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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    New York State

    Talking Concealed Carry for EMS?

    This is a topic that comes up from time to time. And with the pending Virginia legislation it has come up again. As a gun carrier for over 20 years and an EMS provider for over 30 I definitely have my own opinions on this. But I am more interested in hearing what you all have to say?
    "There is no second place winner"-- Bill Jordan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Concealed Carry For EMS?

    What exactly are you asking? If EMT or Paramedics should be required to carry a concealed weapon? If they should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon, if they want to? Would it matter if the service is public vs. private? Every state? Certain states only?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    I am not an EMT or a Firefighter nor have I ever been one. From all of my friends who are either or both, the general consensus has been they *DON'T* want guns while on-duty. The simple reason they have explained is they want the people they are sent to help to know they *AREN'T* the police and are there only to help (no gun, do no harm, etc). I have to say I can understand their feelings on one hand, but think many of them aren't being realistic on the other hand.

    I think the days of most "bad guys" caring if someone in a uniform is a Firefighter or an EMT are gone. Many of the people both law enforcement and emergency/medical services deal with are drunk, under the influence, or mentally unstable. Most of these folks don't care who the person in the uniform is, they are unstable and dangerous. At the same time lots of other folks don't distinguish between law enforcement or emergency services as they both represent the "government" even for private medical service providers.

    My thought is... If you want to allow non-law enforcement folks to carry, how do you ensure they meet the needed training standards to do so safely? (It can be done for sure) and who picks up that cost? Do they carry concealed? If so, how do they carry concealed in their uniforms while keeping the weapon secure and still readily accessible? You don't require they carry or you do require it? Would an EMT/Paramedic/Firefighter be willing to use deadly force if/when necessary (and I would say it would be assumed those that carried voluntarily would, but if you mandated it, would those folks forced to carry be willing to?).

    On a side note I have a few friends who are Firefighters who have their CCW permits and carry religiously off-duty, but who are strongly against carrying on-duty. If it were me, I would want the ability to carry on-duty. Probably never need it, but would be nice to have in the rare instance you did. Very political issue to say the least!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    I think it would be hard or impossible to properly regulate this for most agencies. Is CCW the only requirement or would additional training be required? It goes beyond simple concealed carry when talking about a first responder, to the point where training on retention, use of force, and other aspects would be needed. Any regulation on type of weapon, caliber, holster, etc? Self defense only? What about in an active shooter situation? Many states only authorize CCW holders to defend their life or those of other people, and to withdraw from a threat if at all possible...that is complicated enough, now add in being a uniformed first responder. Departments would have to provide training and create policies to make this work, and even then would face a challenge for implementing it in a way that makes sense. This is even more complicated when discussing dual track EMT/firefighters, where you add the need for securing firearms while performing firefighter duties.

    Fire and EMS have enough going on in terms of their duties, training and workload. It would make more sense to me to create a fire police function with armed/CCW officers who could provide security at fire scenes, high risk areas, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Western Hemisphere


    Good one, Jim! I've recently achieved three decades of all three disciplines and luckily have had the benefit (and piece of mind) of having a firearm on my person, or damn close, 99% of the time. In all those years, however, I recall only one event where I MAY have needed my pistol on an EMS call. I had an ex-con overdosed on a speed ball. He was "foaming at the mouth" and appeared barely conscious, while sitting on the ground against a tractor in his pole barn. He was wearing a cutoff/sleeveless western shirt w/ two breast pockets. I was taking his BP and suddenly noticed the Sheriff's Office SGT abruptly grab the patient's wrist; then thrust an elbow shot to the patient's temple. The patient went limp, totally unconscious. The patient had reached into his shirt pocket where he kept a square piece of cardboard containing a razor blade attached by duct tape. It was a prison "shank/weapon." His M.O. was to slash LE/FD/EMS in the face; and I had not yet received that particular intel on this dude. Well, after Old Sarge power-struck the patient, he secured the weapon; then reached into the patient's other shirt pocket and pulled out about four speed ball bindles. Old Sarge knew this patient from years past. I remember when Boston EMS started issuing body armor in the early 1990s; and were discussing firearms carry. I don't know whether that ever came to fruition. I think NSEDET nailed it regarding Fire/Police. That would likely be the best model politically and practically. We were "Public Safety Officers" back in the day. I carried my Fire/EMS gear in the trunk of my patrol car/cruiser. Good times...
    Stay safe!



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