Should EMS/Fire be armed?

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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Lots of false equivalencies here...for starters, to be lethal, knives require a lot more investment in intention and motion....that and knife blades don't go through walls. There is a threshold that knives just don't pass compared to a pistol.

And no one gives any drug at the request of the police...what they give is 100% on them...

...finally, when an ambulance hits and kills anyone in the course of a call or not, the circumstances of the accident is investigated and blame assigned.

That said, routine arming of EMS personnel is way more trouble than it's worth....IMO

While a bullet certainly has the ability to travel further than a knife it isn’t really as far as most people think. Particularly with typical rounds used for concealed carry there is a relatively low velocity to start with and a high ballistic coefficient. While they certainly remain lethal for a significant distance, they are not lasers.

That being said maintaining retention of a knife during close combat is more difficult than maintaining retention of a firearm. It is also much more difficult to use effectively to end a fight quickly, but can easily make many wounds that take an extended period of time to be lethal should the knife be taken from the carrier and used against them.
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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Fine...instead of a jail substitute a local bar. Your patient imbibed a few too many and got into a brawl but is not under arrest. You can't carry your weapon into a bar, and removing it from the lock box after you load him may give him ideas.

The point isn't about specific areas that are off limits to carrying weapons, but about them in general. Some places it's illegal to bring weapons onto the property at all unless you're law enforcement.

It is not illegal to concealed carry in a bar or hospital here.
 

Aprz

EMT Student
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I thought the post was pretty well thought out. I also enjoyed the DT4EMS video.

Personally, I just don't see the point. I think we do enter dangerous situations sometimes, but to the point of needing a gun? I've been pretending to be a paramedic for over 5 years now and was an EMT for 5 years before that. In a decade, I don't think I've ever needed a gun or would have found it useful on a call. I don't know anyone that has. I imagine the same is true for most of you. It's to that point that it is like saying I need pilot training just in case an air ambulance has to make an emergency landing due to a sick pilot, they call us to attend to the pilot, and then I decide to be the pilot to fly the sick pilot to a hospital. It's just like yeh... maybe that would be useful? But kinda unlikely. I'd make a terrible pilot too. Anyways, I just don't see the point. I don't think it would improve my safety. I think it would be beyond rarely utilize and more likely lead to a lot of problems like being incorrectly used or getting the paramedic shock. Heck, even police officers seem to have a problem with it, haha. Give us tools to be mechanics incase the ambulance break down on the way to the call or during transport so we can fix it. Probably would be a better idea than giving us a gun and more likely to be useful.

I was originally gonna say that giving a gun to paramedics is like giving paramedic training to firefighters. Like that would work out well... o_O
 
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ffemt8978

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It is not illegal to concealed carry in a bar or hospital here.
If you insist, then a patient at a school, on federal property, in a court house, etc....

Once again, it is not about the specific locations that are off limits since they were only provided as an example but places that are off limits in general.
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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If you insist, then a patient at a school, on federal property, in a court house, etc....

Once again, it is not about the specific locations that are off limits since they were only provided as an example but places that are off limits in general.

To be quite honest I think this gets into arguing about fairly minor what ifs rather than the actual merit of concealed carry.

Lock it up in the narc vault. If personal security is better maintained by leaving the weapon secured rather than retreating it then you leave it there. Just the same as correctional staff do not carry firearms into areas of the jails and prisons where there are inmates.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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To be quite honest I think this gets into arguing about fairly minor what ifs rather than the actual merit of concealed carry.
or a bank or post office.... or the DMV... there are a bunch of places that have rules against firearms. many places/laws make exceptions for on duty LEOs who are performing their job functions. I'm sure that same exception can be made for public safety personnel.

And if you don't want to let me into your private establishment with my firearm, that's cool... you can bring the patient out to me. and please spell your name for me, because when they file a lawsuit as to why care was delayed, I want to make sure they have your name spelled right on the lawsuit.

