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Should Tactical Meidcs be armed?

Discussion in 'Military/Tactical/Wilderness EMS' started by CWATT, Jul 27, 2017.

Should a tactical medic be armed?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
    70.6%
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
    29.4%
  1. Medic27

    Medic27 Forum Lieutenant

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    Then you just give them 70-80 per kg of versed then it's night-time when their eyes roll back into their head.
     
  2. SandpitMedic

    SandpitMedic Shock&Awe

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    "70-80 per kg of versed"?

    Are you two even medics?!
    Why don't you guys Wikipedia some proper medication doses.

    This thread is jumping the shark.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  3. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    What harm could come to you if you don't get those items? Not the patient, you personally. That's the difference. I don't want a firearm to help anyone else other than keep my own *** from suffering from high velocity lead poisoning.

    But I will gladly give you 4 TQ and a trauma dressing when we go into an active shooter, so if you do get shot, you have a better chance of surviving.
    If I'm not mistaken, you are referring to the Casualty Collection point right? cool, so they are providing security (which is what they should be doing. That's a much different environment when compared to moving down a hall with a PD escort, or being with a SWAT team that is taking a door while shooting may take place (you know, doors might be the focal point of the gunfire, but I don't think the walls that you are hiding behind are as strong
    I'm guessing your in an area where you get paid poorly, Fire runs everything, and you are just a horizontal taxi service? and BTW, why is fire dealing with this, as it appears to be an EMS or LEO issue??
    better tell that to all those navy corpmen that work with the marines that they can't care for people if they are armed..... and all those cops who act as first responders and perform any intervention before EMS arrives, you need to take off your gun because you can't help people with it on you :rolleyes:
    Hypothetically, if I'm the tactical medic with a bunch of cops, and a firefight starts, I'm going to let the cops shoot at the bad guys while I try to find cover, or retreat to a safe location. But if, during the process of my retreating, I come across the other bad guy (because drug people always work solo), and he wants to harm me using the gun he has in his hand, what do you suggest I do, other than soil myself?
     
  4. NysEms2117

    NysEms2117 Parole officer/EMT

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    well i won't have painkillers when i get shot... because there won't be a medic next to me ;).
    not sure what your getting at here... yes bullets go through walls(if thats what you were asking). Casualty collection points are usually where theres limited access points, so you can secure them properly, and have a solid chance at defending it.
    thus causing more harm then good, because as i'm sure you know this isn't the battle of bunker hill here... we don't stand in a line, and shoot. Thus 1 individual running the opposite way of gunfire, puts you in harm of friendly fire meaning we can't neutralize the threat... I also know what your not going to do, your not going to draw your gun, while running and being surprised by a foe, while your foe already has guns up, get accurate shots on target and neutralize the target. This ain't a Rambo movie, and your not John Wayne. Chances are if your in close range, your best bet since you dont have guns up already would be to tackle said foe.

    Dr. P as a side note, i genuinely don't know here and i'm asking a question not taking a stab at medics, but what can a paramedic do that an EMT/SWAT/SORT officer with TQ's OPA NPA. We're talking GSW's and Possibly stab wounds. I'm also talking life saving measures, not comfort things. What benefits does having a paramedic give, as opposed to somebody like myself or thousands of others that are an EMT and also happen to be on special response teams.
     
  5. Medic27

    Medic27 Forum Lieutenant

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    No we get compensated better than the national average, and not super poor areas... We pick on fire, it's a brother-sister thing. Fire around here a majority are paramedics too, pretty good partnership. However, we give them ****.
     
  6. luke_31

    luke_31 Forum Asst. Chief

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    Very good point on just tackling the guy rather then trying to draw your weapon. As far as the question you asked, there is no proven benefit to have a paramedic vs. the others you listed. The only expanded scope in that scenario is a needle decompression for tension pneumothorax, which can be taught and have a medical director sign off on them using the skill. I know our medical director has signed off on the tactical EMTs in our fire department to do needle decompression as needed in that scenario.
     
    NysEms2117 likes this.
  7. Luno

    Luno OG Premium Member

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    What you said was...
    What you replied with was that if the weapons of medical personnel is used offensively, they lose their protected status. Again, not exactly the same thing... ;) So again, please cite law and applicability...
     
