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Home > Topics > Safety
August 07, 2014
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Inside EMS
by Inside EMS

Quick Clip: Should paramedics be armed?

What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comment section below

By EMS1 Staff

Download this quick clip on iTunesSoundCloud or via RSS feed

In this week's Inside EMS podcast quick clip, hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss what would happen if paramedics and EMTs were allowed to carry guns on duty.

"I am not convinced that we should be armed inside those ambulances," Chris said. "The first time a paramedic shoots somebody, it's going to change the game of EMS forever."

Kelly counters Chris' argument with comparing it to a derivative of the blood in the streets argument.

What are your thoughts on arming paramedics? Do you think it will ever happen? Sound off in the comment section below and stay tuned for the full Inside EMS podcast tomorrow.

About the author

Inside EMS, a podcast series that features hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson, brings expert perspective to hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons to EMS personnel and leaders to be safe and successful.

Inside EMS is available for download on iTunes, SoundCloud and via RSS feed.
Comments
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EMS1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Brad Bradson Brad Bradson Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:07:23 PM There have definitely been moments when I wish I was armed. I support it.
Trent Adams Trent Adams Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:11:42 PM A private ambulance service in Jacksonville, FL allows their medics to carry as long as they have a concealed carry permit. I think it is a dangerous game to play but have thought about this myself. I agree if a medic shoots someone then every patient will assume we are with the police. We get it enough! We are there to help and in most cases we can as long as they don't feel threatened by us.
Stephen Gilbert Stephen Gilbert Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:17:59 PM Thats right it will. That provider gets to walk away. Properly certified and trained personnel should be allowed to carry.
Stephen Gilbert Stephen Gilbert Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:18:21 PM Thats right it will. That provider gets to walk away. Properly certified, Licensed, and trained personnel should be allowed to carry.
Stephen Gilbert Stephen Gilbert Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:21:25 PM What happened to the previous post on how there is more and more abuse against EMS? There are just some types of people that just don't give a darn anymore.
Joe Barlow Joe Barlow Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:26:33 PM We should not have to give up the right to defend our selves because of being on the job. The first rule of conceal carry is to avoid environments that can bring trouble and as medics we plunge ourselves into those places daily. My goal is to go home safely just like any responder. Medics don't always have pd protection and pd's are getting busier every day. Defending myself has never required terminal force in the past but the title of "medic killed on duty" is not what I want over my picture.
Mark McGuire Mark McGuire Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:30:26 PM Yes. Concealed Carry.
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:30:59 PM I'd support training police officers as paramedics before I's support arming paramedics. There is far more to being armed than simply carrying a firearm. You can't just give somebody a firearm as their only means of self defense. There is a reason why police officers are trained in hand-to-hand, have batons, sprays and tasers. If the only means a person has to protect themselves is to shoot somebody, that is a major problem and that individual has no business being armed in the first place. If a scene is dangerous then you need people on scene 100% dedicated to security. You can't do security one minute and then abandon it to do patient care. Doing patient care and ensuring a safe scene are not possible to do at the same time (anyone who disagrees can demonstrate how to cover a door and intubate simultaneously) . If you want to be armed for a living, then become a police officer or soldier. this would open up a can of worms that would have far more consequences than benefits.
David Shepherd David Shepherd Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:32:25 PM It will be a complete set back for EMS. If you want to carry become a cop.