The only places I have ever seen a cop willingly disarm is at a psych hospital, a local jail intake, and a county prison. All 3 of those locations have lockboxes at the entrances and are secure facilities. And if I was armed, I would have 0 issues securing my firearm in a lockbox at the entrance of the facility, and retrieving it when I left. Heck, I once had a police Sgt have me leave my trauma sheers outside of the cellblock area... wasn't worth arguing (and I don't think he even knew that I had another pair in my EMS bag), and it made him happier. I went in, did my job and picked them up on my way out.
I've been pretending to be a paramedic for over 5 years now and was an EMT for 5 years before that. In a decade, I don't think I've ever needed a gun or would have found it useful on a call. I don't know anyone that has.
Interesting... did you know that only 3 out of 10 cops file their weapons a year? and 17% of cops will never fired their service weapon outside of training? and 73% of cops say that have NEVER fired their service weapon on the job? That's according to pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/08/a-closer-look-at-police-officers-who-have-fired-their-weapon-on-duty/ and https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2017/01/11/behind-the-badge/

Can we admit that, based on the facts, it's relatively rare for cops to fire their service weapon, at least based on the facts? Good. Do you think cops should or would be willing to give up their service weapons, considering the vast majority (73%) will never fire their service weapon on the job?

I know I wouldn't want to openly carry, and I don't think I would want to carry concealed while on the ambulance. but if I carried 24/7, I would hate to end up in a once in a lifetime situation on the ambulance where I was facing a lethal threat, and the only thing going through my mind was "damn I wish I had my gun, but it's locked in the center console of my car..."
 

DrParasite

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oh, and I would never mandate/force any EMS provider to carry a firearm. that's a personal decision, for many of the reasons specified in this and other threads. It does carry risks, especially if you are forced to defend yourself. And if you don't want to carry a firearm, that's cool, I won't tell you that you need to.

But if I carried 24/7, off duty, with a legal CCW permit, following all the current laws and regulations, I wouldn't understand why I lose all of my abilities to carry and use said firearm the moment I stepped on the ambulance. Also, if I'm carrying concealed, no one should even know that I have a firearm on me, and I should never be drawing the firearm unless I am faced with a threat that requires a lethal response.
 

johnrsemt

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PT job I work it is optional to carry concealed if you have a permit to carry in either state that we cover: and the CCW for both states, work for the other state.
In the 8,000 square miles we cover we get police coverage (they run with us on runs) in about 100 square miles. I have been on runs that have had directions from dispatch that have said "go to the 2nd brown trailer, because the people in the 1st brown trailer will shoot at you" When asked if we can get an officer to respond we were told that if we get there and needed one we could call for one (we would 15 miles outside of radio range, and 45 miles from closest officer by the time we got to the scene). Other areas we may be an hour to 2 hours from PD if we need help.
I can see the need/desire to carry; and I have had it a couple of times.
 

Aprz

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Can we admit that, based on the facts, it's relatively rare for cops to fire their service weapon, at least based on the facts? Good. Do you think cops should or would be willing to give up their service weapons, considering the vast majority (73%) will never fire their service weapon on the job?
If it is so rare for an officer to fire their weapon, will it be even less likely for a paramedic to do it?
 

GMCmedic

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Fine...instead of a jail substitute a local bar. Your patient imbibed a few too many and got into a brawl but is not under arrest. You can't carry your weapon into a bar, and removing it from the lock box after you load him may give him ideas.

The point isn't about specific areas that are off limits to carrying weapons, but about them in general. Some places it's illegal to bring weapons onto the property at all unless you're law enforcement.
I don't have a dog in this fight, cause I don't care one way or the other, but it is legal to carry into a bar in some states.

Been there, done that, had the argument with a DJ pretending to be the owner (I was not drinking).
 

ffemt8978

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I don't have a dog in this fight, cause I don't care one way or the other, but it is legal to carry into a bar in some states.

Been there, done that, had the argument with a DJ pretending to be the owner (I was not drinking).
Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's smart. That being said, each state (and some times cities within each state) have their own restrictions on concealed carry. Legal in one place can be illegal in a different place. Some jurisdictions still charge people for transporting firearms in accordance with federal law (unloaded, locked, opaque container not accessible by occupants) or for merely possessing ammunition within their jurisdiction.

If you don't live near one of these jurisdictions, that's great for you. But what about those in EMS that do?
 

CALEMT

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I was originally gonna say that giving a gun to paramedics is like giving paramedic training to firefighters. Like that would work out well... o_O

Hit below the belt right in the feels... it's ok I guess. Someone has to take all the hate.

but it is legal to carry into a bar in some states.

Arizona, as long as you're not drinking.

Again, not that I care either way. But I could see an exemption to the rule (schools, state property, etc.) like LE.
 

GMCmedic

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Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's smart. That being said, each state (and some times cities within each state) have their own restrictions on concealed carry. Legal in one place can be illegal in a different place. Some jurisdictions still charge people for transporting firearms in accordance with federal law (unloaded, locked, opaque container not accessible by occupants) or for merely possessing ammunition within their jurisdiction.

