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11 videos to help providers prevent violence, escalation

These videos demonstrate how to predict scene safety, handle violent patient outbursts and maintain a safe scene on each call

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In these videos, learn how to predict scene safety, handle violent patient outbursts and how to maintain a safe scene on each call

When you respond to a 911 call, information about what you will encounter is often limited. A seemingly stable encounter can quickly escalate into a violent situation.

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when you arrive on scene, and to maintain situational awareness throughout the call.

In addition, EMS professionals should have a basic understanding of de-escalation and self-defense techniques.

In these 11 videos from EMS1 columnists and contributors, learn how to predict scene safety, handle violent patient outbursts and how to maintain a safe scene on each call.

1. Scene safety

While EMS providers are often trained in assessing initial scene security, there’s room for improvement when it comes to maintaining scene safety.


Steve Whitehead offers advice on handling violent patients.

3. Escaping Violent Encounters: Fight or flight – don’t freeze!

You can have all the physical skills on the planet, but if you’re not mentally prepared and have a survival mindset, you’re going to freeze.

4. Escaping Violent Encounters: How to cover and conceal yourself

From taking cover behind your unit’s engine block, to standing to the side of a door when entering a home, this knowledge is as important as any physical skill to keep you safe.

5. Escaping Violent Encounters: When EMS should be armed

Kip Tietsort talks about the risks involved when EMTs carry guns, and how agencies should incorporate additional training.

6. Escaping Violent Encounters: Calculating the best defense

From a verbally aggressive patient to a life-threatening attack, Kip Tietsort goes over assault response guidelines to determine the most appropriate action.

7. Remember Two Things: Angry patient de-escalation tips

People get upset about their situation and tend to take it out on those of us in EMS. Here are a couple of tips on how to develop rapport with angry patients and de-escalate the patient’s anger so you can do your job.

8. How to safely position yourself around patients

Approach a situation and position yourself well to improve clinical care, your relationship with the patient and safety.


Steve Whitehead hands out a couple of unique tips for keeping your mind sharp and eyes peeled to maintain scene safety.

10. Situational awareness tips to increase scene safety

Standing to the side of a door, recognizing where weapons may be located in homes and cars, and staying alert can save your life and the lives of others.

11. Tips for predicting scene safety

From how to position yourself when taking a pulse, to searching patients before handing them over to police, here are ways to increase safety for everyone on the scene.

This article was originally posted May 26, 2020. It has been updated.

Rachel Engel is an award-winning journalist and the senior editor of and In addition to her regular editing duties, Engel seeks to tell the heroic, human stories of first responders and the importance of their work. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and began her career as a freelance writer, focusing on government and military issues. Engel joined Lexipol in 2015 and has since reported on issues related to public safety. Engel lives in Wichita, Kansas. She can be reached via email.