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EMS1 community: Pros and cons of armed EMS personnel

With reports of increased violence on calls, some EMS personnel are feeling more and more unsafe on the job. Now, some fire stations are considering arming their EMTs and paramedics. We decided to ask our Facebook community if they thought it was time for first responders to start carrying guns. It was a pretty hot topic, getting more than 1,000 responses, some for and some against armed EMS personnel. If you've got more to add, make sure to comment below. Here are the 10 best responses:

Arguments for

"Yes. I work in a city that had about 23 shootings in one month with fewer officers on the street due to cutbacks. Things are getting rough for everybody." - Brian Villanueva


"I think all law-abiding citizens should be required to have firearms and prove they know how to use and maintain them. The nice people outnumber the jerks, and we just need to equalize the firepower." - Elias Friedman


"EMTs definitely should — I know there have been many instances where they've been harmed or killed in the line of duty. I've dealt with drunks and aggressive patients in the back of an ambulance, and you never TRULY know what you're dealing with when it comes to going to a call." - Drew Berry


"If paramedics complete a firearms safety course and are deemed capable in field trials by a certified firearms instructor, then yes, I believe we should have a right to carry while on duty. Situations are getting more and more dangerous by the day! Criminals have guns; why should we only have O2 cylinders and med boxes to protect ourselves?!" - Katie Goldman


"Absolutely! EMTs and firefighters have a dangerous job just like police officers. In fact, they are usually the first ones on scene, so they can get the bad end of the deal most times!" - Kristi Medley

Arguments Against

"Some people can barely handle the responsibility of charts much less the liability of carrying a weapon I would like aving good body armor." - Brandon Bam Bam Robertson


"Even trained law enforcement misuses guns to a certain extent. Firefighters and EMTs have enough to handle without having to worry about firearms." - Angelo Castelli


"Why keep a loaded gun around where people can grab it? Scene safety should be the biggest thing with this; send EMS and Firefighters through some self-defense courses. But let's be honest, if you're that worried about a call, stage and wait for police backup. That's what they are for." - Chris Day


"I would feel terrible because it is against our oath. But it may be better to have one just in case. But the last thing we need is for the public to start hating EMS and FD. PD gets enough heat from the mess-ups." - Jon Gull

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