  8. CALEMT

    CALEMT The Other Guy

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    Go big or go home?

    On a side note I thought this thread was about armed tactical medics... not drug doses and narcan...
     
    NysEms2117 likes this.
  9. DesertMedic66

    DesertMedic66 Forum Troll

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    If it’s illegal for any miliatary medic to carry a weapon why are our military medics carrying and using weapons?
     
  10. DesertMedic66

    DesertMedic66 Forum Troll

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    Holy ****. I could give 70-80/Kg to a rock and I would still end up killing it. Hopefully you are meaning more in the 0.1-0.2mg/kg range..
     
    Medic27, NysEms2117 and Luno like this.
  11. bakertaylor28

    bakertaylor28 Forum Lieutenant

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    I'm sorry, but I Intended for that to be meant within the confines of the military / combat situation. Under the Geneva conventions, etc. if you offensively use a weapon you become a combatant, meaning you can be fired upon by enemy troops. Therefore, shooting back in such situations isn't smart.

    In the sense of ordinary EMS, the civil self defense law applies- which can be quite problematic. Namely, because self defense is an affirmative defense, meaning you have to prove self defense by preponderance of the evidence. Especially when you combine it with the "duty to flee" before resorting to "Deadly force" still imposed in some states on non-LEOs.
     
  12. MonkeyArrow

    MonkeyArrow Forum Asst. Chief

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    Enemy troops will fire on you regardless. You think ISIS gives a crap about the Geneva convention? In fact, military medics often do not wear medical insignia because that makes them a bigger target to get shot at. Also, an overwhelming majority of the time, a combat medic is not going to be offensively using a weapon, but rather, in self defense (ie. sees enemy troop with rifle pointed at him, opens fire).
     
  13. Jim37F

    Jim37F Forum Deputy Chief

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    Starting from scratch here: my thought process is that if you have a fairly controlled isolated situation, i.e. the traditional "Perp is holed up in that house, we got 50 cops on a perimeter and SWAT is gonna go bust down the door" type situation.....the medics should be in the cold zone, prob don't even need a vest and helmet, and no need to be armed. Someone gets shot/stabbed/falls 0ff the 2nd floor balcony/swallows all their drugs at once to get rid of the evidence/has a heart attack from the sudden action/etc....SWAT can secure the scene, apply TQ/direct pressure and either haul the patient to the medics, call the medics into the secured scene as needed. Regular ol street medics without any TCCC or other fancy training/special gear can handle these kinds of calls all day long.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, you've got an Active Shooter loose in the area, possibly terrorism with multiple shooters.....whatever, but a much more complex, fluid environment where there is no clearly defined hot or warm zone and even the cold zone boundaries are fuzzy....now in that situation LEOs need to hunt down and stop the shooter(s). Best way to prevent more casualties.....but they cannot do that and pull out casualties at the same time. Nor is there any guarantee the situation will be resolved quickly....i.e. even if you have the cop toss a TQ or pressure bandage to a casualty, you either leave a casualty there to potentially die from a treatable wound, or pull cops out of the hunt to evacuate the wounded, thus potentially allowing the shooter(s) more ability to create even more casualties (since there's now fewer cops working to stop them).

    THAT'S the situation I think it makes most sense to have tactical medics with vests and helmets and some basic tactical specific training that can maneuver into the poorly defined warm zone to previously marked casualties and pull them out....and in my mind, this also requires them to be armed and proficient enough with their weapon that if they do encounter the shooter(s) they can return fire (hopefully supress and even woubd/kill/stop the threat) while retreating back to cover.

    Even of you dedicate 2 cops to escort a 4 man tactical medic team, that's still half the number of cops dedicated to medical vs keeping the medics away and using only cops in that role.

    We got fairly lucky with San Bernardino....as bad as that was the attack was over relatively quick and the cops stopped the shooters before they could cause even more carnage....but there were only 2 terrorists in San Bernardino. 9 terrorists killed 130 (and wounded 368 more) over the course of 4 hours in Paris in 2015. 9 terrorists killed 164 and wounded 308 over the course of 3 DAYS in Mumbai in 2008. There's all sorts of 3 letter agencies doing their damndest to keep that from happening here, and they've apparently been fairly successful....but the ugly truth is that tomorrow a similar attack could easily happen in Los Angeles or Honolulu or New York or Camden or wherever.

