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Reader Nadra Enzi writes:

As respect for police devolves, it isn’t outlandish to consider issuing protection to EMTs and firefighters. It’s no longer a given that their status as unarmed life savers negates targeting by criminals and terrorists. The Fergueson Effect era of ambushing police officers forces all public safety professions to reassess policies on weaponry. Hopefully ambulances and fire engines won’t need trained members riding shotgun, but who can say?

Some medics already wear body armor when risk demands it. The day may arise when their peers and fire fighters must stand guard while colleagues work a scene. Fire marshals ( or inspectors ) are a resource which could provide such security. Expanding the “fire police” statutes some states have could facilitate arming EMTs and fire fighters. Certain cities already field public safety professionals cross-trained to perform law enforcement and fire suppression duties.

While unpopular with police and fire unions, this hybrid is offered as a model to quickly examine or dismiss should arming become necessary. I respect unions positions on their professions unique-and separate-functions. Lastly, qualified security officers are an option, given their use by law enforcement agencies to secure government buildings, escort prisoners and guard crime scenes.

The urban civil war script some are scripting backstage may include attacking ambulances, fire engines and station houses. Hardening these targets doesn’t seem unreasonable, especially after considering the alternative. Since police in this scenario will be swamped, it’s logical to contemplate arming emergency medical and fire professionals.

Their lives matter, too and are therefore worth being independently defended.

(This post originally appeared at urbansafetyism.blogspot.com and is reprinted here with permission.)

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103 Responses to Reader: It’s Time to Arm EMTs and Fire Fighters

    • You dont know the ones who work in the inmer cities then. Cause i for one and most my coworkers would love to be armed.

      -Sincerly NJ Paramedics

      • Fair enough, I suppose. The ones I know are in Arlington, VA. They have had some experience with terrorism, and do a lot of inter-agency training with both local and federal agencies, since they are the primary provider of services to numerous federal installations, including the Pentagon and Joint Base Fort Myer.

        • We don’t need to arm firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, nurses, or doctors. We just need to ALLOW them to ccw on the job. We should also allow teachers and all other government workers to do the same (along with pizza guys, waiters, cashiers, IT guys, and everybody else).

          We all safely carry to restaurants, stores, church, etc. We never harm anybody. Just ALLOW us to CCW at work as well.

          GFZs are a terrible idea,and do far more harm than good. An armed society is a pretty peaceful society. GFZs mean that only criminals can carry. Just allow us decent regular folks to carry as well. We only want to protect ourselves and others.

    • Maybe it’seems regional, but most of the Firefighters and EMT’s I know out here in New Mexico carry a firearm while off duty, and complain almost universally among themselves about the policies against carrying a firearm while on duty.

    • Porkchop, I know a few EMS. This issue has come up a few times. Most of them agree with your statement. They don’t want to have to deal with the training, etc. They would rather have police with them on most runs. Which almost never happens. One EMS I know DOES carry her pistol, against rules. Her response is that “I have 20 years in. They can’t fire me. I would rather be alive”

    • You don’t know very many, than. I’m a Paramedic and a large majority of my coworkers have concealed carry licences, and many would carry on the job if they could. Hell, there are some that do, knowing full well the consequences if caught on federal property on a call.

      When you work our job, dealing with the same exact people PD does on a daily basis, it tends to do that.

    • Having served as an Army medic (91B) and briefly as a civilian EMT, I understand the “I’m the good guy, don’t shoot me” mindset of medics and firemen, but which is it, you don’t want to carry a gun, or you don’t want to get shot?

      Over the years I have come to a much harder mindset. In my opinion, and this is a difficult stance when there are innocents who may be forced to live among the vermin, at the first indication of incoming rounds firemen and medics should turn right around and go home. There is absolutely no logical point in risking your life to save a community or a person in that community if the community itself does not want you there. Send in the cops, restore some semblance of order, then respond.

