The only reason we get away with giving such large doses of epinephrine to these patients is that they are already dead.

- Rogue Medic

Too Old To Work Gets Cantankerous

Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire does not appear to like what I wrote about EMS being armed and dangerous.[1]

This post is well below your usual standards regarding data and analysis. You certainly wouldn’t use statements such as,

The police have psychological screening, but for EMS the only screening seems to be to have failed the police psych exam.

in any other context regarding EMS, but you feel free to use such gratuitous insults regarding EMS providers when it comes to something that you don’t favor.

When did TOTWTYTR become a stranger to sarcasm?

If TOTWTYTR wishes to contradict me, he can provide his own sarcasm.

Another job that EMS often considers as an alternative to EMS is nursing. If I made a comment about intubation not making EMS better than nurses, would that also be offensive?

It certainly undermines your credibility when it comes to your other declarative statements about EMS, providers, physicians, and medical control.

Certainly?

Please explain how sarcasm undermines credibility. After all, TOTWTYTR never uses sarcasm to make a point./

Statistically civilian gun owners are safer at handling their firearms than are police officers. Most police officers are not “gun people” and many that I know view having a firearm as a liability. On the other hand, civilian gun owners spend a lot of time practicing and especially practicing safe handling of their firearms.

People in EMS are not civilians any more than police are civilians.

We are uniformed emergency personnel. The uniform is a bit of a clue.

Why do we think we won’t be donating our weapons to the people we want to protect ourselves from?

There is no data to support the long spoken lie that civilians will always have guns taken away from them by criminals. Another myth you are perpetuating with this post.

I did not mistakenly call EMS civilians, TOTWTYTR did.

I did not state that this would always, or even frequently, happen.

The fear of being shot/stabbed appears to be due to a lack of understanding.

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Where are the shot/stabbed LODDs (Line Of Duty Deaths)?

This is just another example of the thinking that comes up with –

If it saves just one life . . . .

We ignore unintended consequences in our focus on potential murders.


Image credit.

I do not know of any evidence that EMS is any more likely to use a weapon on an attacker than have their own weapons used on them.

Please provide some of the facts you claim contradict the question I asked.

Of course, TOTWTYTR‘s partner will be able to conceal a firearm and still have ready access to it in a confined environment.

Of course, TOTWTYTR‘s partner will be able to shoot only the bad people and would never fire a round through a wall, or a door, or a window.

All of the sharpshooters in EMS are above average shots.

If nothing else, we always choose the best places to draw our weapons.

I guess facts are only important when it’s something you believe in. Noted for future reference.

Show me some research on EMS being shot at.

I made a sarcastic comment and I asked a question. I did not present them as facts.

In TOTWTYTR‘s eyes, that reflects on the research I cite and the commentary I provide on that research?

Please provide some evidence of EMS (not tactical EMS) preventing murders by carrying weapons.

Please provide some evidence of EMS firing shots safely when attacked by people presenting a genuine threat. Tactical EMS does not count, because I have not suggested that they not carry weapons.

Complaining that I do not provide citations for sarcasm is just plain silly. However, I did not notice TOTWTYTR providing any facts.

Go listen to the discussion on the EMS Office Hours podcast – Arming EMS – Defensive or Simply Offensive.

Footnotes:

[1] Arming EMS – Defensive or Simply Offensive
Rogue Medic
Thu, 16 Feb 2012
Article

.

Comments

  1. Sarcasm? Or sarcasm after being called on your comments? Sarcasm and emotion in general don’t translate all that well into print unless you’re really good at it. Or have it in context.

    Keep in mind that on average 8% of police officers who are shot in the line of duty are shot with their own weapons. The reason for that is that everyone knows that police officers are armed, the firearm is generally right out there in the open, and perhaps most importantly, some criminals spend a lot of their time in prison practicing disarming police officers.

    How would one go about providing evidence of something that hasn’t happened?

    I haven’t seen anybody but you talk about preventing murders. Is that the only reason that anyone not a police officer should carry a weapon for?