    Either you write off patients with survivable injuries, pull cops who are better off securing the threat to medical duties while keeping the medical team on the sidelines because they're not trained for such a tactical environment, or you send them in.

    I think the threat is real enough (if a once in a career level recurrence) that you need medics trained to maneuver in such scenarios, and they need to be able to defend themselves in a pinch (if their only tactical goal is to suppress the threat in order to break contact and retreat back to cover and safe(r) area)

    Just like statistically the vast majority of cops will never actually fire their weapons at someone, but are still universally trained and equipped to do so (some significantly more trained than others granted, but even the least trained cops still have a modicum of training on shooting) I think there's room for tactical medics to be trained to shoot back and never actually have to use said training....and chill out on the perimeter with the command post on the majority of their tactical call outs while SWAT goes in a few blocks away.
     
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  14. Jim37F

    Jim37F Forum Deputy Chief

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    Somewhat related to some of the recent ancillary discussion in resent posts on this thread, no particular order,

    The Geneva conventions and whatnot only actually apply when two (or more) signatories are at war with eachother. ISIS, the Taliban, al Qaeda, etc etc are not signatories. Thus, legally speaking, the conventions do not apply to the wars in Iraq/Syria/Afghanistan/etc......and I'm pretty sure they have absolutely zero legal jurisdiction over anyone's internal domestic law enforcement and counter terror stuff.

    Interestingly enough, even though every single 68W and 18D I've ever met have always been armed with a rifle and basic ammo load, and have been expected to engage the enemy should they be able to do so....Army Medevac helicopters, the DUSTOFFs, are not armed, something somewhat related to the Laws of Armed Conflict and that they have Red Crosses on them. That means that if a Soldier is critically wounded, but the enemy is still in the area, the DUSTOFF has to wait for an armed escort (usually an AH-64). There's more missions than helicopters, there's not always an Apache on standby ready to roll with the Medevac....so they have to sit and wait if need be. There are those who believe this has led to WIAs turning into KIAs.....
    Now the Air Force Pararescue (PJs) helicopters, the PEDROs, do NOT have Red Crosses on them (despite being primarily Medevac birds for the Pararescue Jumpers).....and thus they are armed, often not just with the door guns, but often times an M2 .50 in the rear compartment as well....they do not have to wait on an Apache escort and can jump straight into a potentially hot LZ to evacuate the wounded while still defending themselves

    Hmm...actually, I wasn't thinking it when I started typing, but yeah, that little comparison between the Dustoffs and the Pedro's is very relevant to the conversation IMO...
     
  15. Medic27

    Medic27 Forum Lieutenant

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    Lol! See this is why I am an EMT, I don't push versed for a reason. ;)
     
  16. NysEms2117

    NysEms2117 Parole officer/EMT

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    @Jim37F i agree with most of your responses, my question would be... What if the medics needed to render medical care? now you have 2 cops watching over them, while 4 people crowd in a huddle around a person? (i know what should happen, but often times it doesn't)

    I'd be super interested to know what other state level special tactics teams do if anybody is on or works with one. I only know NYS and NJ.
    We have Officer EMT's. where our primary goal is to be a SORT officer and neutralize the threat. secondary is to do medical treatment to our designated training level. One officer happens to be a paramedic. We have a sniper/spotter team, forced entry team, security team, and then k-9. The only difference between myself and other people on the team is our load-out, i have a small backpack(duffle bag size) to put bleeding control and basic airway equipment in.
     
  17. EpiEMS

    EpiEMS Forum Deputy Chief

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    Fascinating stuff, Jim! Thanks!
     