      Altruism, especially in these cases, is dangerous, and stupid. Until these people truly understand who their real enemy is – the thugs who rule their neighborhoods – they will never progress past the primitive and dangerous conditions under which they live. There must come a time when the citizens themselves turn against the ruling thugocracy. Only then can those of us who would truly like to help them have a chance to make a difference.

    • Another collective vote in favor of being armed from every medic and firefighter I’ve talked to over the past seven years in King County WA. The Seattle voters might be excessively touchy feely, but the fire guys are pretty solid.

    • I personally have no desire to have another piece of gear to care for while on duty (FF). But I understand the sentiment.

  1. Perhaps it is time for firefighters, EMTs, home health care nurses, etc. to say “No – I will not risk my life and the lives of my team mates to try to help people who are actively seeking to harm us in return.”

    • They are paid to take those risks. If they do not want to take those risks, then McDonald’s is hiring.

      • They are paid to take REASONABLE risks. Providing medical assistance or fighting structure fires while under fire from hostiles is not the sort of risk they have agreed to assume. Nor should they.

        Should the paramedics in Orlando have been required to enter the nightclub and begin treating/rescuing victims before the police secured the site? Sorry, not part of the job.

      • Typical keyboard commando talk. If you think that they need to take those risks, go do it yourself… or figure out that you’ll need to pay a LOT more to get (qualified) people to do things like that. Guess how budgets look in most high-crime areas?

      • Make no mistake I don’t get paid to risk my life to dodge bullets or knives. I do risk a lot to save a lot, but not for people trying to kill me. You obviously don’t understand the type of work we perform and the conditions we perform in. You really need to keep your mouth shut jack ass.

      • Why should they put themselves in harms way for scum–they are not that well paid–let the scum suffer the consequences of their poor life choices

      • As a paramedic for quite a few years, and an EMS instructor for many of those years, one of the first things drilled into the young EMT’s head (and an important part of their licensing evaluation) is scene assessment/scene safety. If your assessment leads you to determine that there are potential risks or threats to you, back off and wait for those with the equipment to deal with the risks and threats, even though this may negatively effect the patient during that time.

        Hypothetically speaking, imagine responding as a fire/medic to a person with a serious medical condition. The patient’s associates are extremely anxious and agitated, and you are concerned for the possibility that they may become violent. Are you better off ceasing patient care to withdraw from the scene until police can assist you, or are you better off ceasing patient care and introducing your personal firearm into the situation?

        • You can get all hypothetical you want Asiansteve. But reality is a cold hard bastard that dishes out the shit sandwiches that we all have to eat.

          Going out at 3am for a female with chest pain call, that when you arrive, was actually a woman tweaking on meth, threatening to kill her boy friend and anyone else that might show up with a gun she has in her closet, so no cops had cleared the scene ahead of time, of course; ummm, yeah, one can never know what life will serve out; but that is ultimately the point. The point is that whether on the job, or off, bad situations happen, because bad people can choose to do bad things, no matter where one might be, or whether you’re wearing civilian clothes or the uniform of a firefighter or EMT.

          It is not the job for you, or any public servant, to dictate to their bosses, ( because we pay their wages) when and where a free individual can choose to carry a firearm for self-defense.

          It’s a personal choice to KABA, and a right, and that is not a “hypothetical”, that is cold, hard, reality. And anyone that tries to argue for selective disarmament because of some “hypothetical” bad outcome because a free human being chooses to exercise that right, even while wearing a uniform; is just an elitist, an authoritarian and ultimately a dictators best buddy, at heart.

      • “They’re getting paid to take those risks”? Seventy percent of firefighters in the US are VOLUNTEER, and none of us, paid or volunteer, are getting paid to be your combat medic and treat you while under fire. If we were, trust us, like a combat medic, we’d be armed. And getting paid a lot more.

        How insulting!

      • Chris, attitudes like yours are a good part of the reason I left EMS and got into sales. 5 years volunteering in fire and EMS, 12 years full time EMS. 10 of that was in a larger, violent city. Don’t get me started on pay. I’d probably make more hourly at McDonald’s than I did in EMS. I’m done working my butt off 60 hours a week to pay my bills only to have to deal with perspectives like yours.