Calvin White Calvin White Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:36:57 PM I am a Tactical Medic and we are not allowed to carry. I feel Medics are put into some of the same positions as a police officer countless times. If the medic is trained and has qualifiers and continued training there should be no issue. I would support it 100%
Thom Swan Thom Swan Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:59:36 PM I work in a dual role as an armed security officer / paramedic at a remote industrial facility. It's a unique setting and my organization has lost good medics who were unable to come to terms with the risk that they might have to take someone's life in the course of the job. Each community has to weigh risk vs. benefit. A dead paramedic isn't going to help an agency's reputation any more than is a paramedic or EMT using lethal force to defend herself. In a system where LEOs are available to mount a timely response to every EMS call there is little need to arm medics. On the other hand, in communities where EMS personnel are expected to enter potentially volatile scenes prior to LE arrival, I feel those medics should be well trained and properly equipped to defend themselves - and that includes lethal force. The best currently available information indicates that the risk for non-fatal assaults on Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers is approximately thirty times higher than the national average. The risk that the EMS provider will face for fatal assaults is three times higher than the national average (Kirkwood & Teitsort, 2012). While I believe that an armed medic needs MUCH more training than is provided in a typical concealed carry course, more akin to that training given a police officer, I also believe that the EMS employer who can not ensure adequate protection of his or her employees has an obligation to spend the money, provide the training, and accept the inherent risks of doing so.
Danny Harris Danny Harris Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:03:43 PM Not really sure that is a good idea. I understand the growing concern over the safety of our Emergency Health Care Professionals. But this kind log reasoning could provide us with a hole new group of concerns. It's a tough problem to address theres no doubt about it but the real concern lies in not liability issues but also the overall safety of all parties involved. And that my friends is where this particular issue becomes very complicated indeed!
Miranda Taylor Miranda Taylor Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:05:50 PM In one breath you say you'd support police officers being trained as paramedics and in the next breath you say you either take care of the patient or you take care of the security...
Erik Skoog Erik Skoog Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:08:09 PM I think that medics should be armed with exceptions, also i do see both sides of this issue. It is not about playing police officer or going into a unsecured scene without pd first. It is about that one moment that your faced with potential threat that is willing to do anything. If the medic is trained and licensed to carry concealed and can meet requirements by dept, or company then they should be allowed. I personally would be happy to have the okay to carry. This would require that carrying would be last resort. I have had the training for CCW and some other classes, and it is first taught do not go looking for fight, and if you cant talk it down or evade and your life is in danger, use lethal force. Okay the other side is : Some medics might get the mentality I have a gun and my safety does not matter. They also might be willing to brandish the weapon when it is not neccesary. Also what if the unstable mentally pt gets a hold of the weapon and uses it either on himself/herself or the medics. I look at it this way..if your dept allows you to carry and you do not want to you don't have to. All of us want to go home at the end of shift. It is in the news of increase of attacks on ems personnel, some have even started issuing vests for their crews. If a vest is being issued to protect your life, should they not allow you to protect your self.
Jason Knight Jason Knight Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:12:58 PM I've been a medic for many years in a Capitol city. EMS personnel should be "allowed" to protect themselves. Not showing it off and being a douche bag about it. Just personal protection with a permit on that person at all times.
Erik Skoog Erik Skoog Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:18:24 PM I see the risk vs benefit from the people that oppose it too...
Steve Durnan Steve Durnan Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:27:56 PM It's a Constitutionally protected RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Every person in this country has that right. Besides which, police are actually more likely, by over a factor of 5 to 1, to shoot the wrong person, when compared to the rest of the population. http://actionamerica.org/guns/guns1.shtml
Ken Fischer Ken Fischer Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:32:41 PM I believe they should be allowed to carry if they're qualified to. That said, I don't necessarily think it's something we want to encourage. It should really be a case by case basis.
Max Watson Max Watson Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:33:37 PM You have made some really great points, people do not seem to understand the difference in an armed position. You have to be trained, maintain proficiency, as well as be bonded, I seriously doubt any service is going to foot the bill for their entire staff, it is not as simple as bringing your gun to work because you have a CCW.
