Tactical Emergency Medical Support

Revised February 2018

Reaffirmed October 2012

Originally approved by the ACEP Board of Directors June 2004

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) believes that Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) is an essential component of military and tactical law enforcement teams. As an integral part of a tactical unit, TEMS helps maintain a healthy and safer environment for both law enforcement and the public. This unique subspecialty provides emergency care under extreme and potentially dangerous situations. Excellent management of injuries sustained during training or deployment requires proficiency in wound care, hazardous materials exposure, and evidence preservation. TEMS providers can provide medical insight during training, mission planning, and deployment of tactical teams.

ACEP encourages:

  • Establishment of funding sources sufficient to provide the necessary personnel, equipment, and training for TEMS providers at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Appropriate professional liability protection for TEMS providers.
  • Establishment of clinical care standards specific to tactical medicine through evidence- based research and proven methods.
  • Participation in recognized evidence-based training programs.
  • TEMS programs should have dedicated medical oversight by an experienced and tactically trained board-certified physician working collaboratively with emergency medicine and EMS-boarded experts.
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