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Arming EMT's


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I couldn’t agree with vent more. It redefines us. You can’t pick up one end of that stick without picking up the other. It’s just not our purview.

Nonsense. School bus drivers carry a first aid kit. Does that redefine them?

The little voice in my head that says, “I wish I had a gun on me right now.” Is the same voice that tells me to back off.

So you're assuming that everytime you may need a gun, you have plenty of warning from the voices in your head?

Ask any person who has ever been shot if they knew thirty seconds ahead of time that they were going to be shot, and had the time and ability to retreat. You'll find damn few who say yes. That's like saying you have time to put your seatbelt on when you see you are about to crash. Absurd.

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Ok, I'll admit I didn't read everyone's responses but I have to say if certain few or all of us are armed I see our sidearms more of a threat than anyone else's. I think if we have a gun that would give patients more of an excuse to attack us or even bystanders, we can't always keep an eye out when we have a patient to treat. Tazers could be a great idea, but I thought our job was to help people in their time of need and not do anymore harm. Yes I understand self defense situations do come up, even I have been attacked, but I didn't have to use any weapon to defend myself. Pepperspray wouldn't be a great idea in my personal opinion because what if we get attacked and have to use it in the back of the truck, it would affect everyone including your partner who is driving. Which in turn can cause an accident and kill us all.

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Ok, I'll admit I didn't read everyone's responses but...

You should have. Not only to forum rules require you to read all responses before replying to a topic, but you just made a fool of yourself making statements that have either already been disproven, or are irrelevant to the topic.

If the weapon is concealed, then none of your concerns apply. Pepper spray? Better to gas the whole truck and live than to sit there and get your arse handed to you. We're supposed to help people? How exactly are you helping anyone while getting murdered? My patient is only my secondary concern. I am my own primary concern. I guess you forgot the first day of EMT school, where they told you that, if you become another patient, you can't help anyone. That is what this is all about. If you would allow yourself to die so you wouldn't have to hurt your patient, be my guest. Be an idiot. But don't drag me into the grave with you.

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I find myself in an awkward position here. I do not like the idea of having Paramedics armed, but I do not find any of the arguments against it compelling and I don't have any great ones myself. Finally I realized that the reason I can't find fault with the arguments against carrying a weapon is that they all start from the presumption that your life is at risk and you have no other option. How can we fault anyone for using any means at their disposal to preserve their own life?

I don't see anyone arguing that a provider should look for reasons to pull their or not use any and all of the other means at their disposal to prevent its use, but if there is no other option and the firearm is available I would use it.

I still don't like the idea of being armed on-duty, and even if the gun laws in Canada allowed it, I would likely not carry a gun while working, but as it stands now I can't fault the reasoning of those that would.

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Memphis is a murdering, homicidal town. There is more violence here than in the surrounding tri state area. I have been in some very rough places surrounded by some very shady looking people. I have never had a problem. People know we are there to help and pose no threat to them. I would like it to stay that way.

I do on the other hand wish I could carry a taser or stun gun. I equate that to the mail carrier carrying pepper spray to defend against dogs. It is non lethal but effectively repels the attack.

I have (thankfully) never been attacked. I am also 6' 3" and 240 lbs.

If I was attacked, I would like to have some form of non lethal self defense. As it stands now, I would either have to run or seriously beat down the attacker.

My final answer: Guns-No. Stun gun-Yes.

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Nonsense. School bus drivers carry a first aid kit. Does that redefine them?

Nope. School bus drivers help kids. Nothing about them carrying a first aid kit redefines them in the eyes of the public.

So you're assuming that everytime you may need a gun, you have plenty of warning from the voices in your head?

I'm not assuming that at all. I do believe that violence is in many cases predictable. So do may others. Like this guy. http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Fear-Gavin-Beck...7039&sr=8-1 And I was saying that I think your gut and your observations can bail you out of a lot of bad situations.

That's like saying you have time to put your seatbelt on when you see you are about to crash. Absurd.

Yes, saying that would be absurd. ;-)

I'm glad I didn't say that.

Steve

www.theemtspot.com

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You should have. Not only to forum rules require you to read all responses before replying to a topic, but you just made a fool of yourself making statements that have either already been disproven, or are irrelevant to the topic.

If the weapon is concealed, then none of your concerns apply. Pepper spray? Better to gas the whole truck and live than to sit there and get your arse handed to you. We're supposed to help people? How exactly are you helping anyone while getting murdered? My patient is only my secondary concern. I am my own primary concern. I guess you forgot the first day of EMT school, where they told you that, if you become another patient, you can't help anyone. That is what this is all about. If you would allow yourself to die so you wouldn't have to hurt your patient, be my guest. Be an idiot. But don't drag me into the grave with you.

Actually I was taught that I was my primary concern, then my partner, then the patient. But I was also taught a little thing called "scene safety." If you believe the scene isn't safe, don't go in and call for police back up, they are there to help us. If the patient is combative/hostile ask the police to go with you to the hospital, most of the police I've dealt with will go with you or have them search the patient before you go en-route to the hospital. If the weapon is concealed, where would it be concealed? all of the places I've worked at require uniform shirts to be tucked in. How long would it take you to get it? To me concealment means more time to draw the weapon. To your pepper spray idea, You would rather gas the truck and become a patient yourself or risk your life, your partners life, and your patients life, if the truck is moving, cause of a possible accident cause of exposure to pepper spray. Pepper spray will disperse throughout the entire truck not just focus on the person trying to attack you. If your in close quarters such as the truck use and oxygen cylinder or your feet, fist, or any part of your body you could think of. I honestly think tazers/stuns guns would be the best thing to carry out of the three.

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Pepper spray will disperse throughout the entire truck not just focus on the person trying to attack you. If your in close quarters such as the truck use and oxygen cylinder or your feet, fist, or any part of your body you could think of.

Mall security guards often carry the foaming kind for exactly this reason. Far less, if any, aerosol dispersal. If they were to use it indoors, much of the mall would need to be evacuated, leading to lost sales and theft. So it's in their best interests to have it. Shouldn't be hard to find.

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Actually I was taught that I was my primary concern, then my partner, then the patient. But I was also taught a little thing called "scene safety." If you believe the scene isn't safe, don't go in and call for police back up, they are there to help us.

I think the point you're missing and the one I'm having trouble refuting is that we all learn about scene safety and yet despite our best efforts still occasionally end up in incredibly bad situations and (though thankfully rare) get severely injured or killed. There is no 100% fool-proof way to forsee violence, especially once drugs and/or severe mental illness are factored in. These cross socio-economic and racial lines and tend not to be as obvious as:

Dispatch: "Respond Code 4 for a GSW."

Paramedic: "10-4, have Police arrived and secured the scene?"

In the rare and unpredictable acts of violence on a Paramedic (or EMT for the American and Albertan folks), where the provider's life is at clear, imminent risk, the use of firearm is justified. Whether it's legal or allowed under company policy depends, but ethically I can't come up with anything that would override the right of that provider to use whatever means necessary to defend themselves. Hence, despite my personal dislike for firearms mixing with Paramedicine, the arguments against just aren't compelling for the situations where the gun would be used and how it would be carried.

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