Special Teams

Manatee County EMS has several different special teams from which to choose. Each team has its own specific requirements which can be found in the department's General Orders. Some teams are open to all personnel and others are limited to Charge Paramedic positions only. Below is a list of each team, and a little about each team and its requirements.

EMS Special Teams


  • Honor Guard
  • HazMat
  • SWAT
  • MSAR


Honor Guard

Established 1999, the Honor Guard represents Manatee County EMS at a variety of ceremonies. The Honor Guard participates in parades and funerals, both within the department and honoring Public Safety personnel from other departments. The Honor Guard also partakes at presenting the colors at sporting events, such as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, or dedication ceremonies.

Find more information on the Honor Guard.


Hazardous Materials incidents are handled by Manatee County, in conjunction with EMS HazMat Medics, and local Fire Departments.  This team is only open to Certified HazMat Paramedics, and they also need to hold Charge Status with EMS.

Hazardous materials incidents include: explosives, gases (compressed, liquefied, or dissolved), flammable and combustible liquids, flammable solids or substances, oxidizing substances, poisonous and infectious substances, radioactive materials, and corrosives.


SABER or bicycle team, consists of EMT’s and Charge Paramedics, working in teams of two during special events.  These teams are self sufficient, and carry the medical equipment and medication to handle any emergency situation that arises, until a MCEMS medic unit can arrive.   SABER teams are utilized where conventional ambulances cannot gain access, some in include parades, festivals, county fair, and many other special events or situations.  SABER personnel must go through a bicycle training class and be able to show proficiency in handling the bicycles in many different situations and terrains.

SWAT - Tactical Medic

Manatee County EMS works with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office  in providing tactical medics for the SWAT Team.  MCEMS has been providing Medics to the Team since about 1985.  Their mission is to respond to tactical situations that require the use of specially trained personnel. Some duties include hostage situations, serving high risk search warrants, or any other volatile situation, where conventional Law Enforcement personnel are in need of assistance.      

SWAT is only open to a select few. Rigorous physical endurance, mental awareness and a strong commitment is required. Team members are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  The positions are only open to MCEMS Charge Paramedics, and need to have  Charge Paramedic status for one year or greater.  

Manatee County Sheriff's Office provides team members with all the gear needed to perform the duties requested.  Medics are trained in all aspects of SWAT deployment, and the use of tactical firearms.  Medics are also sent to "SWAT School" for basic SWAT operations training.

Tactical Medics are issued Sig-Saur P226 9mm handgun, and are a vital part of the SWAT team; meaning they make entry, and are up close and personal with the bad guys.  Tactical Medics are also trained in the use of 9mm sub-machine guns, Grenadier tear gas launcher, tactical shotgun, and all the entry tools needed for the job to be performed.

All tactical medics are encouraged to obtain certification as a law enforcement officer, or auxiliary deputy certification.  There are only 6 SWAT-Medic positions available on the MCSO Swat Team, so competition is intense.

MCSAR - Manatee County Search and Rescue

MCSAR is comprised of dedicated professionals - all active or interested in all search and rescue disciplines, disaster aid, emergency medicine and awareness education. We are primarily public safety personnel (EMS, Fire Rescue, Law Enforcement, etc...) furthering the advancement of professional practice, knowledge, and training in these fields. We are interested in all aspects of search and rescue - the humanitarian cause of saving lives - throughout Manatee County, Florida and around the world.... so that others may live.

The mission of Manatee County Search & Rescue (MCSAR) is to provide for the safety and welfare of all citizens and visitors to Manatee County and to protect them from the loss of life and property from disorientation, natural disaster and medical emergency. This mission includes, but is not limited to, Wilderness SAR, Urban SAR, locating lost stranded persons, the promotion of child prevention programs, dive rescue, marine rescue, and the providing of emergency medical services. The introduction of new ideas and concepts leading to improved services which optimize resources will be a high priority for department personnel. The promotion of good will, community respect, and confidence in Manatee County Search & Rescue will continue to be of the highest priority for all volunteers.


Contact MCSAR through ECC page group 12.