ use a few guys from the FIRE depts and make the tactical medics. They train with PD swat and get called out on scenes.

I guess it makes since. I would rather a well trained medic come in an work on me than a cop/ medic that doesnt have much experience. (I know the irony. ) I am a cop that just trained as a medic. But my plan is to train and work as much as possible and not just "keep me cert up."
 

Fish

Adventurer
I guess its easier to learn to shoot then start lines.
Bigger target.

We have a pretty active tactical EMS program here in San Diego. Our guys are all firefighters who have been through the SWAT academy. Some double up as helo medics or on our rescue or wherever. They used to also fly out to cruise ships with the USCG, but they don't do that anymore. Not sure why.
 

kellymoe

Expedition Leader
I wish there was something like this offered when I was a paramedic in South Central Los Angeles. I had the honor or the misfortune to treat more than a few LAPD officers who had been shot or injured in the lone of duty. Officer involved shootings are chaotic incidents and emotionally charged at all levels. On the other end of the spectrum were the more frequent, much, much more frequent gang shootings that in the late 80's to late 90's were a daily occurrence, sometimes happening right in front of us or in front of the fire station. As crazy as it was i was young and crazy too and had a blast. I wouldnt want to do it now and am thankful for the slower assignment I have now
 

OneTime

Adventurer
A little of topic. Biggest regret of my life was not becoming a rescue swimmer with the Coast Guard. If I was five or ten years younger and didnt have kids, I would enlist tomorrow in the Air Force and become a PJ. Now that's TEMS!!
 

jh504

Explorer
A little of topic. Biggest regret of my life was not becoming a rescue swimmer with the Coast Guard. If I was five or ten years younger and didnt have kids, I would enlist tomorrow in the Air Force and become a PJ. Now that's TEMS!!
I have seriously considered trying the PJ route several times. I have talked with recruiters and weighed all of my options. Like you said, if I was single, I would go for it. I cant justify being away from my wife for that long though.

I want this training for my EMS carrier as well. Because I cant, in good conscience, stage while I know an officer or victim is injured and possibly bleeding out. The only rational solution is to learn to operate in the hotzone.
 

astn

Observer
Has anyone here been through the 200 hour Tactical Emergency Medical Specialist program? I have looked at several tactical medic programs over the past couple of years but I wanted to wait until after I had passed paramedic.
I have sat on this topic for a couple days, trying to decide if I wanted to reply or not, because I feel like this is the second topic of yours I'm '****ting on,' for which I actually am sorry.

However, as a new paramedic, you should concentrate on being good at your that. Every 'special' area or cool thing you do is going to be based almost entirely on your experience over your first couple years as a 'medic. The more you see now, on your own, the better position you will be later on to actually be an asset (as opposed to a liability) to whatever cool job you have in the future. Fundamentals first, just like they told you in school.

I have no issue with using the 'medic as a springboard to doing everything--I've been using it as a lever for years, and I've been able to do all kinds of cool things, including ERT. However, that was after two years of working the hairiest, busiest places I could find, touching twice as many patients as anyone I worked with, and jumping any call I could reasonably get to that sounded like it was taking an e-ticket ride to a trauma surgeon.

... I cant, in good conscience, stage while I know an officer or victim is injured and possibly bleeding out. The only rational solution is to learn to operate in the hotzone.
You're going to need to get over this. You don't "learn" anything about operating in a hot zone that you don't already know. The first rule of good medical care in a hot zone is protect yourself, the second is to neutralize the threat. You can't do this on a bus, it's not your role. Just like you shouldn't be stupid enough to go into a hazmat situation without the right gear, the same applies to a threat environment.

Austin
 
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jh504

Explorer
I have sat on this topic for a couple days, trying to decide if I wanted to reply or not, because I feel like this is the second topic of yours I'm '****ting on,' for which I actually am sorry.

However, as a new paramedic, you should concentrate on being good at your that. Every 'special' area or cool thing you do is going to be based almost entirely on your experience over your first couple years as a 'medic. The more you see now, on your own, the better position you will be later on to actually be an asset (as opposed to a liability) to whatever cool job you have in the future. Fundamentals first, just like they told you in school.

I have no issue with using the 'medic as a springboard to doing everything--I've been using it as a lever for years, and I've been able to do all kinds of cool things, including ERT. However, that was after two years of working the hairiest, busiest places I could find, touching twice as many patients as anyone I worked with, and jumping any call I could reasonably get to that sounded like it was taking an e-ticket ride to a trauma surgeon.