If you don't live near one of these jurisdictions, that's great for you. But what about those in EMS that do?

As @CALEMT said above, there would have to be law changes at the state level. Indiana says something along the lines of "exempt law enforcement officers in performance of duties" or something of that nature.

When I worked ground in SW Indiana, I would regularly transport into Kentucky, Illinois, as well as TN, OH and MO. Illinois was the only state I could not carry in with an Indiana License (that may have changed but I have a strict policy to avoid Illinois at all cost).

There would need to be changes to some of those states laws as well (assuming any of them have enforceable no carry laws for hospitals and SNF) for some services. A big task and one that I will likely not see undergone in my lifetime, which is why I don't argue one way or the other, because logistically it is probably a lost cause.


The simplest answer is something similar to the federal LEOSA.
 

GMCmedic

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Something that stood out to me uptrheadd about pocket knives that I thought back on.

I've been in 3 different jails working EMS, and nobody ever took my knife from me.
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
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Something that stood out to me uptrheadd about pocket knives that I thought back on.

I've been in 3 different jails working EMS, and nobody ever took my knife from me.
If they would have noticed you had it, you would have likely gotten a pretty stern talking to..
 
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GMCmedic

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Another thing to add, and I hate to be the old curmudgeon in the balcony, c

If they would have noticed you had it, you would have likely gotten a pretty stern talking to..
I'm sure I would. I've carried a knife daily since I graduated high school, it's just something I don't think about anymore.
 

DrParasite

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If it is so rare for an officer to fire their weapon, will it be even less likely for a paramedic to do it?
you missed the point of that... using that logic, we should take away all CCW permits, and require people to give up their guns, because the vast majority of the CCW population will never fire their weapon...

like surgical airways, any incidents involving paramedics drawing a firearm will be super high risk and super rare. once a year nationwide maybe. But as https://nypost.com/2020/12/18/man-shoots-two-arkansas-paramedics-dies-after-one-returns-fire/ demonstrates, that once a year incident does occur, and the fact that the paramedic shot back likely saved the life of him and his partner. It's no longer hypothetical, or in theory, or whatif, it's actually happened (and there are other incidents reported by the news of paramedics being shot and some killed by gunfire).

Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, and New York passed legislation in 2017 allowing EMTs and paramedics to carry on the job. In 2019, West Virginia's legislation did the same thing. and Alabama, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin were considering it. Have there been any reports of EMS personnel shooting people? any accidental discharges? It's been 3 years. Everyone is worried about all the bad things happening... have they actually happened?

3 years with no issues, and at least one instance of an armed paramedic saving the life of him and his partner... And I bet that paramedic and his partner's families were very grateful that the paramedic was armed; it likely prevented a double LODD.

Does two lives saved justify it, especially if it costs no innocent lives? That's the same reason I support the cops keeping their weapons... even if they never fire their weapon, if it saves a cop's life, doesn't that make it worth it?
 

ffemt8978

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you missed the point of that... using that logic, we should take away all CCW permits, and require people to give up their guns, because the vast majority of the CCW population will never fire their weapon...

like surgical airways, any incidents involving paramedics drawing a firearm will be super high risk and super rare. once a year nationwide maybe. But as https://nypost.com/2020/12/18/man-shoots-two-arkansas-paramedics-dies-after-one-returns-fire/ demonstrates, that once a year incident does occur, and the fact that the paramedic shot back likely saved the life of him and his partner. It's no longer hypothetical, or in theory, or whatif, it's actually happened (and there are other incidents reported by the news of paramedics being shot and some killed by gunfire).

Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, and New York passed legislation in 2017 allowing EMTs and paramedics to carry on the job. In 2019, West Virginia's legislation did the same thing. and Alabama, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin were considering it. Have there been any reports of EMS personnel shooting people? any accidental discharges? It's been 3 years. Everyone is worried about all the bad things happening... have they actually happened?

3 years with no issues, and at least one instance of an armed paramedic saving the life of him and his partner... And I bet that paramedic and his partner's families were very grateful that the paramedic was armed; it likely prevented a double LODD.

Does two lives saved justify it, especially if it costs no innocent lives? That's the same reason I support the cops keeping their weapons... even if they never fire their weapon, if it saves a cop's life, doesn't that make it worth it?
^^^ This is how you take a controversial topic and support your viewpoint on it.
 

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