Mark Shtino Mark Shtino Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:39:07 PM Paramedics are already armed off duty in many states, why should it be any different when they are working? Do they suddenly become unsafe because they are in uniform? Does the siren affect their brains making them unstable active shooters looking for targets?? Being armed in daily life is to offer the ability to meet deadly force with deadly force should the need ever arise. Shoot, no shoot scenario training and use of force is not, and does not have to be the level of Law enforcement because Paramedics are not tasked with enforcing law and apprehending a dangerous criminal. The concealed weapon is their as a tool to save (the Medics) lives, unless you think paramedics cant be trained to use dangerous tools to save lives. We trust Paramedics to drive lights and sirens on the wrong side of the road and in excess of the speed limit with due diligence for the safety of others, but we cant trust them with a firearm to do the exact same thing??(and a firearm has fewer controls and easier to use than a vehicle). Its real simple. Require training and a permiting process, annual marksmanship requirements and use of force CE, but ALLOW the medics to decide if they want to carry or not. Dont force everyone to carry, but if one wishes to carry on duty, let them!!!
David Webb David Webb Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:41:38 PM I am in full support ONLY after the required period of training in weapon handling and intensive evaluation. many times paramedics are sent into intense crimogenic areas and some patients and or "bystanders" are armed and combatant.
Ken Fischer Ken Fischer Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:52:14 PM Every medic should have the right to decide for themselves whether or not carrying a weapon on duty. The service, AHJ and the medic themselves are the ones that work the district. I've had this cuandry personally, as I am both a business owner and a Paramedic and a few times I found myself going from one job to another. I had a welded lock box in my van to store the weapon. I was the Op's Sup'v so I approached the 2 V.P.'s and owner, and we worked out a policy to both monitor and control the providers that chose to carry. Fortunately for us, there were only 2. The Paramedic Sup'v and I.
Conor Wilson Conor Wilson Thursday, August 07, 2014 4:54:03 PM The goal of EMS is to save lives, not take them away. Theres a reason that Police Officers have levels of force that they use. As many other comments have said, it'd be better to train Police Officers as medics, than the other way around. And also, some medics are 18/19 years old, which in some states isn't even the legal age to carry a sidearm. Personal saftey comes first, but if the scene isn't safe, wait for the PD to clear the scene before entering. If you roll up to a scene before PD and it seems sketchy, radio dispatch for PD and wait. Also, not all companies have ALS providers running all the time. Should we arm the BLS personnel too? Along with that, a lot more people will want to be medics because they think it'll be cool to carry a gun while being a medic. Isn't that what TEMS is for? The moment a medic uses his firearm, there will be more consequences than benefits.
Ryan Patrick Ryan Patrick Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:03:13 PM As a medic I feel that my safety is more important to me than anyone else. It isn't always possible to have a police officer with you. My partner and I are going home at the end of our shift, so why not? CCM is a good way to expand this idea. You understand the legality of having a weapon and the possible consequences involved.
Alex Gibson Alex Gibson Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:23:16 PM I support this. It's no different than carrying at any other job in my opinion.
James DiMarco James DiMarco Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:28:58 PM Why do you feel that way David?
James DiMarco James DiMarco Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:29:53 PM Except maybe the medic surviving the encounter, which I sure as hell see as a benefit.
Brandon Chase Carbee Brandon Chase Carbee Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:33:06 PM Safety of the crew is first priority. Allow us to arm ourselves! Same rules apply. If you feel your life in danger, you have a right and an obligation to protect yourself and your crew... Your patient as well. It's not just the pt who can attack you. This is needed especially in places like where I live.
Chris Watson Chris Watson Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:43:59 PM I agree with arming EMS professionals. I have been in communities where I have been placed in bad situations due to lack of communication between agencies. I do agree that this should be the last line of defense but when it is needed it is needed.... Think of it this way, wouldn't you rather be proactive and not need it than drag your feet and it could've been a life saver?
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:44:34 PM Miranda Taylor I stated that I would support one before supporting the other. I did not state i support either. i just chose the lesser of two evils.
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:47:47 PM Steve Durnan the day you signed up for EMS you accepted restrictions on some of your freedoms. Much like how to accepted restrictions on your free speech to protect patient privacy.
