In the early 90’s the Alamo Area Narcotics Task Force (AANTF) recruited our first Tac Med. He was soon followed by several other paramedics. These were paramedics with a twist. They were all full-time paramedics. They had a secondary specialty as police officers and all were SWAT trained.
Their role was to accompany AANTF agents on all high-risk enforcement operations. They weren’t expected to be at the head of the snake to be part of the tail. They had the training and equipment to operate in a hostile environment and if need be defend themselves.
As an aside, AANTF Tac Meds arrived at the Branch Davidian compound on the afternoon of the initial ATF raid. How they gained access to the scene has never been made quite clear. Once on they were on the scene of what turned out to be a long siege, they discovered that no thought had been given to the infrastructure to support the effort. By dusk, the Army National Guard responded with a field hospital and a field kitchen courtesy of AANTF Tac Med. By midnight the FBI HRT was on the ground. The HRT Medics were soon sniffing around the AANTF team. Legend has it, that when the HRT medics were asked what should be done with the AANTF interlopers the response was, offer them a contract so they can’t leave. AANTF was there to the end. Broward-Sheriff-office-didn’t-allow-paramedics-to-enter-Parkland-School/
There are several points to be made here. It isn’t enough that command knows what internal assets it possesses, they have to know what other agencies have that is available. That knowledge can only be gained by getting out of the office.
During the Whitman Texas tower incident, numerous construction workers made it back to their vehicles, unlimbered their deer rifles and had a go. They didn’t get Charles Whitman but did they cut down the volume of his fire? Three men made the assault on the tower, two Austin police officers, and a civilian. He was willing to go and he had a shotgun and that was enough.