Question of the Day: Do You Worry About Needing Medical Attention While Carrying?

Jason wrote in to TTAG central command with a QOTD suggestion regarding medical care for someone packing heat. Say those years of pork chops, man sodas and Marlboros finally catch up to you while you’re walking down the street and your heart seizes up like the engine in a Yugo when the odometer hits 40K. Now you’re lying on the sidewalk. You may be conscious or not, but in either case you have a shootin’ iron strapped your side. What happens next? We went to our resident EMT, Foghorn, to find out what the medics will do when they figure out the dude on the deck is packing . . .

The standard response is to call the police to deal with the handgun and leave the area if you don’t feel safe. Yep, that means delaying medical treatment. But most seasoned EMTs will simply remove the handgun from the person, slip it into the jump bag they carry, and hand it off to the hospital security guard when they get to the hospital. Especially in the areas I operated (Pennsylvania and Virginia) somewhere around 80% of the EMTs can be found on a gun range during the weekend.

The issue is that if someone comes across you and sees your gun, that’s the first thing they’re going to report to 911. “There’s a guy with a gun passed out over here.” That triggers a police response first, with the EMTs told to “stage” some distance away while the police figure out what’s going on. In urban areas that shouldn’t take long, but in rural areas that could mean a 15 minute or more wait.

In other words, most of the time you’re probably fine – other than the whole myocardial infarction thing. But if you draw a jumpy EMT when they spin the ambulance wheel of fortune, you may be lying there with an advancing case of cerebral hypoxia until a cop arrives on the scene to secure your piece. Have you thought about that possibility? Does it keep you up at night? Should it?