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‘Normalization of deviance’: Chief Gary Ludwig on the death of Tyre Nichols

Chief Gary Ludwig joins to discuss the role of public safety leadership in preventing tragedy on scene, and weighs in on the EMS body camera debate

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This week, Inside EMS host Chris Cebollero is joined by Chief Gary Ludwig to discuss the killing of Tyre Nichols, which led to the firing of six Memphis police officers and three members of the Memphis Fire Department. Ludwig previously served as the deputy chief of the department for 10 years, running their EMS program.

Chief Ludwig discusses professionalism, how a “normalization of deviance” may account for the lack of concern for bad behavior, and leadership’s role in keeping our workforce safe. The pair round out the episode by discussing whether it’s time for EMS to start wearing body cameras during patient care or at other times during a call.

Top takeaways

“The cameras are rolling and people know the cameras are rolling and this is still the behavior.” — Chris Cebollero

“We behave on these cameras inappropriately, and nothing happens to us. You go on the next call, there’s cameras there – body cams, security cameras, Ring doorbells – there’s cameras everywhere. We behave inappropriately and there’s no consequences, even though it was captured on camera, so it becomes normalized.” — Chief Ludwig


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