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Thursday, August 07, 2014 5:52:33 PM Anybody who tells you that you have given up the right to defend yourself is feeding you a line of bull. A firearm is a tool. If you cannot defend yourself without a particular tool, then you cannot defend yourself. Paramedics are still protected by health and safety laws. We have legal obligations not to enter scenes that we know are unsafe. Obviously this is not full proof but it gives us legal protection to stay away from most unsafe scenes. The day we start carrying firearms is the day where we can no longer claim that a scene is unsafe to enter without police. The end result will be more paramedics put into harms way and the number of people in our profession that we bury for LODD's.
James Howell James Howell Thursday, August 07, 2014 6:08:18 PM If one meets their local laws for concealed carry (which I think is unconstitutional) and their employer is accepting of carrying...then, why not?
William Hines William Hines Thursday, August 07, 2014 6:08:36 PM With all the dangers medics face on the street on a day to day basis, it's almost becoming a need (sad to say it) to be able to defend our lives on a scene. On a general basis, most scenes are secured and PD does a good job, but as a last resort on a non-PD secured scene, having at least one person trained and carrying a weapon may save the lives of our crew. If it were allowed it should be on a voluntary basis only and crew members should have to be trained to use the weapons as well as other means of defense which should be re-qualified at mandatory intervals. It's not pretty that we as a society are getting to this point, but it is a reality. Arming medics is not a perfect solution, but it is a possible treatment to a greater problem, which is the threats to EMS providers in the field.
BomberBob Gearhart BomberBob Gearhart Thursday, August 07, 2014 6:21:03 PM If trained, yes. Most decision makers haven't been on the street in years, if not decades.
James DiMarco James DiMarco Thursday, August 07, 2014 6:32:53 PM Lawrence, were I to choose to carry a firearm for self defense while working the truck, I don't need any of the other tools that law enforcement carries, for the simple fact that I'm not there to provided a law enforcement function. I'm not going to wade into a problem because I have a gun. The gun is there so that if I have NO other choice to protect my life, or my partners life, that I have the best tool possible to resolve that issue.
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Thursday, August 07, 2014 6:58:20 PM James DiMarco Police officers do not carry things like firearms, tasers, OC spray and batons to enforce the law. They carry them for their own safety. This is why they may only use them in self defense. They have full understanding that not all situations that require a measure of force justify using a firearm. Police have OC spray, tasers and batons for situations where they need to protect themselves but cannot justify using lethal force to do it. The decision to wade into a problem because you have a gun will likely be made for you. Do people honestly think that they will be permitted to wait for police to show up if paramedics are armed? If you are carrying a gun you will never be able to make the statement "I don't feel safe" with any level of credibility.
James DiMarco James DiMarco Thursday, August 07, 2014 7:03:22 PM Lawrence Ryan As an EMS provider, I'm not trained or equipped to go looking for trouble. That job belongs to the guys who wear nice badges, carry handcuffs, and drive little (generally speaking) Ford cars. Adding a firearm to my daily kit doesn't change any of that. I'm still not traied to go wading in and combating patients. The gun is a last ditch measure to save my life, or the life of my partner. Just like when I carry outside the work place, I'm not carrying because I have a hero complex, I'm carrying because it gives me more options on how to address situations that threaten the life of me, or my loved ones.
Jason Paco Troxel Jason Paco Troxel Thursday, August 07, 2014 7:33:09 PM Should be permitted, but ONLY after taking a state certified program. Perhaps at least the self defense and gun qualifications portions of a municipal police academy. Not just OK, you have a permit, go ahead. Shooting is an absolute last move. Some jackasses would use a pistol as intimidation.
Rodney B. Ross Rodney B. Ross Thursday, August 07, 2014 7:54:58 PM The game will change the first time a medic straps on a weapon - not when they use it.
Gary Guyer Gary Guyer Thursday, August 07, 2014 8:42:48 PM Absolutely NOT. Even with proper training, the EMS crews should not be armed. To much of a risk of getting it taken away by irate patient or family member. It would possibly make the Ambulances and crews targets as well and put them in harm's way needlessly.
