Fireman Sam capable in any danger zone thanks to CQUni's Grad Cert in Tactical Medicine

20 January 2021

Although firefighter Sam Miletta has many years' experience handling any emergency situation' CQUniversity's Graduate Certificate in Tactical Medicine has given him the confidence to face even more hostile situations head-on.

Sam' who has worked for the Victorian Fire Service for eight years' is also a remote medical instructor for TacMed Australia and he says his Graduate Certificate in Tactical Medicine training at CQUni' has also helped him be a better trainer.

"Firefighting interested me as it provided a diverse and challenging career. Through my role I am able to be part of the response to a range of fire' medical' and rescue emergencies. The fire service provides a work-life balance with strong camaraderie and a focus on fitness'" he said.

"Through my casual employment as a tactical and remote medical instructor with TacMed Australia' I have had the opportunity to travel around Australia to deliver training to a range of clients.

"Having been involved in research and training for the response to terrorist and other hostile events I wanted to further develop my knowledge and experience.

"While many of the tactical medicine courses I am aware of focus on the hands-on practical elements' this tertiary-level qualification allowed for a further in-depth learning experience and provided me a strong theoretical base followed by the opportunity to bring it all together for a practical component.

"I really enjoyed the course which focused on providing care to trauma patients in high threat and austere environments' diving into the evidence behind why we do what we do. It encouraged me to understand the importance of evidence-based practice' with a need to always stay up to date and relevant in the ever-evolving sub-discipline of tactical medicine.

"Undertaking the practical component with students from a range of different backgrounds and clinical experience was also a highlight of the course. Together we learned new skills and had the opportunity to converse and share knowledge with like-minded individuals. Each student had something different to contribute to the learning experience' from their experiences dealing with acutely ill trauma patients to operational skills developed during military and policing careers."

Sam said he has put what he learned into practice as a firefighter' while attending motor vehicle collisions' train and industrial accidents and he's even provided airway management for several patients in respiratory and cardiac arrest.

CQUni Paramedic Science Lecturer Aldon Delport said the course commenced at CQUni in 2019 in order to fill an identified gap within Australian emergency response to address challenges related to intentional mass violence' terrorism-related violence and complex environment response.

Aldon brings his 20 years' experience to the course' having provided patient care in war zones in Iraq and Somalia and disasters like the Haitian earthquake.

"The course is not just for Paramedics' but for nurses' doctors' firefighters and in exceptional cases for police officers designated to provide patient care in police special operations'" Aldon said.

"Students are taught to function in high threat environments by developing situational awareness and situational response skills' specialised medical skills and familiarisation with specialist equipment.

Sam recommended the course to all emergency service personnel.

"There's a common misconception when people hear the term' 'tactical medicine' - they automatically think of shooting guns and running around in black tactical gear. It is important to understand that the discipline is much more diverse'" Sam said.

"Tactical medicine focuses on the ability to balance your medical priorities and interventions against the ongoing risks. 'Good medicine can sometimes be bad tactics'' meaning that the clinical intervention your patient may need is not always what is best for the overall mission or the safety of the team.

"Situational awareness and critical decision-making skills are important to help you treat casualties in a range of high-threat or dangerous scenarios from terrorist attacks' natural disasters' remote and austere environments' or scenes of aggression and violence.

"This course should be considered by not just paramedics' but anyone who may be required to deliver clinical care or establish policy in regards to intentional mass casualty events or high threat environments.

"It builds knowledge on managing your body's own physiological responses to stress and covers topics that include medical mission planning and managing casualties within a prolonged field care setting where limited equipment' weather conditions and other hazards may present challenges beyond just medical care."

For more information on the Graduate Certificate in Tactical Medicine visit