The Flagler County Sheriff's Office initially formed an Emergency Response Team (E.R.T.) in the late 1990's to assist with the growing demand for high risk warrant services. As Flagler County became the fastest growing county in the nation the team quickly evolved into a full service tactical team, which is able to respond to any critical incident.
Today the team is made up of specially trained operators each selected from different areas from within the department. Each operator is assigned full-time to either uniform patrol, criminal investigations, narcotics enforcement or the K-9 Unit. In addition to the deputies, paramedics from the Palm Coast Fire Department are assigned to the unit as SWAT Medics. The medics train and deploy with the team at all times and if needed allow the unit to give immediate medical care to wounded civilians or team members.
SWAT is a voluntary unit and its operators work on a call-out basis. Deputies wanting to participate in SWAT must pass a rigorous three day assessment period where they will show proficiency in areas such as physical fitness and firearms. Once assigned to the unit the operator will attend eighty hours of basic SWAT instruction.
As a whole the team trains twice a month and members attend numerous specialized schools throughout the year. SWAT assists other local, state and federal agencies with operations within its jurisdiction and neighboring areas. The Sheriff's Office has equipped the team with the very latest in tactical technology and protection equipment. The team also possesses several specialty vehicles which aid in the safe extraction of injured citizens or officers. These vehicles can also be deployed during response to natural disasters such as hurricanes and search and rescue operations. The goal of SWAT is to safely resolve critical incidents within the county and to offer the highest level of protection for its citizens.