Sometimes, Your Patient has FOUR LEGS

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Quite frequently in high risk law enforcement operations, such as an active shooter or a hostage situation, some of the officers on the scene have four legs. For that very reason, the Cypress Creek EMS Tactical Medic Team is trained in basic veterinary emergency medicine.

That knowledge is also included in the training the CCEMS team puts on twice a year for law enforcement officers and medics from all over the world.

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The training includes how to approach a dog, what his or her normal vital signs should be and how to check them, what human medications and treatment techniques will work if a K-9 is shot, cut or suffering from heat and dehydration.  Also, what specialized medical equipment is needed.

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But what if the K-9 is fine, but his or her handler is down and the dog has gone into protection mode?  Valuable information on how to handle that type of situation is part of the training.

And just in case there was any doubt, the students witnessed a demonstration of Police K-9 abilities.

Dog Bite Demo

Precinct 4 Deputy Ken Taylor and his K-9 Partner Rudy

Watching Dog Bite Demo

Since 2000, the Cypress Creek EMS Tactical Medic Team has been sharing its vast knowledge of tactical medicine with other first responders. Our training program, which is held twice a year, has drawn law enforcement and medical professionals from all over the world including Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand and Canada. In fact, ours is the only Tactical EMS Training that is officially approved by the Canadian government.

In our most recent week-long class, students have been telling us that the CCEMS Tactical Medic Training is the “most comprehensive they’ve ever experienced.”  The K-9 medicine component of our training is an excellent example.

Of course, our training is based on experience. CCEMS began putting together its Tactical Medic Team in 1994. It was the first such team in the Greater Houston area and, we believe, the first in Texas.

Our Team assists local, state and federal law enforcement in high risk operations such as serving felony warrants on suspects believed to be armed. The team is also deployed for active shooter and hostage situations.


CCEMS Tactical Team members are both certified medics and certified police officers who can deliver medical care on the front lines at the “point of wounding,” while engaging armed suspects and extracting the injured. The team members call it, “Bringing Good Medicine to Bad Places.”

See related story on Tear Gas training