Bullet Proof Vests?

B12

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Would you agree or disagree with EMS being required to wear bullet proof vests?

Personally, I agree and support this...
 

irishboxer384

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1-There is no such thing as a bulletproof vest.
2- unless youre in law enforcement or work in a warzone you don't need one= 'scene safety'
3- performing patient treatment with body armour is pretty far from comfortable if you have never tried it
 
OP
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B12

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1. Yes, they are for the most part bullet resistant (I've worn one!!)
2. Scene safety also means protection.
3. Have you ever tried performing patient treatment with body armour? It's an adjustment but I'd rather be uncomfortable then dead!!
 

Handsome Robb

Youngin'
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I don't particularly think we need to wear them all the time. I do like the idea of external plate carriers with some additional lateral stab/spike protection to be worn on any violent crime.
 

irishboxer384

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No they aren't bullet proof.
Scene safety means you don't enter a scene unless it is safe- meaning you shouldn't be in a situation where it is unsafe.
Yes I have provided treatment while wearing armour, and your local metro area isn't somewhere to warrant being uncomfortable.

If people have money to spend it should be on advanced driver training or de-escalation skills etc
 

Carlos Danger

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No they aren't bullet proof.
Scene safety means you don't enter a scene unless it is safe- meaning you shouldn't be in a situation where it is unsafe.
Yes I have provided treatment while wearing armour, and your local metro area isn't somewhere to warrant being uncomfortable.

If people have money to spend it should be on advanced driver training or de-escalation skills etc

This.

If I felt the need to wear armor routinely, I'd find a different place to work.
 
OP
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B12

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Scene safety means you enter a scene that's "declared" safe but as with any scene , it can quickly go from safe to unsafe within seconds.
I've also provided treatment while wearing one which is why I support EMS being required to wear them. Have you ever been on a scene which went from being declared safe to being unsafe with a blink of an eye?
And I'm not sure which bullet proof vests you wear, but yes they are bullet proof with a few exceptions. If they weren't bullet proof you wouldn't find Law Enforcement or Military wearing them!

Also, advanced driving training and de-escalation skills should be apart of every EMT course in my opinion. We work on the same streets as Cops and Firefighters, facing the same dangers and violence, why shouldn't EMS be in that same boat with protection? We already wear bunker gear (in some cases) on fires, why shouldn't we be required to wear vests on potential violent calls?
 

irishboxer384

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Scene safety means you enter a scene that's "declared" safe but as with any scene , it can quickly go from safe to unsafe within seconds.
I've also provided treatment while wearing one which is why I support EMS being required to wear them. Have you ever been on a scene which went from being declared safe to being unsafe with a blink of an eye?
And I'm not sure which bullet proof vests you wear, but yes they are bullet proof with a few exceptions. If they weren't bullet proof you wouldn't find Law Enforcement or Military wearing them!

Also, advanced driving training and de-escalation skills should be apart of every EMT course in my opinion. We work on the same streets as Cops and Firefighters, facing the same dangers and violence, why shouldn't EMS be in that same boat with protection? We already wear bunker gear (in some cases) on fires, why shouldn't we be required to wear vests on potential violent calls?


Yes it can go from safe to unsafe in a matter of seconds, but so can shopping at the local mall, it doesn't mean you prepare for war. I'm a bit surpised as a former LEO you aren't aware of the limitations of 'bullet proof vests'- there is a reason they are properly entitled 'armour'- all armour can be penetrated...same with 'bullet resistant' glass.

EMS shouldn't be in the same boat because it is the job of LE to make a scene safe- hence they are the ones with guns and vests and helmets etc...the job of EMS is to stay away until it is safe- because if those providers get injured then there is noone to treat the patients.
 

Chewy20

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I've entered a declared "safe" scene before only to have someone laying on the floor shot with the shooter still in the house and pulled the gun on us. Scene safety declared by dispatch doesn't mean crap.

My department issues them to field medics. You're SUPPOSED to wear them when staged or entering a potentially violent crime scene. I haven't had to dawn it yet.

And for it being uncomfortable while doing pt care? I don't buy into that, never used it on an actual call, but during the academy I was making the same movements and picking up the same weight as a real call and I never noticed it.

I support it being an option to wear. Not something all the time.
 

irishboxer384

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I've entered a declared "safe" scene before only to have someone laying on the floor shot with the shooter still in the house and pulled the gun on us. Scene safety declared by dispatch doesn't mean crap.

My department issues them to field medics. You're SUPPOSED to wear them when staged or entering a potentially violent crime scene. I haven't had to dawn it yet.

And for it being uncomfortable while doing pt care? I don't buy into that, never used it on an actual call, but during the academy I was making the same movements and picking up the same weight as a real call and I never noticed it.

I support it being an option to wear. Not something all the time.


I agree with that point for sure- it should be available in the vehicles.
On the uncomfortable issue- it is extra weight on your body which restricts your ability to cool off, and being blunt- how many obese and out of shape medics have you seen? I think wearing body armour in a hot, fast paced environment is going to result in more casualties than it saves.
 

Tigger

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If you want to wear one, fine. But don't tell me I have to wear one as a requirement, I'll make that choice for myself thank you very much.

Why does this always come up? There are many, many ways to be killed or injured on the job yet we always seem to focus on guns. Why is that?

Meanwhile it's difficult to convince people to wear a traffic vest on the roadways. Guess what's more likely to kill you, an absented minded driver or gunfire?
 

