The Emergency Service Team (E.S.T.) was founded in the spring of 2002 to allow the Lexington Police Department to better prepare for critical incidents and homeland defense. The Emergency Service Team was designed to respond to specific situations that required specially trained personnel. These situations consist of service of high risk warrants, barricaded/hostage situations, active shootings, civil disturbances, specialized protection detail, and response to critical incidents.
The Emergency Service Team is made up of certified law enforcement officers currently employed with the Lexington Police Department. Along with these officers regular police duties they are part time tactical officers who are on an "on call" status at all times for tactical deployment.
The Emergency Service Team consists of 2 divisions: the Negotiations Team and the Tactical Team. The negotiations team is made up of officers who all must attend a certified hostage/crisis negotiators course.
The tactical team consists of a commander, entry team, and support team members. All team members must attended a SWAT Team Operations: Basic Skills. The tactical team receives monthly training from instructors within the department in tactical operations and weapon proficiency. Additional specialized training may also be given to specific members related to medical certification, chemical options, rappelling, special weapons, search and rescue, etc.
Each tactical team member receives a ballistic helmet, vest, tactical uniforms, gas mask, rappelling gear, and 800 MHz radios. The team has at its disposal:
Armored response vehicle
Chemical and less lethal deployment tools
Close quarters weapons
Indoor/outdoor chemical agents
Long range weapons
The team currently has a certified tactical medic who is issued additional equipment to include items such as:
Advanced and basic airway maintenance supplies
Advanced and basic bandaging supplies
Automatic external defibrillator (AED)
Limited ALS and OTC medications
Whereas an EMS medic responding to the same situation would be delayed due to the unstable and unsecured nature of the incident, the tactical medic has the same advanced life support capability right there with the Emergency Services Team.
Since the team has been active it has been placed on alert numerous times related to homeland defense alerts, it has been deployed to serve high risk narcotics warrants, assist in tracking an escaped prisoner, assist in locating suspects, barricaded situations, assist serving multi-agency high risk warrants, searches for missing persons, and participate in yearly demonstrations.
The primary function of the Emergency Service Team is in conflict resolution and the protection of the people it serves.