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Arming EMT's


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Again, you miss the very simple point that someone being unable to grasp the concepts of medical practice does not in any way predict their potential to master safe weapon handling. That's like saying anyone who can't swim shouldn't handle a weapon, or anyone who does not understand quantum physics shouldn't handle a weapon. There is no logical correlation.

Regardless of the level of medical competency, you are now asking EMT(P)s to certify on a weapon which is the same argument used on this forum during the "Public Safety officer" or aka Jack(Jill) of all trades and master of nothing threads. It is also the same argument used against the FDs by some on these forums when it concerns two very different fields and the mindset that goes with them. Are you going to spend more time training for law enforcement and maintaining your firearm cert or are you going to be a medical professional. Inadequate training for either medical or firearms does no one any benefit.

Carrying a gun may also give some a false sense of security and they may put themselves into situations that they might otherwise steer clear of until PD backup arrives.

Remember training/educating someone for the use of deadly force is a little more involved than training a grandmother for her concealed weapons permit. I can not see a city or county assuming responsibilty for several hundred EMT(P)s using a firearm when their LEOs are constantly being questioned about their use of deadly force. Once this becomes part of your responsibilty with certain expectations, the public may view you differently and not cut you any slack for your actions. Instead of viewing you as an EMT(P), the public may have the same expectations of responsibilty they expect from an LEO even if it is a justified shooting. In almost all of these situations, justified or not, the city/county end up paying millions for each incident. The one issue brought up at each investigation is how much initial and ongoing training is done by the officers. What would be the appropriate level before an EMT(P) could carry? What additional training besides just how to shoot should be involved? How many hours at the shooting range each month or quarter should be required? How often to recertify?

Just like those in EMS should, most LEOs take their profession seriously and do continue to train/educate on the skills necessary for their line of work. Carrying a firearm is a big responsibilty regardless of what uniform you wear.

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I'm betting that a great many cops don't have the medical aptitude for EMS either, yet we trust them with weapons.

The military has proven for centuries that medical aptitude is not a predictor of weapons handling competency. I fail to see the relevance.

I'm not sure what it is you don't see? Medicine = Analyzing a situation, sometimes under tense conditions and making rational logical decisions about the interventions you posses. Handling a gun, ditto. And yeah, I think it's a poor idea to give cops advanced medical interventions and expect them to be trustworthy if they've shown unable to handle their gun properly. You fail in one, you fail...period. We're not talking about tazers. If I can't trust you to RSI, as a profession, then no deadly force for you Lone Ranger. At least not profession wide.

I’m guessing there’s no correlation between being shitting at mowing the lawn and handling a weapons either, but if you chop up my lawn, show that you can’t handle a simple task, then I’m certainly not going to give one 100 times more complex next time. And EMS is not short on stories showing that they are still unable to mow the lawn. Seems very simple to me.

Show to me that you can't be trusted to follow a simple protocol or physiologic trail, when that is what you've been trained to do, and I won't trust you to make any other serious, life endangering decisions either. Easy.

Ooops...just saw you post to Vent. Surely no one needs to explain to you that, like many skills, anyone can learn to shoot a gun. I had assumed that we were operation under the assumption that these people would be handling them in situations where a gun was needed, or much worse, where on 'might' be needed. If that assumption is true, then the mechanical operation of the gun is certainly way, way at the bottom of the priority list.

Dwayne

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I have a concealed weapons permit and I own guns. I also qualified for firearms as a Correctional Officer many, many years ago. However, I have not carried a gun at work even under the worst conditions during the 1980s in my area.

It would also have been too tempting be make gator food out of several partners from the medic mills.

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I'm not sure what it is you don't see? Medicine = Analyzing a situation, sometimes under tense conditions and making rational logical decisions about the interventions you posses. Handling a gun, ditto.

They are, however, two very different skills, requiring two completely different sets of intellectual skills. There is no direct correlation to validate such an analogy.