    I’m totally unclear on what you may or may not know about handling firearms.

    As to EMS personnel being “civilians” look up the definition. To the military, police officers are civilians, to the police anyone who does not have arrest powers is a civilian. In the fire service, non fire fighters, even those that work for the fire department are civilians. FDNY considers their EMS personnel civilians.

    In the context I was writing in, civilians includes all non police officers. The anti gun forces will tell you that civilians can not be trusted to possess or use weapons. That includes EMS personnel on or off duty. Some of those same people think that off duty police officers should not be allowed to carry their firearms either, but that’s a different story.

    So, for this context, EMS personnel are civilians. Actually, in just about any context we’re civilians. Merely wearing a uniform doesn’t make us special any more than a football uniform makes an NFL player special.

    • Too Old To Work,

      Sarcasm? Or sarcasm after being called on your comments? Sarcasm and emotion in general don’t translate all that well into print unless you’re really good at it. Or have it in context.

      What do you think was out of context?

      Keep in mind that on average 8% of police officers who are shot in the line of duty are shot with their own weapons. The reason for that is that everyone knows that police officers are armed, the firearm is generally right out there in the open, and perhaps most importantly, some criminals spend a lot of their time in prison practicing disarming police officers.

      It is a good thing they would never do that to EMS.

      How would one go about providing evidence of something that hasn’t happened?

      And yet you criticize me for not providing evidence on the same topic. Hmmm.

      I haven’t seen anybody but you talk about preventing murders. Is that the only reason that anyone not a police officer should carry a weapon for?

      What should EMS be carrying guns for?

      The discussions I have seen have been about EMS providers being afraid of being murdered.

      I’m totally unclear on what you may or may not know about handling firearms.

      And how would that make me different from anyone in EMS carrying a weapon?

      As to EMS personnel being “civilians” look up the definition. To the military, police officers are civilians, to the police anyone who does not have arrest powers is a civilian. In the fire service, non fire fighters, even those that work for the fire department are civilians. FDNY considers their EMS personnel civilians.

      It would probably shock you to learn that people in EMS consider emergency personnel to be not civilians.

      This is not about private citizens outside of emergency services.

      In the context I was writing in, civilians includes all non police officers. The anti gun forces will tell you that civilians can not be trusted to possess or use weapons. That includes EMS personnel on or off duty. Some of those same people think that off duty police officers should not be allowed to carry their firearms either, but that’s a different story.

      I agree that it is a different story. I did not mention anything about what people do outside of emergency services.

      So, for this context, EMS personnel are civilians. Actually, in just about any context we’re civilians. Merely wearing a uniform doesn’t make us special any more than a football uniform makes an NFL player special.

      Unlike civilians, we are part of 911 emergency response. Unlike civilians, we are exempted from some laws. Unlike civilians, we are exempted from some liability. Unlike civilians, we are allowed to take people from their homes against their wishes. Unlike civilians, we have accountability even for inaction. We are not treated the same as civilians.

      .

  2. It has always been my assumption, perhaps mistakenly, that most police officers are carrying a concealed fire arm (perhaps on a lower leg holster) in addition to their belt holstered fire arm.

  3. I have been pretty neutral on the concealed carry thing and can see the pluses and minuses both ways. I’ve never found a need to carry a concealed weapon myself, though I own several firearms and enjoy range shooting and hunting.

    However, a couple weekends ago my partner and I were caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. We ended up flat on our stomachs in a convenience store wondering if we were going to die that night. Fortunately, the shooter missed his target and kept on driving. At the time, though, we couldn’t tell what was going on – were they coming in to rob the store?

    Oh how I wished for a gun at that moment. I’ve never been so terrified in my life and I pray I’ll never feel that way again. (On top of it, PD never even came to check on us or take a report. Heck, neither did a supervisor. But that’s a story for another time.)

    Anyway, I’m still on the fence about the issue, but my perspective has certainly changed.