      • Chris, if I am on scene with a patient and I am injured, especially by a violent patient, then 2 more ambulances will be sent to my scene. So instead of taking up with truck, 3 are pulled out of the system. In my area, that would mean that the entire county is left without coverage. The next ambulance would be nearly an hour away at best. Foolishly rushing into a hazardous scene puts my life at risk, and worse, puts the community I am supposed to be serving at risk.

  2. Arming them may do little good in a terror attack that includes attacking the first responders, as is common in the middle East…

    • True … but the happenings in Ferguson etc. aren’t terrorism in the usual sense; I’d say it’s closer to insurrection or a slow-burning race riot: large chunks of the population turning against any “outsiders” defined by skin color or whatever the hated-group-of-the-day is.

  3. I rather expected a shotgun to be standard equipment on fire engines. Could be very useful for breaching, if nothing else.

    • The breaching tools I’ve seen fire guys use in the past tend to be slower than the ones we cops use, but they can be way more powerful and at the same time, cause less damage. If fire guys need to get inside somewhere, it’s a good bet they’ll make it in.

  4. Every human being, regardless of their job, should be free to defend themselves in any manner they choose. And they must take full personal responsibility for their choices, of course.

    I drove 300 – 400 miles a day for 14 years as a home health/hospice nurse. In California. We were not allowed to carry anything meaningful with which to defend ourselves. Being discovered with so much as pepper spray (it was rather primitive then) would have resulted in losing our jobs.

    There were many areas of So. Calif. that were too dangerous to enter alone, especially at night. We were supposed to be able to call for police escort then, but it seldom materialized. When nobody came, I called the dispatcher and told them to send an ambulance if the patient really needed to be seen. I don’t know what happened after that because I went home – or on to the next patient. And the supervisors never said a word about it.

    So why in the world wouldn’t EMTs, firefighters, and everyone else be armed, if they chose to do that? Nothing else makes any sense.

    • Because they work for us and we have every right to set the terms of their employment. If they don’t like those terms, they are more than welcome to quit and find honest work.

      • You keep using the term “we,” as though you believe you’re speaking for a majority of society- but you’re not. The majority of society is perfectly content to give up responsibility for their own lives and let the government promises of safety and security stand as though they were facts instead of wishful thinking.

        This is not a good thing, either, but it’s a very real thing, and no amount of complaining that government employees entrusted with power by regular folks who don’t want to dirty their hands should be disarmed, will make those regular folks want to get their hands dirty. Once the citizen body of the United States takes responsibility for their own lives again, then maybe cops will be laid off for lack of work, and I can go do something like building airplanes for Boeing and actually make the world a bit better rather than put on a uniform and try to keep it from getting worse.

        You might be waiting a while for that to happen, though.

      • You are severely detached from reality. Firefighters and EMTS risk our lives every day to save lives and protect property, but we will not and should not be expected to die in the line of duty because some wacko or “protesters” are shooting at us. Don’t like it, then do it yourself.

      • Here’s a little factoid for you: Two-thirds of all firefighters in the US are volunteers, and 85% of all fire departments in the US are volunteer.

        Want to try that “we pay them to do what they’re told” line again?

        • And just to throw this into the mix of the discussion, while a volunteer firefighter in my younger days, I was taken to the hospital twice from fire scenes. One was serious, the other more related to a past injury.

          On other occasions, I entered situations even the other firefighters had deemed in their minds (as told to me later) as “too risky.”

          My point: Those volunteers that are not getting paid are ALREADY hanging it all out there. They don’t need to add “getting shot at” to the risks of the job to earn some fantastical notion of “doing what they are ‘paid’ to do.”

      • Typical sentiment Chris Mallory, of an authoritarian, elitist and bigoted… individual.