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Thursday, August 07, 2014 9:02:41 PM James DiMarco You really are not grasping what i am trying to tell you. Adding a firearm to your "tool kit" completely changes your capabilities on scene of an emergency. Do you not to calls involving stabbings, shootings, assaults, etc? If you work in EMS then you are sent into "trouble" every day of your professional life. Adding a firearm to your tool kit will change what your employer says your responsibilities are. Without exception each and every time a new tool gets added to out kit, our responsibilities get changed a bit. If you add a game changer like a firearm to your kit, then you'd better be prepared for your employer to re-write a number of the rules. Expect the police to stop attending psychiatric calls that are not criminal in nature. You can deal with the bipolar, schizophrenic on your own. The police will not attend until that becomes a police issue. Since you have a firearm, "paramedic safety" will not be a reason you can request them to attend. Much like how those two Atlanta paramedics dealt with the Ebola patient, you will be expected to deal with those hazards yourself as you are equipped to deal with it. Does that sound like fun to you? So yes, adding a firearm to your kit will change what you will be expected to walk into on your own without backup. If you don't do it, you're subject to discipline. Enough discipline and you're out of a job. Good luck finding a job in EMS when you've been fired for breach of your SOP's.
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Thursday, August 07, 2014 9:22:02 PM Ian Fliesser Whether you wish to accept it or not, you absolutely have restrictions on your free speech. HIPA does gag you on a number of things you can say about your patient and patient care. Don't believe me? Violate HIPA's standards and then use "free speech" as your defense at your disciplinary meeting. We all accept restrictions on various freedoms because of our profession. Arguing otherwise is just silly. I am fully aware of the fact that people want to go home at the end of the shift. What is a bit baffling is how unaware people are of the numerous other factors that come along with this. Yes, a firearm is an effective tool for when lethal force is justified. How many times in your career have you been in a position where lethal force would have been completely lawful? Now compare that to how many times you have been in a degree of danger that would have not warranted lethal force. In my 3 trips to Iraq I learned it isn't so much about when you decide to present/draw your weapon, it is often about deciding not to present your weapon because it will only make things worse. Any dummy can carry a firearm and pull a trigger. It takes a certain mindset and skillset to do it safely and to the point they don't become a safety hazard to themselves or somebody else. Most people in EMS do not have the mindset to carry a firearm. If we arm paramedics, how long do you think it will be before we are mourning a death because they were disarmed and shot with their own weapon? They were disarmed and killed because they didn't have the total skillset necessary to prevent it from happening. Killed in a situation that if they had not been armed they may have only been beaten up or injured. When I said I'd rather support training police officers as paramedics before I'd support arming paramedics, I was not advocating we do either. I have trained several tactical officers in TCCC. Cops tend to transfer over better to medicine than medical people tend to transfer over to anything resembling a combat environment. If we are talking carrying firearms, and using deadly force to protect ourselves, then we are talking combat situations. i have found they do better because they have a better ability see the "bigger picture". Whereas medical people tend to get tunnel visioned with regards to patient care. Medical people see their patient and only their patient. You get the odd exception in EMS, but they are just that, the odd exception. Oh, and any cop that has 2 weeks of training with firearms is a cop who has no business in the field and I don't want anywhere near me when SHTF. That person is not qualified to do anything more than stand there and look pretty on a flat range.
Patrick Blumhagen Patrick Blumhagen Thursday, August 07, 2014 9:24:53 PM I believe yes that they should be able to because some people plan things out to kill or injur them.
Charles Johnson Charles Johnson Thursday, August 07, 2014 10:57:07 PM I feel that firearms in the back of a moving ambulance could be very hazardous but maybe a less leathal approach so that you can your partner will be able to pull over and you get away would be more appropriate. I feel along the line of Tazers would be of the appropriate route. BTW I am a supporter of firearms so this isn't an issue of firearms or going into hot zones as a tac med but an everyday comfort of protection. You never know what you are walking into no matter how much you measure Scene safety. I do feel it is sad that our society has come to this.
