Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 3

DPS Capitol Complex TECC Training

Last year, a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper was credited with saving the life of a sergeant who had been shot high in his leg. The DPS sergeantówho had attended Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) training at DPS less than a year before the incidentóremained calm and gave instructions on the application of a tourniquet as well as other medical care rendered while an ambulance was on route to the scene. In 2014, seven Texas law enforcement officers’ lives were saved due to the deployment and application of tourniquets to themselves or by other officers. A law enforcement officer may only have a few minutes to deploy and properly apply a tourniquet in order to save his or her own life or the life of a partner or civilian.

Region 7

The DPS Regions. Region 7 (Capitol Complex) is the state capitol along with the surrounding buildings.

As the number of high threat operations confronted by law enforcement officers increases, ensuring they are well-trained for not only dealing with threats, but also managing the injuries they and fellow officers may receive becomes more and more critical. Law enforcement tactical training under various operational scenarios is ever-changing and evolving. One of the challenges being addressed by progressive new training is teaching law enforcement officers how to deploy medical care in a high-threat environment where no medical professionals are on hand.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) along with the DPS’ Education, Training and Research (ETR) Division implemented a First Responders Program, designed to train commissioned officers to render emergency medical care to civilians, to other officers and to themselves until medical professionals arrive. Over a two-week period during January and February, DPS Region 7 (Capitol Complex) conducted TECC training for all of the troopers and a large portion of security officers who are stationed at the state Capitol.

TECC training

All together approximately 130 troopers and security officers were trained on how to provide direct pressure to immediately stop critical bleeding, tourniquet application and pressure bandaging all while working in a high-threat environment. The course focused on training troopers and security officers how to mitigate the threat and administer lifesaving skills to themselves, a fellow officers and co-workers who have received some type of penetrating trauma to vital areas of the body that requires immediate attention. The students experienced the training in various realistic environments that duplicated the stress level of managing themselves or another person when severely injured. By the end of each session, the students had demonstrated the confidence and competence of deploying the skills learned from the class. They received 20 hours of combined TECC (16 hours) and medical training (4 hours) over each two-day class.

Through a collaborative effort with the senior leadership of Region 7, ETR and TDEM Emergency Medical Services, this training supported a unified effort to ensure that these critical skills are considered a priority and provided to troopers and security staff in Region 7. The goal was to enhance emergency medical care at the Capitol by combining the comprehensive training principles of TECC guidelines along with additional emergency medical training presented in realistic settings.

Tactical Emergency Medical Care


Clockwise from upper left: Treating wounded civilian and officer in the field; high threat situation; active shooter scenario; treating officer in a stairwell; after incident briefing.

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