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I would challenge your assertion that drug users don't call 911 when they or another drug user overdoses. They do. Not as much as they probably should, but they do call. Maybe the police have a slightly different mentality up north of the 49th, but when the police attend OD calls, they're not worried about arresting people. I would say the largest barriers to addicts seeking help from heath care providers is the attitudes of health care providers themselves. The number of times I've had addicts refuse transport because, "they're all assholes in the hospital, they treat me like shit because I'm an addict," is astounding.
Again, maybe this happens more North of the 49th than south, but street narcan kits are quite prevalent up here. It's a little kit with 0.8mg of Naloxone preloaded in a syringe. I'm sure with IN naloxone becoming more common, the street kits will transition to that form over time.
The major problem however is that so few overdoes involve a single toxidrome. Most ODs are polypharm and opiates are but one of the agents on board.
If you want to look at public health initiatives that really do make a difference, read up on Supervised Injection Facilities. There are a number in Europe along with one in Vancouver, Canada and one or two in Sydney, Australia.
In the Canadian Forces, our Med Techs take the Primary Care Paramedic course and get licensed as PCP as part of their training. CF Medics regularly do shifts on civilian ambulances during their time in the forces to keep up their skills when it comes to things beyond dealing with healthy 20-40 year olds. Makes the transition to civilian paramedicine fairly easy if that's where they choose to go.
And then consider whether having the providers being armed would have prevented their deaths. In many cases, the answer is no. When it comes to being ambushed, the reaction will always be slower than the action.
You topic seems to assume that Paramedics should be armed. Be wary starting a research project from a bias like that. Instead, maybe your research question should be, 'would giving Paramedics weapons for self defence increase their safety?'
I think you're going to have trouble with this one either way. The topic of arming and guns is political and rife with polemic dissertations disguised as science (on both sides of the issue) that I think it'll be difficult to do any meaningful research without already being a use of force expert in the field.
If you can pick a topic yourself, why don't you research a disease, or a comparative look at cardiac arrest resuscitation techniques ... something that might inform your clinical practice in the future?
If you're based in BC and want to work for BCAS, you should look at the JI. The JI, EMA Licensing, and the BCAS ALS residency program are becoming more and more integrated and give students a pretty smooth transition through practicum, licensing, and residency to get new ACPs out on the road and practising.
No, under the BC Motor Vehicle Act only emergency vehicles are permitted to have flashing red lights. The only exception to this is Volunteer Fire Chiefs are allowed to have red lights on their POV, but most choose not to.
The permits are required for amber light only. No fire apparatus or ambulance I have driven in BC has a flashing red light permit. Amber light permits are available, but you need a legit reason. ie, traffic control vehicle, public works truck, vehicle on a site that requires use of yellow lights (ports, airports, etc).
In my service we would run L&S to that call because the MPDS system would spit it out as a 17D1, "Fall with Injury to Dangerous Body Area." Can't tell you how many 17D1s I've been on where the only injury is a 1/2" lac above their eye that has stopped bleeding by the time I get there ... but to the computer, its a head injury ...
I didn't mean to suggest that RC doesn't support new instructors, they certainly do and the RC Instructor Training program is a really good one.
One of the big differences between teaching for SJA and RC is the delivery model. SJA delivers most of their courses directly through a branch and the instructors of employed on contract with St. John. RC delivers its courses through "Training Partners."
Neither requires you to be a paramedic to go through their instructor training, though you do need to have some sort of First Aid/Health Care experience and be solid with your skills.