Avraham Dorn Avraham Dorn Friday, August 08, 2014 3:07:51 AM Hi, I am an EMT from Israel, I carry a concealed weapon on me o work on a day to day basis, I wish I didn't have to, but reality says different. Should we be armed? Probably not, its not our job, now what we are trained to do, and can put us in harms way, but... unfortunately we live in times, and places, where we dont have the luxury not to. As I'm sure you are trained that safety cones first, some times we have no choice. In my opinion there is no correct answer, it should be decided on a case by case basis, carrying is the lesser of two evils.
Sean Michael Sean Michael Friday, August 08, 2014 5:33:20 AM Lawrence county ohio TEMS carry side arms in lock boxes on thier units so theyare able to respond faster.
Ben Parsley Ben Parsley Friday, August 08, 2014 5:43:19 AM I work for a company that has tried to prevent us from even having wweapons lock in our vechile on company property. My question to this is why am I denied the right to protect myself and my partner if the need arises. Yes I think we should carry and be provided the proper training. CCP is not enough in our profession. Same is true for fire and police
Maureen Johnson Maureen Johnson Friday, August 08, 2014 6:11:07 AM We are the ones who go into the situation to get the wounded out and most times the police are standing on the perimeter. EMT should be armed because was are in the same position, if not worse, than the police. However, if we do carry on duty, we have a huge responsibility to up hold, and we should realize that our integrity is at stake.
Michal Czerwinski Michal Czerwinski Friday, August 08, 2014 6:51:08 AM Tactical Medic in "street medicine" environment is someone who just SUPPORT tactical element. It's only joint - component's member who knows L.E. tactics and rules of engagement. Supporting injured patients with pattern of wounds/injuries in tactical environment. Armed Paramedics looks like Angel working in Hell. In my opinion it's good to know how to operate guns, but carrying it at work - it's wrong solution - maybe Non lethal? ;)
Scott Hosier Scott Hosier Friday, August 08, 2014 7:55:36 AM I carry and I'm a EMT on an ambulance. Just because you are armed dosnt mean your only option is to shoot! I can count how many times I've seen or heard of an officer pulling his gun and that ends it. Now at the same time I believe anyone who us going to carry on the job like that should have to go through police type trainning.
Daniel Styers Daniel Styers Friday, August 08, 2014 10:32:13 AM I feel like being armed with less lethal options such as a taser should be an option, with the associated training, to give first responders some line of defense when a scene turns violent without warning and escape isn't an option. However, we should also try to maintain an awareness of scene safety and escape routes. After all, isn't ensuring scene safety one of the first things we were taught?
Michael Ryan Michael Ryan Friday, August 08, 2014 11:24:39 AM Well heres the thing if i can legally care concelled of duty why can i not on duty if i am following the law i am only to discharge the weapon if i feel my self or someone else is in eminent danger of being killed. So what is the diff. On duty or not.
Karen Esoldo Karen Esoldo Friday, August 08, 2014 1:31:27 PM I am an EMT on an ambulance in a bad town I agree no guns to many psych calland crazies but iI do think we should be allowed a tazzer or at least pepper spray
Sean Michael Chumura Sean Michael Chumura Friday, August 08, 2014 1:34:07 PM I am an EMT on an ambulance in a bad town I agree no guns to many psych calland crazies but iI do think we should be allowed a tazzer or at least pepper spray
Sean Michael Chumura Sean Michael Chumura Friday, August 08, 2014 1:35:28 PM Karen esoldo is my wife I must have been logged into the wrong account I am the EMT sorry for the confusion
Jay Faulx Jay Faulx Friday, August 08, 2014 2:45:49 PM I think some of the people here are missing somethings in their thought process before they post a comment....number one yes it is a protected right...Two yes you need to be trained and continue to train...three I am a paramedic and do carry concealed everyday and four I don't think some of you who are against it have ever worked in rural areas where you may not ever get a dedicated law officer for scene security or they may be more than 45 min away.....and I may interject that some of the problem of getting law enforcement there is that the dispatcher does not get enough info about the call to have the officers respond first before EMS is sent...and before anyone says anything yes I speak from first hand experience. ...I have been there and not received help from law enforcement. So in turn I support the right and ability for EMS personnel to carry because I and my work partner would like to go home to our family at the end of our shift.