  18. DrParasite

    DrParasite The fire extinguisher is not just for show

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    you misunderstood. the medic in a CCP shouldn't be armed, nor do you need to be able to be a tactical medic to treat in a CCP. any provider can be. I was referring to idea of an unarmed medic being part of the rescue task force who are going down the halls either treating people in the open (which is generally not a great position to be in, and can go south unexpectedly)
    Agree to disagree. You don't want the medic armed, and you don't want them fleeing to safety. and if you think the medic comes upon an armed bd guy, they should just tackle said foe (which may or may not be what a cop would do).... There doesn't seem to be any good position for the medic to be in..
    You want my honest opinion? and this is just my opinion, not my agency's, not any standard at all, and just my opinion: Paramedics have no place being on a SWAT team. There are very few ALS interventions you are going to give under gun fire. if you want a "tac medic", than grab an experience EMT who has experience with trauma (either former military medic who has been deployed and dealt with real injuries or someone who just extensive time working in cities with an active knife and gun club), and have them train alongside the said cops, every step of the way. Same PT, same qualifications, heck, if you are training on breaching a door, and they are in the stack, put them up front and shoot at them so they know that the guy in the front goes through (in training only, not in a real thing). If you don't have a full time SWAT unit (and many departments don't), than being a full time LEO isn't mandatory, but all the SWAT guys (including the tac medic) should train together. If you insist on having a medical person with the team, they should do that (so they can do initial treatments under fire or whatever). I do think you should have a paramedic ambulance nearby for every SWAT operations, but keep them in the cold zone, and if **** goes down hill, the cops bring out the injured people to the gun free zone.

    People like having paramedics be part of Tac teams because there are some really stupid EMTs who thing paramedics have god like powers; these are usually the same EMTs that can't fart without a paramedics directing them on what to do, and how to do it. and higher ups don't trust their EMTs to do bleeding control because they think that only a paramedic can do it. i know of one suburban BLS agency that had 3 medics on staff (working as EMTs, they had been EMTs before going to paramedic school), and in the event of a SWAT deployment, their job was to pick up a van and meet the team on scene. In the event that the cop got shot, their job was to grab them, throw them in the back of the van and drive really fast to the hospital. Don't really need to be a medic to do that, but if gave someone from above a warm and fuzzy feeling.

    The biggest advantage I can see to having a Tac medic with the team is in case **** does do downhill, you have one person whose sole job is to be treating the injured officer iwhile the others are shooting at the bad guy, instead of having an officer be forced to choose between taking out the threat and treating his fellow officer.

    By the way, the City of Newark NJ (which has a very active knife and gun club) has a "medical person" on every SWAT call out, and 95% of the time that person is an EMT.... but they also keep a paramedic unit in the area just in case.

    But if you are in that stack, and in that warm zone, and there is an elevated chance that you will have bullets fired at you, than you should be able to defend yourself just like everyone else in that group. After all, if you (as the cop) was in charge of forcing the door, and then letting others clear the room, would you do it without a firearm on your person? so why should a medic who is with you have to?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  19. NysEms2117

    NysEms2117 Parole officer/EMT

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    i think the difference is the job descriptions.... its my job to clear rooms and stack up, and have the elevated chance on having bullets fired at me. It's a medics job to provide healthcare to patients.

    It's ironic this topic has become rather hot lately, since i just had drills/re qualifications today. I still remain on the point of: im cool having paramedics calling themselves tactical and what not, if you can perform to the standards of the rest of the team. Same way as the military does it. I want to know that the people next to me have the same training and precision as i do, when my life is dangling by a tiny thread. If they want to carry ET tubes and been all paramedic AF after they qualify and prove precision like i have to, welcome to the team pal. but if you cant perform to the standards we have to I don't want you having a firearm.

    Also logically speaking.... wouldn't it be easier to take somebody who's already on the team, and already an EMT, send them to a hospital for a week to master needle decomps, and then have them stay on the team? instead of training somebody all of the tactics, fatal funnels, firearm proficiency, callsigns and signals, and everything else that goes along with a team?

    I FULLY AGREE there should be paramedics waiting in the cold zone, hell there should probably be multiple ambulances there along with said medics as well. Bottom line is i just don't want my life to get jeopardized because i have to babysit some paramedic that wanted to be cool so he got tactical written on his vest.
     
    luke_31 likes this.
  20. luke_31

    luke_31 Forum Asst. Chief

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    You hit the nail on the head that is how it should be, as far as people in the stack. It's nothing more then BLS until the cold zone anyway, so training up a paramedic to be in the stack is useless as far as efficienty goes. Warm zone operations as far as rescue and removal of patients doesn't need to be paramedics either, but vests and Kevlar helmets should be worn for protection since there is always the chance for a warm zone to go hot. But that is also why rescue teams move with security escort to where the patients are.
     
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