This past year two paramedics have been added to our local police tactical unit.  The medics have been well received and are considered a vital member of the team by the officers.  The medics train regularly with the team.  Unfortunately, there is one critical issue that is creating a serious concern to me and my medics,.  The medics only have one radio channel to operate on to communicate to the other team members and uniformed officers.  This channel is an abscure channel that is not used on a dailey bases by the county dispatch or officers.  I and the team leader (police officer) have asked the county to program the medic radios with the police channels.  The county has citied that the county does not permit non law enforcement entities to have the police channels and refuses to allow the medics to have the channels.  I have considered removing the medics as a result.  At this point I have not.  I have avoided entering the political machine to attempt to resolve this issue.  I have decided to address my conrcerns through written notice to the police chief and the county department of public safety as a means of record.  My questions are there any tatical teams that operate with no or very limited radio communications?  Are there any teams that face a similar expirence?  Does anyone know of any law associations/organizations that have a published positions on tatical medics?

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Replies to This Discussion

i am a non LEO Tac Medic, and we have the normal police channels even without being on a Tec team, when I was assigned to the team my radio was programmed with our SWAT channel
This is one that your tactical team leader needs to resolve for you. You are operating as prt of a law enforcement unit and proper communications are a necessity. Maybe the cops need to give you one of their radios.

Our TEMS medics always carry two radios - one to talk with EMS dispatch, the other to monitor/talk with the teams that they cover.
if your using a new 800mhz radio you should only need 1 radio with EMS and Tac channels

Skip Kirkwood said:
This is one that your tactical team leader needs to resolve for you. You are operating as prt of a law enforcement unit and proper communications are a necessity. Maybe the cops need to give you one of their radios.

Our TEMS medics always carry two radios - one to talk with EMS dispatch, the other to monitor/talk with the teams that they cover.
Yes, we are using 800 MHz.

William Caruso said:
if your using a new 800mhz radio you should only need 1 radio with EMS and Tac channels

Skip Kirkwood said:
This is one that your tactical team leader needs to resolve for you. You are operating as prt of a law enforcement unit and proper communications are a necessity. Maybe the cops need to give you one of their radios.

Our TEMS medics always carry two radios - one to talk with EMS dispatch, the other to monitor/talk with the teams that they cover.
I and the other medic were issued radios by the PD. When we started, we would just take an older PD portable out of a bank for training or a callout. Last we got issued new ones with scramble chips.
Ed,

Get a spare radio off the Police. Use this until you and the Tac Team bosses convince the powers that be to change the way things are done - especially given that it is an Occupational Health and Safety concern. Duty of Care? Maybe someone dies because you couldn't get to them in time because you didn't have any way of knowing......especially AFTER the powers had prior knowledge since you informed them......
Just a thought.
Cheers

Tim
At our agency EMS and LEO work off of the 800mhz frequency so we had dispatch program the EMS radios to the necessary freq. We also have a firefighter assigned to the team and he borrows a radio for training and call outs. Have you thought about checking to see of PD will "loan" you two a portable until you get over this hurdle?
NTOA has a published position on tactical EMS. NAEMSP has a position on tactical EMS.

I suppose if the county controls the licensing of the radio station they can control the use. I would assume the county is a cooridinator and not controller of operations, meaning that the chief of police would be in charge of the radio, and tell the county how to use his asssets.

You cannot operate without communications. The suggested solutions are good work-arounds for you, and have been used by many of us.

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