US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Border Patrol Agents Train to Save Lives

Release Date: 
June 26, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents recently completed training in a variety of life saving techniques specific to the remote desert environment.

Agents preparing patient for transport

Border Patrol agents from El Centro, Tucson and El Paso take part in Tactical Medic training.

Border Patrol agents from El Centro, El Paso and Tucson sectors attended a 50-hour Basic Tactical Medic Course from June 22-26. Throughout the week, agents participated in scenarios that included a variety of field techniques, such as administering IVs while transporting patients, applying tourniquets to patients while under fire, and carrying patients to safety.

“This training enables BORSTAR (Border Patrol’s Search, Trauma and Rescue team) to go into situations that normal EMS aren’t trained to deal with,” said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael F. Friedrich. “It’s a necessary skillset.  It’s law enforcement specific, based on the military’s tactical combat casualty care. It teaches people how to use their civilian-taught skillset in tactical situations.” 

All agents in attendance are certified emergency medical technicians and are part of the Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group, which includes BORSTAR.

Agents practicing triage/first aid on a simulated patient

Agents practicing triage/first aid on a simulated patient.

In a separate training, other agents from various stations throughout Tucson Sector, as well as other law enforcement members, learned life-saving techniques in preparation to become nationally certified EMTs. The eight-week course, hosted by Tucson Sector Border Patrol, consists of classroom learning and live scenarios that teach techniques specific to Arizona’s border environment. 

Hands-on, scenario-based training helps agents prepare to rescue anyone they find injured while traveling across southern Arizona. With temperatures reaching over 100 degrees in the Sonoran desert, migrants often find themselves in distress and need emergency medical attention. So far, since temperatures started hitting 100 degrees and higher, Tucson Sector agents have rescued 128 individuals.

The Tucson Sector Border Patrol allocates a large number of resources to rescue individuals in distress, resulting in fewer deaths among the illegal immigrants entering the sector. These resources include a network of rescue beacons, BORSTAR, more than 250 EMTs and over 4,000 agents trained as first responders. 

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017