        The majority of firefighters and EMT’s on this site have expressed the desire to have a choice to practice the American and human right of bearing arms for self defense in a dangerous working environment, and you just give them the figurative finger, with no acknowledgement of the essential injustice of the denial of such a basic right to a human being.

        But such is the attitude of statists, dictators and those that worship at the foot of the all powerful state.

  5. It’s not “arming EMTs and firefighters”. It’s “restoring their most important constitutional right”.

    However, I’m not sure if I read it wrong, does it seem that the author wants to give EMTs/firefighters police powers? Not sure how to feel about that.

  6. IDK, I would think arming EMT’s and Firefighters would be considered a hostile act by the BLM crew and other race-baiting groups. I can fully understand it for defense against the crazies that are out running the street though because there are a lot more schizo’s walking about in society then we would believe, but I don’t for a moment believe that it’s worthwhile arming non-police emergency responders for the next bout of black mob riots.

    I would leave the decision up to each individual EMT or Fireman.

    The only thing that will stop, and thus protect, the people from the next wave of violence by racist black mobs is an armed citizenry that doesn’t answer to the local bureaucratic hack that wants nothing more than the votes of the fine men and women of BLM and is willing to give them everything, including and up to slavery reparations to get those votes.

  7. Insane. The last thing we need is EMTs and firefighters with even less firearms training than cops getting into firefights with people when they should be doing their primary job.

    But train them more you say: I wouldn’t want any firearms training taking time away from their primary job specific training to that allows them to do their job to the best of their abilities.

    • “The last thing we need is ___civilians_____ with even less firearms training than cops getting into firefights with people ”

      Sounds like something an anti-gunner would say to prohibit you from having a CHL. Funny.

      • Cops, most firefighters and most EMTs are civilians. Civilians are government employees not in the military.

    • Insane. The last thing we need is people who must go into terrible areas with high crime rates, often with access to very potent drugs, being defenseless and at the mercy of thugs and crazy people.

  8. Not relevent. “Shall not be infringed” ring a bell?

    Everyone should be armed all the time if they so choose.

    • They give up that right when they start taking the King’s coin. They then operate under delegated privileges and the citizens have every right to set the conditions of their employment.

      • Really and what about the thousands of volunteer EMTs and FFs that are disarmed due to policy. How about until you have the balls to do the job yourself, then shut the fuck up.

      • And those citizens have every right to quit, right then right there in the middle of a call if need be.

        Sounds to me like you’re actually thinking of public servants as slaves. They’re not.

      • Hopefully your profession does not include making life-altering decisions for others, because your posts on this topic strongly suggest that you run your mouth without bothering to understand anything about the subject at hand and without using whatever critical thinking skills you may have. The king’s shilling and McDonalds – you have some serious keyboard courage there.

      • Fuck that, they don’t give natural rights up. You’ve got an awful lot of nerve, keyboard warrior.

  9. I would say that if they want to carry they should be allowed to. I don’t think making the issuance of firearms mandatory for EMT’s, paramedics and firefighters is a good idea however.

    • I agree fully. Those that wish to should have the option, and those who don’t don’t need to carry. There are good reasons both to carry and not to carry as a firefighter or EMT; giving the individual discretion is the best policy.

  10. As a EMT and firefighter, I’d come down in two camps on this:

    – Carrying while acting as a EMT might be useful, especially in urban areas. The downside is that while you’re focused on the patient, you tend to tunnel-vision and might not notice threats coming in from your flanks. Being known for packing might make you more, not less, attractive to rioters/etc who want to get a gun.

    – Carrying while acting as a firefighter, especially a structure firefighter, is (IMO) a non-starter. If a structure firefighter goes down in on a structure scene while carrying with one in the chamber, now there’s a serious safety issue for a RIT team that would go in to get him out.

    • This might be the first time I’ve ever seen a compelling reason for Israeli carry. Could be easier to set policy where every time they put the full set of fire gear on, they lock their guns up in the truck- that’s what I do before putting on a bomb suit.