There are people out there who are quite intelligent and coordinated, and have more common sense than most, but would never be able to grasp advanced concepts of microbiology or pharmacology. Likewise, I could probably never grasp the concepts crucial to success in their professional field either. That doesn't make either of us stupid or untrustworthy. That is why the military gives aptitude tests to determine which fields you are most likely to succeed in. They recognise that all people have specific fields that they possess the best aptitude for. They also recognise that even those who score just high enough to be nothing but a firefighter can be trained to competently handle a weapon. It's not rocket surgery.

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The problem with this as someone already stated is that an EMT with a gun is seen as a cop not an EMT....

I have found that before I became a cop I could often reationalize with the person .. "heah lets calm down before the cops come, you dont want them beating up on you" Psychological verbage usually helped the situation.....

I can see a lot of role confustion if you give emts guns for Self Defense, better to have units wait for PD, I am curious what type of call this was dispathed as.... unk. condition man down ? what

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EMS as a general rule (at least the ones that don't wear badges and other 'uniform shiny things' usually get the patient to admit more than they would to a police officer.

If we start arming EMT's (of any license level), we'll lose that 'edge' that we currently possess. This can, in turn, affect patient care. Not only that, but as its been said before; there goes the public's trust.

In this day and age, it's common to hear someone say "F**k the police!" or other disparaging remarks toward the police. Do we REALLY need that kind of hate/distrust in EMS?

Another point against arming alot of the EMT's (again, license level not withstanding)...if we remember a few months ago, there was an EMT that killed his partner with a manual defibrillator. Is that REALLY the kind of person you want to have running around armed???

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Okay, what about convenience store, gas station, and motel clerks? Should they be allowed to arm themselves in their businesses?

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Okay, what about convenience store, gas station, and motel clerks? Should they be allowed to arm themselves in their businesses?

And this has what to do with medical professionals?

They have a place of business that someone might enter with the intent of doing harm in attempts to obtain property by force. They do not have the luxury of calling PD and sitting around the corner or having a dispatcher screening the customers and sending PD if it sounds like trouble. But, these store owners have made a choice to be in that business.

. That is why the military gives aptitude tests to determine which fields you are most likely to succeed in. They recognise that all people have specific fields that they possess the best aptitude for. They also recognise that even those who score just high enough to be nothing but a firefighter can be trained to competently handle a weapon. It's not rocket surgery.

I took those appitude tests also and spent two hours arguing with the recruiter and high school counselor that, even though I scored very high in math, I did not want to be an accountant, bookkeeper or computer programmer. I wanted to be a medical professional. The military may place you where their need is and it may not be by your choice. Many Vietnam vets will tell you they were medics because that is where the need was. Few has any interest in medicine and fewer remained a medic after the war. Those that did probably needed a job after discharge. Also, all the toy soldiers I saw growing up had a good in their hands or part of the accessories. There is no mystery that you will be using a gun when going into the military.

The arguments on this forum have been to keep EMS as a medical profession and not public safety. I reserve my own opinions about the FD and EMS because that is where my roots are and I do believe many FDs can be effective in EMS. However, adding a gun to their belt takes us back to the issues we had in the 70s and 80s with the Public Safety Officer concept.

For another reason why guns are not a great idea, look at what the flashy medic mill ads and L/S attrack now. Imagine if a gun was added to the list of skills. All those soldier and cop wannabes that coudn't be would be wanting a job where they could still carry a weapon. Those interested in being medical professionals might be stuck partnering with some serious problems. Thus, those interested in medicine would seek other opportunities.

Even doctors and other medical professionals that volunteer in troubled countries refrain from wearing a weapon especially if there are people who are specifically trained for weapons around them. They want to maintain the image of healers and not present as those who have destroyed that country through guns and violence.

Also, just as you questioned about store owners defending themselves from certain people entering their store, consider how long LEOs take to enter a facility safely by identifying themselves. This also tells the people inside to expect a gun on that person. Now imagine, at 0300, a bed head EMT(P) wearing a T-Shirt and faded cargo pants wearing a gun rushing into a building. Can one see the potential for danger here?

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