Carroll Polk Carroll Polk Friday, August 08, 2014 2:54:26 PM When is the scene safe? When the cops get there, but what if you get the call I got? the offender was gone, so the cops go looking he came back and we were no longer safe. We got lucky. I was able to fit from the back to the cab and get us out. But what if that was no option? But it might be a good idea. Where I work we have ONE officer at night.
Robert Reed Robert Reed Friday, August 08, 2014 3:42:45 PM Yes I support paramedics being armed, I have been a medic for 13 years and I have been in some sticky situations
Michael Helms Michael Helms Friday, August 08, 2014 3:58:29 PM So its bad if a medic has to defend themselves but ok for one to be killed?!?! another issue we really couldn't carry because we transport in and out of federal sites which don't allow arms even of their troops on base.
Jonathan Turpin Jonathan Turpin Friday, August 08, 2014 4:17:08 PM Already carry on the clock... Concealed of course.
Israel Serrano Matienzo Israel Serrano Matienzo Friday, August 08, 2014 8:51:03 PM Yes in asoludt
Gary Rogers Gary Rogers Saturday, August 09, 2014 5:05:50 AM Just one more thing that a medic needs to think about. There is no amount of training that will guarantee that 1, a weapon wont be pulled inappropriately, 2, A weapon was discharged in the heat of the moment, 3, that a weapon could be taken by a patient while a medic is concentrating on treatment, 4, that once known, they don't become targets, 5, a medic pulls up on a scene where someone is being threatened, that they don't play the hero and pull their weapon and make a big mistake, 6 the close quarters of a rig does not allow to move away from the danger as one is pulling the weapon to be discharged but someone will probably try, 7, more than 1/2 of the medics I ever worked with are great medics, but I feel they would create more danger than protect against. This isn't about right to carry. Its about creating a more dangerous environment than the rare event that you may have been able to avoid. I worked in a busy urban system where we had the option to wear vests, and I still never felt the need to carry.
Kevin Marriner Sr Kevin Marriner Sr Saturday, August 09, 2014 6:27:49 AM They are not LE and are not protected the same way under the law, I think it could cause them more problems then they realize. You don't just shoot someone and tell everybody it was self defense and get to go home at the end of your shift. The EMT's have to known they will be charged and most likely put on suspension and will have to go to court and maybe a trial, are they ready for that?
Lawrence Ryan Lawrence Ryan Saturday, August 09, 2014 9:12:13 AM Scott Hosier For an officer to lawfully draw their firearm, the a lethal threat must be present. Every time a cop draw their firearm, they must do paperwork and justify that action. Cops have been and continue to be disciplined for inappropriate threats of force. If EMS ever decides to go forward with this initiative people don't need "police type" training. They need actual police training. Put those medics side by side with cops and give them the same instruction. When I did my public order training, I did the exact same course as the police. it was not a modified version for paramedics. Something like this is too important to take some Mickey Mouse version of use of force training. Personally, I believe what most police officers gen is grossly inefficient training. Police officers only get the minimum training that has the liability of the police service in mind, not the safety of the officers. Do you want training that will save your life or training that satisfies the legal concerns of some EMS bureaucrat? Government funded training will never give you appropriate training. It is nothing more than a false sense of security.
Albert Ruelas Albert Ruelas Saturday, August 09, 2014 8:35:55 PM To save lives you have to be alive , if a paramedic die the rest of wunded people dies too

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