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When de-escalation fails, with Jason Brooks

The DT4EMS owner talks dangerous encounters, personal defense and when to abandon the scene

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According to Bureau of Labor statistics, for healthcare workers, assault is the most common source of nonfatal injury or illness requiring time off of work.

In this episode of Inside EMS, Host Chris Cebollero is joined by Jason Brooks, BAS, EMT-P, I/C, to discuss the rising frequency of assaults against EMS providers.

Brooks owns and operates DT4EMS, LLC, providing defensive tactics for escaping, mitigating and surviving violent attacks. He has been in the EMS profession for over 25 years, serving as a firefighter, paramedic, paramedic educator and EMS administrator. He has spent nearly a decade studying the issue of violence in healthcare.

Together, they discuss:

  • Personal defense and de-escalation training
  • When to de-escalate domestic violence cases
  • What to do when verbal de-escalation fails
  • 4 rules of physicial and mental defense
  • When to leave the scene

Notable quotes from Jason Brooks

If you’re being threatened, you need to make the decision, “is this safe for me to stay here?”

“It’s not patient abandonment to leave a scene that’s unsafe.”

“There’s no law out there that says that you have to sit there and be abused, be assaulted, etc. If it’s unsafe, we need to know that care can end.”

“If it gets to the point where it’s escalated so quickly, if you have to leave equipment behind for your safety, leave it.”

Additional resources

This article originally posted April 20, 2024. It has been updated.

The Inside EMS podcast is a regular expert discussion of hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons for EMTs, paramedics and chiefs