        • Fortunately not that often, it’s approaching a hundred pounds without the helmet, and there’s no gloves. Not exactly tailor made to fit, either- you’ve got me beat in the style department.

  11. I’m a Firefighter/EMT in Kansas. The Terrorism Early Warning Center in MO issued us a warning not too long ago saying they picked up chatter among more militant groups that they were urging people to lump us in with cops and target us along with them. Our state also just issued a law saying all public employees, including Fire/EMS, have the right to be armed and carry on the clock.

    KCMO just had a station and ambulance get shot up. A firefighter and an ambulance got shot up in Milwaukee. Firefighters and EMS got shot at in Ferguson. Firefighters and EMS not only got shot at in Baltimore, we had a supply line get cut when we were trying to do our jobs. A firefighter gets stabbed in TX on the same day as the funeral of one of the fallen Dallas LEOs. Every time things like this happen, and even when they don’t, we are increasingly becoming targets.

    In my department we are now, within the last month or so, authorized to carry a concealed firearm and wear body armor. Our official policy is “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Concealed means concealed.” We aren’t given any more powers than we had previously (according to state law we’ve always had arrest powers when it comes to arsonists if they are on the scene of a fire, as well as control over traffic and other things when we are in command of a scene). We still stage for calls when we know something might be dangerous (shootings, stabbings, etc). The only change to our mode of operations is that we are now allowed to equip ourselves with equipment that will more effectively help us if we roll up to a scene we are told was cleared and it’s not.

    • Mayhap a ma deuce on the roof of the ambulance and top the firetruck would discourage antisocial behavior by the rabble.

    • Ultimately, the only solution to the BLM twerps is to give them what they claim they want – good and hard.

      That means no public services – for fear of offending the dazzling urbanites in their posh little enclaves.

      If their neighborhood burns down as a result of their antics, or they suffer deaths as a result of EMS non-response… then… oh well.

      • Mini-Escape From New York scenario.

        I like it. Except for one thing…there are a LOT of people in those affected areas that are not part of the rioters and want no part of it.

        We know the thug ratio is pretty small…what, maybe 10% or less of the local pop causes 95+% of the problems? Even factoring in the apathetic, there are still significant numbers of GOOD people trapped behind enemy lines.

        • Perhaps it is because Edmund Burke was a white male that the black community hasn’t learned the wisdom of his words hundreds of years ago:

          “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

          When I look upon the inner-city black communities, “unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle” are very apt words to describe those who are law-abiding and living productive lives, but who will not stand up to the thugs.

        • I can’t disagree with that.

          I will add that a key problem with those good folks trapped in that situation is the progressive Statist programming that has defined their entire local culture for several generations now. Too many of them believe, I guess, that they CAN’T fight the evil in their midst – that it would be wrong (legally, morally) to do so.

          I do believe that’s changing. The question then becomes can it change fast enough to make difference. Lots of good folks in Milwaukee would probably answer “no” this morning…that the ‘waking up’ is too slow.

  12. Facebook blocked this article from being posted on my page, that is supposedly has offensive material. Censorship of a opinion piece.

    • No love lost for Facebook, however, Facebook is a civilian business entity and as such has as much right to post “No Guns Allowed” signs as any brick and mortar business.

      Also, censorship, from a technical aspect, is a function of (tyrannical) government, not individual citizens or businesses. If a citizen or business entity prohibits, denies or discourages certain speech or activities, that is NOT censorship.

      • The problem with that argument regarding Facebook and Twitter and the like is that they purport to, and sell their service as, a platform for “Speech” and “News” and etc.

        Sorry. They can’t have it both ways. Either they are a public platform providing a service to the public or they are ‘private’ and they can set their own rules.

        I’m not talking about ‘public’ vs ‘private’ ownership. That line has been blurred. They tell customers/users “This is what our platform is” then provide something else, that’s as much a form of censure as the ‘legal’ version.

        • I deleted everything on my FB account, then deleted the account two weeks later, after I had a epiphany: I couldn’t identify what ‘product’ or ‘service’ FaceBook was selling.