You're going to need to get over this. You don't "learn" anything about operating in a hot zone that you don't already know. The first rule of good medical care in a hot zone is protect yourself, the second is to neutralize the threat. You can't do this on a bus, it's not your role. Just like you shouldn't be stupid enough to go into a hazmat situation without the right gear, the same applies to a threat environment.

Austin
Very good information, and it is definitely welcome. I have already decided that I am not doing anything for a while after I get my medic other than work EMS. I will be staying with EMS full-time regardless of anything else that I do. As far as the experience goes, correct me if I am wrong, but the majority of civilian tactical medicine is going to be BLS (save fluid therapy and decompression). I do have a few years working as a BLS EMT and first responder with a fire department and EMS, so the only thing I am new to are the ALS skills.

Also, you were referring to entering a hotzone while riding on an ambulance. There are many different ways that I have seen people implement tactical medics. One way that a couple of local agencies does is by having their tactical medics working full-time shifts on an ambulance. They carry their gear with them and when they are needed by PD they can respond from their station. Obviously responding without the proper gear or training is not the smartest thing to do. That is why I am trying to work these situations out in my mind ahead of time.
Thanks for the input, I always welcome a more experienced viewpoint!
 

soldiermd

New member
68w m1

Have you thought about the Army Reserves? If you speak with a recruiter about the 68W M1, they let you know about the Special Operations Combat Medic.
 

Fireman78

Expedition Leader
I have sat on this topic for a couple days, trying to decide if I wanted to reply or not, because I feel like this is the second topic of yours I'm '****ting on,' for which I actually am sorry.

However, as a new paramedic, you should concentrate on being good at your that. Every 'special' area or cool thing you do is going to be based almost entirely on your experience over your first couple years as a 'medic. The more you see now, on your own, the better position you will be later on to actually be an asset (as opposed to a liability) to whatever cool job you have in the future. Fundamentals first, just like they told you in school.

I have no issue with using the 'medic as a springboard to doing everything--I've been using it as a lever for years, and I've been able to do all kinds of cool things, including ERT. However, that was after two years of working the hairiest, busiest places I could find, touching twice as many patients as anyone I worked with, and jumping any call I could reasonably get to that sounded like it was taking an e-ticket ride to a trauma surgeon.



You're going to need to get over this. You don't "learn" anything about operating in a hot zone that you don't already know. The first rule of good medical care in a hot zone is protect yourself, the second is to neutralize the threat. You can't do this on a bus, it's not your role. Just like you shouldn't be stupid enough to go into a hazmat situation without the right gear, the same applies to a threat environment.

Austin
I couldn't agree more with this sound advice. I know it's "Cool and High Speed Low Drag, and awesome and all that" , to be a special _______. (whatever).. but you MUST get solid skills in the basics first. Concentrate on being a solid medic in the streets. All of that other crap will present itself to you in time.
I have two buddies here in the fire department that are Tactial Medics with the SWAT team here. They are on call, have take home cars, all the cool gear, ect. The difference here is that both of them were Pararescuemen and both have 10-15 plus years as fire dept medics on top of that.
 

Off Duty

Adventurer
Pretty much the same here.

We've had M.E.R.T. (Medical ERT) members since the mid 80's at least.

I recall when the program was first started the admin types pizzed and moaned that it wouldn't work, wasn't needed, was too time consuming...pick a beotch.

Once the teams were trained and in place, they worked wonders, not only there for the officers, but for "any" casualty that occurred.

There was a selection process that weeded out most of the newbies and underachievers (2 separate categoroies:)) and kept the cream of the crop.

In the beginning, most of the guys trained on their own hours, provided thier own TAC gear and qualified right alongside our team members.

Later, the departments got together and purchased the gear for them and allotted training days.

Good luck with your training and as the others said, get the experience 1st. The "cool stuff" will come soon enough.
 

Fish

Adventurer
I do have to say that with the right mindset, going above and beyond your scope will help improve your skills. That being said, you still need the experience to actually operate in such fields.

As a fairly new medic, I was having some trouble intubating. There happened to be an opening in a US&R medic class that my department was giving. I was (and am) in a different section of US&R but was asked to attend to fill the spot. Boy, did I learn a ton about skills and improve my confidence. I didn't miss one tube after that. Ever. We tubed in confined spaces while laying on top of the patient face to face. We tubed while lying on a simulated roof and sticking our heads through a 12"x12" hole to the patient below. You get the point.

Oh, and doing central lines helped my IV skills a ton, too. I'll never do a central line, but it was still great knowledge.
 
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