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TECC Training Provides Blueprint for Response to Mass Casualty Events


The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, or TECC, course offered through Memorial Hermann Life Flight® teaches first responders how to provide medical care during active shooter or other high-risk situations.

As the number of active shooter incidents in the United States has risen in the last decade, so has the need for medical training when responding to such events. For first responders, a new program available through Memorial Hermann Life Flight® is providing the training necessary to assess high-risk situations and provide timely care.

Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, or TECC, is a national course that was developed by the National Association of Emergency Technicians (NAEMT). Life Flight is the only air medical transport service in the Southeast region to offer TECC courses.

“There’s a great need for this training in the community,” explained George Tarver, III, clinical educator and senior flight medic for Life Flight. “Emergency response to incidents like this involves multiple agencies and it can become chaotic really quickly. That’s why it’s important to have everyone on the same page, so we can complement one another and optimize our resources.”

The TECC program is made up of classroom work and hands-on training, and takes roughly 16 hours to complete. Experts from law enforcement, health care, emergency medical services, fire, military and federal agencies had a hand in building the program.

At TECC’s core are three key phases of care to manage trauma: 

  • Direct threat care: Care that’s given while under attack or in adverse conditions.
  • Indirect threat care: Care that’s given while the threat has been suppressed but could resurface at any time.
  • Evacuation: Care that’s given while an individual who’s hurt or wounded is being evacuated from the incident site. 

Some of the specific topics the course covers include hemorrhage control; surgical airway control and needle decompression; strategies for treating wounded responders in threatening environments; caring for pediatric patients; and techniques for dragging and carrying victims to safety.

“Treating a patient in a tactical setting is much different than what most of us encounter in our day-to-day routine,” said Tarver. “The TECC program exposes responders to never-before-encountered situations and teaches them how to evaluate the risk and determine the best course of care based on extenuating circumstances.”

More than 100 participants have completed TECC training through Life Flight, which comes with a four-year certification from NAEMT upon conclusion.

To learn more about TECC training, call (713) 704-6151 or email