          Then I realized I was the product.

          I don’t frequent FaceBook for the same reason that I will not wear “gimme” clothing (ballcaps, t-shirts, whatever) that have some company’s logo on them. My policy is always “Want to use me for advertising? Better break out your checkbook.”

        • Exactly so.

          Zuckerburg did not become a billionaire by providing a free service. And, it ain’t ‘advertising’ either.

          “If something seems free, YOU are the product.” Words to remember.

  13. Firefighters have the ability to make an arrest. They should be armed if they want to be. They have a very important job and see no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to carry.

    • You need to read (and understand) “Atlas Shrugged”, sir.

      Productive and decent people are under no obligation to sacrifice themselves on the altar of altruism. While I may emotionally feel bad for the innocents trapped in those urban hell-holes, I am under no obligation to give them my money to continue living there nor to risk my life to rescue them.

      We all feel the pain of human suffering, but what has that FEELING accomplished for us, or them, so far? Trillions of dollars spent in the War on Poverty has only bought more people in poverty and massive urban blight.

      I will cry for those who must ultimately pay the price for this political and sociological failure, but at this point I am afraid that rather than send, much less force, decent men to go into these areas at the risk of their lives, LET THEM BURN.

      At some point the decent people who inhabit the blighted regions will understand their peril and their true course to safety and flee to more civilized environs, or take up arms to protect themselves not from police and firefighters, but from the criminals that live next door to them every day.

      • “At some point the decent people who inhabit the blighted regions will understand their peril and their true course to safety and flee to more civilized environs, or take up arms to protect themselves not from police and firefighters, but from the criminals that live next door to them every day.”

        Having lived in a few blighted areas I will say this: The latter maybe, the former, no.

        There are two reasons. Some older folks are just plain stubborn about where they bought a house. They ain’t moving for nobody. For most however it’s a matter of funding. When you work at Denny’s or are living on government assistance in Section 8 housing you simply don’t have the option to pick up and move to the ‘burbs or the country. That’s what people with money do. The people currently living in these areas generally are living paycheck to paycheck or EBT deposit to EBT deposit and barely making it by.

        • The point is, as you say, for those who can’t leave they must decide who to fight.

          In countless TV and movie dramas, mostly American Westerns, the theme has been, over and over, the situation is not resolved, no matter who the hero of the day is, until the “townies” decide to take up arms against the thugs and tyrants who have decided to enslave them and rule the town.

          If you can’t leave you must fight. If you can’t leave and won’t fight, stop complaining that your situation is somehow my fault.

        • Well said, Cliff.

          The operative word is “ownership.” They need to take ownership of their communities.

          With ownership comes responsibility, but also tremendous reward.

  14. We have too many armed government employees now. No to arming any new ones and we need to start disarming cops.

    Citizens should be armed, not government employees.

    • *sigh* Let’s try this again.

      Citizen – a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.

      Civilian – a person not in the armed services

      Soldier – a person enlisted in the armed forces of a country

      Government employee – a civilian employee of the government

      Soldiers and government employees can be – and usually are – citizens.

      Your comment is nonsensical.

  15. It’s not “time to arm” anyone. It’s time to let good people exercise their right to self defense. If EMTs and firefighters want to arm themselves, let them.

    The government higher-ups love love love to send people into harm’s way, and doesn’t really care whether they live or die. So if the G doesn’t want to let fire and EMT personnel protect themselves, fvck the G. In fact, let it burn.

  16. I carried for 30 yr’s as a firemen , and carry today. A lot of my fellow firemen didn’t. It was funny when a situation got dicey and law enforcement was still away out or understaffed for what we faced. All of a sudden I had a lot of close firemen friends and was given a front position.

    Couple of times the Sheriff asked me to watch his back as they had no backup and faced a crowd.
    This is a rural area and we have a tendency to do what needs to be done,
    However I would carry still including interior attack. I believe the temp to set off ammo would have already killed me.
    Also we all had to keep in mind at any structure fire loaded weapons are a potential.

