S.W.A.B. …..Special Wounds And Bandages…

December 20, 2006

I am joining a new unit called SWAB, Special Wounds And Bandages. 


“Its What We Do…”

Its primary mission is to provide specialized back up to Ambulance crews on the ground. Its secondary role is that of A/E admission prevention by being a more proactive cell of the Ambulance Service rather than a reactive one.

SWAB (Special Wounds and Bandages) is a specialized unit in many United Kingdom Ambulance Services, which is trained to perform dangerous operations. These can include dressing head wounds of violent drunks, performing hostage rescue, preventing panic attacks and engaging heavily “chaved” people in conversation. SWAB teams are equipped with specialized kit including heavy duty thermos flasks (for when it’s a bit nippy), portable DVD players (while away the hours on standby), kevlar armoured string vest (cos you never know) and NASA designed combat/medic boots with full-on satellite tracking and built in computer (determines if you are really on scene and not lurking nearby). Also issued are specialized MOE tools (Method Of Entry) usually a half brick for window entry and a sturdy wheelie bin to ram through the front door (if no answer to polite knocking). SWAB teams also have special NVE (Night Vision Equipment)…..a torch.

SWAB duties

Swab duties include:

  • Non-violent treatment of desperate barricaded casualties;
  • Protecting emergency personnel against BB gun snipers;
  • Providing high-ground and perimeter security against BB gun snipers for visiting dignitaries;
  • Providing controlled assault bandaging in certain non-riot situations, i.e., barricaded casualties;
  • Rescuing officers and citizens captured or endangered by Chavs and/or Chavettes; and,
  • Neutralizing local pond scum or estate hoodies.  



SWAB officers are selected from volunteers within their Ambulance Service organization. Depending on the services policy, Officers generally have to serve a minimum tenure within the service before being able to apply for a specialist section such as SWAB. This tenure requirement is based on the fact that SWAB officers are still Ambulance Stretcher Monkeys and must have a thorough knowledge of service policies and procedures.SWAB applicants undergo rigorous selection and training, similar to the training some special operations units in the Salvation Army receive. Applicants must pass stringent physical agility, written, oral, and psychological testing to ensure they are not only fit enough but also psychologically suited for tactical operations. 


Accurate Bandaging Saved This Mans Foot

In addition, applicants must successfully pass a stringent background investigation and job performance review. Emphasis is placed on physical fitness so an officer will be able to withstand the rigors of a twelve hour shift without a break. After an officer has been selected, the potential member must undertake and pass numerous specialist courses that will make him/her a fully qualified SWAB operator. Officers are trained in bandagemanship for the development of accurate bandaging skills, although the use of bandages is considered a last resort in SWAB operations. Other training that could be given to potential members includes training in tea making, sandwich buying, fish and chip price negotiation skills, handling dog units (the Ambulance Service will be getting a K9 unit soon), and groovy discotheque dance moves (for the ladies!) and the use of specialized T.V. remote controls.


Victim of a Chav Attack

I am due to go on a parachuting course this weekend. This will allow myself and other SWAB team members to silently descend upon the outer estates and treat the pondscum and Chavs whilst they are sleeping off the booze or the hit from whatever chemicals they have injected.

Then again I may get the old cheese grater out (my favoured implement of revenge) and cheese grate their finger ends off! I may even use the old superglue on the eyelids trick, always a good one amongst the troops.

I will let you know how it goes and update you all on SWAB team operations! Untill then………….