Armed EMS. How many of you carry?

MiddleEastMedic101

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Where I worked (Israel), we often have to respond to terrorist incidents, violent scenes, and the normal bad neighborhoods. There have been incidents where EMS personal have been shot or shot at.

Some of our guys are issued weapons, and/or have personal weapons and carry licenses. We also all have vests and helmets in the rig. Don't forget, most of our guys are military trained and in the reserves.

How many of you or your agencies go armed?
 

medicdan

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I have worked in Israel, where many Hoveshim and Paramedics are armed, but that just wouldn't fly in the US (or I suspect anywhere outside the Middle East). We see ourselves as health professionals, and to a certain extent healers, and distance ourselves from police and military-- and prefer to heal, not hurt, or at least shouldn't be places where we are in danger...

The helmets and vests in ambulances are for piguim, not everyday use (I hope!)... although again, EMTs and medics in some areas do wear vests on a daily basis.

There are a few isolated Tactical medic programs, where indivuduals are often cross-trained as LEOs and assist with SWAT-style missions, but they are generally very isolated staff.
 

DesertMedic66

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None. I have yet to hear of an EMS agency or fire department that arms its employees. Also I have yet to hear of anywhere that would allow a EMT/Medic to carry a weapon on duty (aside from a knife for everyday tasks).

I heave heard of a couple of areas issuing stab vests.

And the only helmets we have are ones we wear on car accidents.
 

Chris07

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When I visited Utah two years ago, I noticed that the local Sheriff's department provided First-on ALS. I was intrigued that most...if not all of the Sheriff patrol cars I saw had "Paramedic" printed on the side.

I believe that PD based EMS is the closest thing to armed EMS that we have in the states. Even then, I'm sure that true PD based EMS systems are rarer than rocking horse poo.

I heave heard of a couple of areas issuing stab vests.
Maybe it's only an LA County thing but I recall reading that bullet-proof vests for EMS are required for deploying in areas of civil unrest. Perhaps this was added after the '92 riots?
 
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mm505

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Back in the 80's, I knew a few medics who carried, especially on the south side of Atlanta! No matter what anyone says, Atlanta has some areas where if you is the wrong skin color, you will most likely be getting picked up by an ambulance.
 

STXmedic

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Lol I know guys that still do! It's just not typically smiled upon ;)
 

DrParasite

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Don't go armed. don't really want to. There is a policy forbidding firearms when working on the ambulance.

I know a couple of guys who do carry firearms, who work EMS part time and are full time LEO or CO. it's always concealed, and if you don't know they are carrying, you wouldn't even guess where. And they carry for self defense only, they aren't going to be entering any hostile situations.

We also have some FBI personnel who are paramedics, who do ridealongs with us, and are exempt from the no fire arms policy.

Some PD based EMS systems issue Bullet proof vests, and I know one used to require them be worn anytime you are on duty.

let LEO do their job, and secure all scenes. and if you need to stage for 5-45 minutes on violent scenes until PD gets there, so be it, my safety comes first.
 

patput

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When I visited Utah two years ago, I noticed that the local Sheriff's department provided First-on ALS. I was intrigued that most...if not all of the Sheriff patrol cars I saw had "Paramedic" printed on the side.

I believe that PD based EMS is the closest thing to armed EMS that we have in the states. Even then, I'm sure that true PD based EMS systems are rarer than rocking horse poo.
Police based EMS in Tonawanda, NY. I'm not sure exactly how it all works, but I don't believe the medics are LEO's as well. Seems to just be an ALS fly car service that is affiliated with the PD.
 

medicdan

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@Dan

Were you MDA too??? I was in Beersheva 2008-2009 Oferet Yetzuka.
Yes, I was in Herzliya in 2007, as a Metnadev "Hu"L", and was grandfathered in as a Hovesh Bacheir, working on Natan, although only took the 60-hour course.
I miss MDA, and look forward to going back soon...
 

mycrofft

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SliceOfLife

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Some states have specific laws preventing ambulance personnel from carrying weapons, like CT. I've searched the MGLs and can't find any prohibitions in MA. I'm curious about other states.

Also, in MA you can't carry on school grounds or on federal property. So what would you do if you had to respond to a school or some other such place?

Or states that have binding signage laws? Now you could be liable for criminal trespass.
 
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Akulahawk

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While I usually carry, I normally don't while working any kind of EMS job. That doesn't mean that I'm unarmed... just not with a firearm at the time. My CCW allows me to carry almost anywhere, however, I can not carry in Federal Buildings or Courthouses. Note I didn't include schools or school grounds in that list... Prisons, jails, etc are also no-go for security reasons. While I can legally carry at school and in clinicals, I run risk of being expelled from school/program for doing so, so I don't normally carry there.
 

MassEMT-B

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Some states have specific laws preventing ambulance personnel from carrying weapons, like CT. I've searched the MGLs and can't find any prohibitions in MA. I'm curious about other states.

Also, in MA you can't carry on school grounds or on federal property. So what would you do if you had to respond to a school or some other such place?

Or states that have binding signage laws? Now you could be liable for criminal trespass.
The only armed EMS service I know of in Mass is Mattapoisett, but they are on duty police officers. I was just looking on their website and you can actually see an armed officer with his EMT patch facing the camera.
 

Mountain Res-Q

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LOCALLY...

Ambulance = Never seen it. The company I worked for once-upon-a-time had a strict policy against it.

Fire = I know of several Firefighters (not prevention officers) who carry as appropriate.

SAR = As long as it is done legally, the unofficial policy has always been "don't ask... don't tell..." and I do know of members (non-LE) who carry. Given some of things I have run across in the woods (not animals, which scare me not), I am not against it...

Medical Event Standbys = I know of several EMTs that carry legally based on the event and location of the event. Again... "don't ask... don't tell..."

PERSONALLY...

I have guns (in preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse)... I generally think it is a bad idea to carry when acting as a Medical Provider in the United States (minus Detroit and Oakland)... however, knowing that many EMTs and Medics carry nationwide (far more than most would like to believe) and not knowing of any incidents where EMTs or Medics have discharged their weapons on duty can lead to one of two conclusions for me:

A. It is okay to carry; that most objections to it can be refuted with historical data from those that do carry and do not shoot.

B. Why carry? No EMTs or Medics have ever needed it... yet... (although I do subscribe to the "condom theory" = Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!)

Working Ambulance, I would never have carried... That said... I do not work ambulance anymore... never assume I am not armed... ;)
 
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mycrofft

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EMTLIFE's premier "black hole" subject. An example of why we need to be able to post a poll but lock the comments.
 

OODAsquirrel

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The state laws regarding carry here have recently changed and ambulance services have not caught up. There are LOTS of people getting licensed to carry and lots of places that haven't banned the practice so there is no state law prohibiting it and no company policy prohibiting it either.

That being said, I do not carry on the ambulance. For one, I don't have a good means of concealing when in uniform as I most certainly wouldn't tempt fate by going openly.

It doesn't mean I'm without options. I always have a neck knife on and a kubaton in my pocket. But these items are for personal defense, not any kind of terrorist response.
 

AnthonyM83

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I don't know if locking comments would be best as new information arises and conversations go different ways. Just like you always look for recent studies even if old ones have been done.

As far as the Los Angeles civil unrest comment...I've heard similar things. Also know local EMS Agency has distributed vests to the local ambulance providers for that case.

I've also worked with partners who carried "informally"...but that was also the area where people had been held on gunpoint a few times within a couple years period...
 

RocketMedic

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I carry in the military, but not in civilian contexts. Its hard to explain why you had to shoot someone in New Mexico.
 
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