    • “I believe the temp to set off ammo would have already killed me.”

      It’s the one in the pipe that may kill another firefighter…

  17. Everyone should be able to project themselves. Period.No matter what you opine Chris Mallory. Plenty of EMT and firefighters attacked in Chicago too. Ridiculous we’re even discussing this…

  18. I can’t believe this would even cross someone’s mind. I don’t get it. This person believes due to the current climate police are being targeted, so let’s arm EMTs and put a big target on them too. Genius

    • There’s already a target on their backs; attacks have occurred but are not broadly publicized (see some of the other comments on this article).

  19. If they do arm them they need to be trained in weapon retention; they are in close proximity to a potential and need to know the drills

  20. As my name implies, I’m an EMT from the People’s Republik of New Jersey. If you’re wondering what my experience in EMS is (not that it should be relevant) I’ve been serving as an EMT for 8 years.

    This may offend my fellow First Responder personnel: I am against arming EMTs if the sole reason is that they are EMTs. I’ve been relatively outspoken as well when it comes to calling attacks on first responders hate crimes (a la NY SAFE Act) or making the killing of a first responder automatically first degree murder (I only thing it should be first degree murder when the prosecution can prove it was unprovoked/premeditated/heinous). I hate special classes of citizens being more equal than others, especially when they’re acting on the behest of the government.

    The only thing I will support, especially in NJ, is full shall-issue CCW licensure or Vermont Carry for EVERYONE. I don’t buy the argument that “well if you support arming EMTs/Firefighters, then it paves the way for full restoration of ‘civilian’ firearms rights” since it could very well be “see, only people with justifiable need should carry firearms”. I didn’t see LEOSA pave the way for right-to-carry laws. If anything, it just reinforced the us vs. them mentality of first responders and the citizens they are supposed to serve.

    Just one EMT’s $0.02. If there is something that I have not considered, I’m more than happy to receive constructive criticism.

  21. Shotguns with specialized ammunition does have a place In the fire service. It can be used to breech doors as well as ventilation on second and third floor Windows etc. beyond that it is doubtful a shotgun would be helpful while deploying a 1 3/4″ hose line to put the wet stuff on the red stuff nor would it be helpful in searching a room.

  22. In Chicago there was a stink about ems wearing body armor. Guess they want to save face over an EMS guys life. If will kill a kid without remorse I would think a first responder would be little issue.

  23. ya I’m paid to take risks , got a wall full of plaques and my dress blues covered with medals. You got a gun? I’m going the other way….. Sorry that’s the way it is.

    I know guys who have guns pulled on them and one of our guys was shot as Volley in the Webster shooting of 4 FF , two killed.

    Most carry to and from work , and if the shtf i may carry on the job,
    Or at least have it in the rig ,but not being the theat is what allows us to operate in the hood unscathed . When I’m in my bunker gear how in the wide world of sports would I ever reach my gun??

    • Your last question goes straight to another issue for FF’s carrying: When you’re fully equipped in bunker gear, you can barely hear/see your surroundings, you’re weighted down by 35+ lbs of gear and you’ve got much more pressing things to worry about.

      For those who think that FF’s can carry while bunkered-up, how is that going to work? Waistband carry? You don’t have a belt – your pants are held up by suspenders. Even if you did have a belt, you’ve got your SCBA strap riding on your hips – and that’s a lot more important. Shoulder carry? How is anyone going to get that out in less than a minute? How is anyone wearing FF gloves going to get their finger on a trigger, much less feel the trigger?

      What people don’t understand about bunker gear is how completely it is supposed to cover you, how hard it is to expose yourself in bunker gear. That’s by design, not accident.

      • There are officers who respond to fire calls who do not bunk up, because their job is to direct and supervise fire suppression efforts. Literally, keeping an eye on the big picture and what’s going on around everybody. Firefighters waiting to go into a structure aren’t going to be able to quickly access a concealed firearm, sure. Chief or the safety officer or staging can, and they’d have the first idea that an abnormal threat is imminent, also.