  4. While I’m very much in support of liberal conceal carry laws, my problem with conceal carry in EMS is that the vast majority of people I see asking for conceal carry are the very people (new, young, immature both in terms of mental capacity and experience) I don’t want carrying a firearm.

    • That’s also the argument against campus carry.

      But here’s why that argument won’t hold up: It presumes that most EMT’s will be armed.

      In practice, the armed ones will likely be those who possess concealed carry permits in the first place – ie, those that are over 21, who have undergone a background check, and completed a CHL course to get their permit in the first place. This is a small percentage of those who could be armed.

      This self-selection process will limit the number of armed EMT’s to those who already concealed carry off the job, and are statistically some of the safest people you will ever encounter.

      I used to feel the exact same way as you – most of the people I knew to carry on the job were the type of people that shouldn’t carry a weapon, period. I mistakenly assumed that they were representative of the majority of people who went armed on an ambulance.

      I now believe that may not be the case, and it was entirely likely that a great many more people I worked with were armed, but never advertised the fact.

  5. There is one very big difference between EMS and the general population (aka “civilians”) when it comes to carrying weapons. The general public does not have to get within reach of the person who is a potential threat; in fact the firearm is intended to keep the threat at a distance. How exactly is an EMS provider going to start an IV, or bandage a laceration, or C-spine and backboard a patient from a distance safe enough to keep their weapon secure?

    Perhaps THAT is why 8% of law enforcement are shot by their own weapons? Because they have to place themselves (and thus heir weapon)within reach of the threat in order to do their job? EMS would be in the same position; and probably have an even worse statistic due to less training in maintaining control of a firearm WHEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH A PATIENT.

    • Counterpoint:

      If the weapon is supposed to be concealed, then if anyone knows the EMT is armed the EMT is either printing or the firearm is no longer concealed. Printing and loss of concealment is the foe here.

      • Counter to that:

        Given the standard EMT/Medic uniform (shirt and “BDU” pants or jumpsuit), where are you going to conceal the weapon? EMT/Medics as a rule do not wear jackets to cover normal holsters; especially during summer months. Possibly the cargo pockets of BDU-style pants or a jumpsuit; though “printing” would be common IMHO.

        Secondly, do you seriously think it will be secret that EMTs or Medics are carrying firearms? Within days of the decision, everyone in the area will know that EMS can be carrying handguns; it will probably take only hours before criminals (gangs, etc…) know that EMT/Medics who are (relatively) poorly trained at protecting their weapon are out on the street. As TOTWTYTR stated, criminals TRAIN to take weapons from police; they’ll have no trouble going after any EMT’s pocket that looks like it might conceal a handgun.

        • Well, there are always products like the conceal carry fanny pack, of course now we just know that it’s the paramedics with the fanny pack. It’s also akin, a bit, to pilots. Not all pilots are Federal Flight Deck Officers, so we know that pilots are allowed to be armed in their airplane, but not every pilot chooses to be armed in their airplane. Heck, I saw a video recently where a guy made a locked box that could be carried on a belt to get around California’s restrictive conceal carry policies (locked box is not concealed). If there’s a will, there will be a way.

          Also, I think that attacks on paramedics solely to get a firearm is overstated (along with the actual need for armed paramedics). It’s not entirely hard to get a firearm illegally if you live in that world, and all attacking paramedics is going to do is bring unwanted legal and public attention on the person’s gang.

  6. I work EMS. I also just went through a concealed carry class. I would never dream about carrying a firearm while working. Also in this class we had to shoot 40 rounds into a target. Well…… all I have to say about that is if EMT/Medics IV rates were measured to the same standards god help us. Half of the people who took the class should of had their guns taken from them. They also teach (in my state) that if you are in public (anywhere that is not your home, work, or car [castle doctrine]) you have a duty to retreat. I for one do not want the legal reliability of shooting a patient then having to try to save their life thats just stupid. sorry for the lack of scientific evedence. also it is a very differnt thing from having sa patient die on you than you killing the patient

Speak Your Mind