Gurby

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And I'm not sure which bullet proof vests you wear, but yes they are bullet proof with a few exceptions. If they weren't bullet proof you wouldn't find Law Enforcement or Military wearing them!

10 seconds of internet research reveals this:

Soft vests are made from many layers of woven or laminated fibers and can be capable of protecting the wearer from small-caliber handgun and shotgun projectiles, and small fragments from explosives such as hand grenades.

Metal or ceramic plates can be used with a soft vest, providing additional protection from rifle rounds

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulletproof_vest

So a vest protects you from small-caliber handgun rounds. I'm not very reassured by this.
 

Akulahawk

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Gurby: the level of protection that a vest offers is related to the number of layers in the armor panels. Fewer layers means less protection. More layers mean more protection. Fewer layers also means increased comfort, more layers mean increased stiffness. Concealable armor is generally available to Level IIIA... which will protect against most handgun rounds. Those are pretty bulky, stiff, and hot. Once you bump up to a Level III, those are external carrier models and they're effective against some rifle rounds. Level IV is supposed to be effective against a single hit from a .30-06 M2AP (armor piercing) round.

Most bullet resistant vests aren't very effective against stabs. There are separate ratings for that.

My feeling about this is that it should generally be up to the individual provider whether or not to wear body armor. Certain situations should make it mandatory, but if that's the case, "external" armor should be immediately available on each vehicle. Also, just because a scene has been declared safe, doesn't mean that the scene is actually safe even though there are many people around with guns and whatnot. Once a scene has been declared safe, sometimes those same people drop their guard and that's when bad stuff happens on "safe" scenes.

Given a choice, I would wear concealable armor when riding an ambulance, especially one that runs 911. I would normally choose a Level II as that's effective against the vast majority of handguns. The FN Five-Seven pistol may penetrate a Level II, and possibly a Level IIIA, depending upon the specific ammo used. Just don't count on a concealable vest to provide much protection against any rifle.
 

irishboxer384

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Going back to @Tigger's post, if guys want to protect themselves then why not start at the things most common to hurt us?

1- Hugely obese medics- to look after their health and safety shouldn't EMS generally have more stringent physical standards?
2- knee pads- providing treatment in the street and kneeling can result in lacerations/punctures from whatever object
3- advanced driving skills and courses
4- wearing a crash helmet for driving on code 3
5-taking courses for de-escalating a situation (hospital based staff do this, it isn't great but its a start)
6- self defence classes
7- enforced wearing of reflective vests etc (road workers etc get fired if they don't wear the correct headgear/reflective vests)

In doing a risk assessment statistically, I'd hazard a guess that being shot/stabbed is WAY down the priority list for ensuring a medic's health and safety on the job. As with everything self-defence is a personal choice and if someone sat next to me with body armor on I wouldn't care, so my angle of discussion is based more upon the idea of an entire company/system trying to enforce it as a rule.
 

Tigger

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Also the idea that "safe scenes can become unsafe" is sound. But to use this as an argument for bullet resistant vests is a bit of a stretch. When a scene becomes violent it's usually in close quarters, where again that vest is going to have limited utility. Not to mention that it protects against firearms only.

Maybe this is fatalistic, but I do my damnedest to stay away from dangerous situations. If a scene gets uncomfortable, I leave. If neither of these things are possible I likely made a mistake that I will not recover from.
 

Dfib23

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I think we should be wearing all the ppe that is available to us. Hi-viz jackets should be worn when at the scene of a MVC. It is up to you to protect yourself. We have a duty to get back home safe each night. Yes a scene can become dangerous very quickly but if I have the slightest inclination that it is becoming unsafe I take action to ensure my safety and crew. Do bullet resistant/stab vest need to be worn all the time no, but I am sure there are cases that do warrant them. I would rather have them on the ambulance and not need them than need them and not have htem.
 

gotbeerz001

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"But what if they shoot you in the face?!" -Lloyd Christmas

I work in One of the most violent cities in the nation. I do not feel the need to wear armor. I will not publicly denounce those who choose to. However, as said before, most of the situations that turn hostile can be traced back to a poor series of responses or actions made by the responder.

Even of you work in a rough area, if you feel like you seem to have more than your share of violent patients, you may want to look at how you render care.

"We have seen the enemy and he is us." -Pogo
 

WildlandEMT89

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I'm much more worried about everyone and their mothers having some form of blade on them these days. I love my pocket knife and multi tools, but didn't like the thought of the 3am psych or unconscious etoh having a weapon on them. Just the other day fire handed a pt to us only for us to find a large fixed blade in the back pocket of someone who moments later confessed to committing several violent crimes earlier that day.

You can choose the area you work in, but you can't pick your patients, and you can't always maintain 100% scene safety. I would rather have equipment available for the off chance things do go south.

Also, if your company provides our requires equipment and you are injured while choosing not to use it, good bye benefits and workers comp claim.
 
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broken stretcher

Forum Crew Member
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I personally do not work with out it on. What does it cost me to wear it? Nothing. Yes its hot an uncomfortable, but "id rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it. YOu can practice all the "scene safety in the world but you don't know who is packing a burner. At my company it is optional to wear one and they are NOT provided for you. But why not wear it. What does it hurt?
 

cprted

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I have no issue with kevlar vests being available to those who wish to wear them. But required? No thank you. I spent two years wearing one in a previous life, I'm good thanks.
 

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