        Remember the firefighters who died in West Webster, New York. Yes, they were bunked up to enter a burning structure, but as soon as they arrived on scene and got of the truck, they came under rifle fire from across the street by the man who had started the blaze. What if they had an AR-15 locked in the engine that they could access quickly in extreme circumstances, and could start returning fire while law enforcement raced to meet them? Could fewer people have been hurt and killed? Maybe. One can hope and pray something like this will never happen again. Hoping and praying does nothing to prepare for the very real possibility that it will again, eventually.

        Also consider: 60 percent of calls are medical in nature. The people in the bad parts of town have emergencies too, and you don’t wear bunks into a house to assess a medical emergency. These are the situations where you’d want you line staff to have an option to deal with deadly threats.

        It’s a brave new world we live in. This isn’t Mayberry, and sadly, maybe it’s time to talk about doing things differently than we always have.

  24. Not a job you can do effectively while ‘looking over your shoulder’. If you are working EMT/Fire in a location so risky you need to be armed then you need to have ARMED ESCORTS from LEO or you DO NOT GO THERE. Most people in Fire/EMS are not anti gun….but neither do they want to be wearing a different hat…of armed guard. If a neighborhood has become so crime riddled that it’s not safe to provide public services to we need to accept that some
    groups are beyond saving and not save them. Wall the place off ala “Escape From New York” and let the inmates fight it out.

  25. Alow CCW. Don’t arm them. Arming them makes them potential targets. But Carrying in a hospital isn’t alowwed at least here, except by police. It would cause problems for them or require an exemption.

  26. Its an unpredictable field. 2 hours ago I had a pt come off the stretcher and attack my partner. Luckily we have a great relationship with our local PD, but I watch the news too. We’ve discussed the pros and cons of being armed. At least in our area, at this time it doesn’t seem warranted, although the option of armor would be nice. But that’s a decision that local departments need to decide for themselves. At the very least they should have the option.

  27. My sister and I are both volunteer firefighters, I in a county district just outside a small city, her in a very rural neighboring district. I know several people on my district who carry off-duty, and would probably favor the OPTION of CCW on the job, if department policies permitted it. Not everyone, for sure. I would favor the option. It’s as safe a practice as the operator makes it, and if you feel you cannot trust the operator to be a mature, responsible professional with a concealed firearm for personal protection, you probably don’t want him entering your house at three in the morning to pick you up out of bed and take you to the hospital when you’re having chest pain, when you’re at your most vulnerable, either. My sister’s department is much more lenient about that sort of thing, and it has paid dividends. She responded to an aggressive dog bite call out in the county, and provided support to the crew assisting the victim, as she is not an EMT. The dog came back to the scene, and charged the first responders before law enforcement arrived on scene. She had a concealed firearm on her and shot the dog, protecting herself and others on scene. It made the local paper (tiny blurb) and her fellow district members and local law enforcement praised her for her quick thinking and situational awareness, preventing further victims. If I could carry on duty, I would, even though I’m much less likely to run into a scenario like this than she is, me working much closer in to town and usually having law enforcement scant minutes away, rather than her, where backup is usually at least ten to fifteen minutes away, at minimum. All it take is one time where you need it and don’t have it to turn your day very bad, very quickly.

  28. Friend of mine used to be a fireman in LA and his station had to respond to calls in some bad areas. He said at first he wanted to carry because he got shot at on more than one occasion. However, he came to think about to differently after a while because of the mindset that came with doing that job. He told me that he hates to wear the body armor he sometimes wore but that taking a firearm would’ve made the job harder because the gangs would assume the firefighters would be taking sides instead of just helping to deal with the fire or injured person.

  29. I think we should also increase law enforcement medical training, and I hate to say this but equipment issued(There’s already not a whole lot of room in patrol vehicles for anything else, but at least an ifak and hopefully a well stocked medical bag.)

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