Not Many EMTs Carry Guns…This One Does – Everyday Carry Pocket Dump of the Day

Most EMTs don’t carry a sidearm. They may find themselves in some sticky situations (think: mobile vehicle full of drugs just a 911 call away), but, as our own Foghorn (a former EMT himself) wrote back in 2015, mandatory sidearms for EMTs would be a bad idea. Voluntary concealed carry is the way to go, the way he sees it.

Requiring EMTs to carry a firearm would undermine their ability to talk to their patients and would reinforce the confusion about the difference between medical and law enforcement personnel, something that’s bad for everyone. Permitting voluntary concealed carry, on the other hand, would be a responsible way for departments to allow their staff to defend themselves from the dangers they face every day. We ask these people to go into the houses of complete strangers, often unassisted by law enforcement. Every time they leave the station their lives are on the line. It’s a profession unlike any other on Earth with unique dangers that can’t be eliminated. Recognizing their natural right to keep and bear armswould definitely add to their security.

Homewood, Alabama EMT Julius Bernstein packs a gat (along with his stethoscope and a Leatherman RAPTOR emergency medical tool). His choice is the vastly under-appreciated Walther P99C-AS, to be more specific. That should give him some peace of mind when he’s called to a sketchy neighborhood at 0230 on a Saturday morning.

comments

  1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    It doesn’t have to be a sketchy neighborhood. It could be a nice, middle class, neat, white-as-typing-paper neighborhood. Dopers and junkies are everywhere today.

    And they all know you have morphine and fentanyl on the ambulance.

    1. avatar little horn says:

      you do realize that people can be criminals and NOT drug addicts right?

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        In my personal experience with the issue(s):

        1. Criminals don’t call 911. They don’t want people showing up to their homes or places of “business” who might bring in law enforcement who can walk in without a warrant due to emergent situation(s). Criminals try their best to find a way to the ER on their own, or they get away from their scene/business/residence, and then call 911.

        Once the criminal makes contact with EMS, they’re usually (in my experience) non-confrontational. They want medical care without law enforcement being involved.

        2. Drug addicts, in my experience, don’t give a rat’s ass. They’re not in their right minds. When they get desperate enough, they know that they can get morphine or fentanyl from paramedics if they can game them, they know that there are such drugs on ambulances, etc. Dopers aren’t in their right mind – when they’re in withdrawal, they’ll sell out their own mothers.

        Without having any specific information on a particular case, I’d probably take responding to a criminal over an addict, and I’d take responding to an addict over responding to a drunk. But the issue of drunks is a whole other story…

  2. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    Didn’t the family members of a patient shoot up an ambulance in Chicago last weekend?

  3. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    Agree completely with armed EMTs and paramedics. Might be better if they carried concealed. Nobody would give a butt pack a second glance. Many wear them already. Just use one dedicated to carrying a firearm. The bravery of these individuals is underappreciated. I wish I had a $100 bill for every time those guys and gals jumped in to help me physically subdue a suspect when my backup was still ten minutes away. Next time you walk into a restaurant for a meal and there are two of them doing the same, walk over and say thanks. In 30 minutes they may be saving your life.

  4. avatar Art out West says:

    If I were an EMT/Paramedic, I’d sure want to carry. They get into some hairy situations. Even an LCP in a pocket holster is better than nothing.

  5. avatar SouthAl says:

    Don’t know about the P99c AS, but I picked up the full sized version a few months ago. Great gun. Accurate, ergonomic, reliable. Good enough to make me consider buying the compact version also. I should add, as long as it is in .40 and not 9mm 😜.

  6. avatar Mike says:

    If you are an EMT and carrying a concealed weapon what happens when you respond to a call in a “no gun” location? School, Post Office, Government office, airport.

    Many Hospitals are “No Gun” facilities, especially ones associated with Universities.

    Maybe allowing “first responders” to be armed maybe a consideration.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      All the hospitals in our area are “no weapon” zones – unless, of course, you are a cop.

  7. avatar Imayeti says:

    Former EMT and RN who learned to shoot “in a Southwest Prison,” I’m against mandatory, but 100% for voluntary carry for EMT’s. Rescued a wounded gun store owner when LEO thought the dirtbag was upstairs. Nothing came of it, thankfully. Not a good feeling though.

  8. avatar George from Alaska says:

    When I was the chief of our local Fire/EMS department of about 20 volunteers and 6 paid I authorized 4 paid members and about six volunteers to carry concealed. All of then had passed a safety and concealed carry class or were former soldiers. I also issued the Gerber mil-spec automatic knives with the tango tip, serrated edge for cutting seat belts and ropes and they came with a carbide or hardened steel window glass breaker on the heel of the knife. I Alaska these knives are legal anyway but as Public Safety I have the right to own or purchase them. The Gerbers were all steel and aluminum and had finger grooves which allowed them to be used as a force multiplier when held in your hand… your fist and both sides of the knife can be used as a somewhat non lethal weapon. I think the knives I bought for them were featured on an episode of “How It’s Made”. We had drugs on the ambulance…
    There was a City Policy that prevented employees from bringing personal firearms to the workplace, I never obeyed that. And then I got a special exemption letter from the next two City Managers. Would have done it anyway and none of my people ever talked.

  9. avatar Jeffersonian says:

    How , exactly, would discrete concealed carry detract from their ability to do their job and to interact with their patients? Look. I have an older brother who is a Physician. He has worked at hospitals in St. Louis, Houston and L.A. How would disarming him make him safer? As he lives in California he is effectively disarmed.

    1. avatar Temur Perkins says:

      The EMT in this article is carrying a weapon with no safety, probably with one in the chamber, and probably with no retention holster, and probably with no retention training. Working around children, mentally ill, or criminals in an emergency with your focus on the patient and lots of movement, activity, and close contact around you while carrying with no safety, one in the chamber, and no retention holster or training is a recipe for disaster. For example while kneeling over a patient doing CPR or something with both hands far away from your waist and your eyes on the patient one is not in a position to defeat a gun grab attempt. On cannot stop CPR to place your elbow over the grip of the gun so that you could feel the gun grab attempt as soon as it starts as a precautionary measure when an unknown person approaches, and you can’t have your head on a swivel looking for threats approaching as you gaze at the patient’s chest to verify that the chest is rising. Doing minor emergency surgery, such as placing a trachea tube, you can’t always get your hands instantly free to fight for the retention of your gun without harming the patient. Higher level retention holsters are very hard to conceal. I would only allow EMT’s to carry Israeli style with the chamber empty unless they enter a threatening situation. Do no harm. I think his carry makes his patients less safe 99.5% of the time but of course there is that 0.5% chance that by carrying he could stop an active shooter and make everyone safe.

      1. avatar Temur Perkins says:

        One can see in the photo that he has rotated the “safety” of his pepper spray 90 degrees away from safe into the firing position. The orifice is now lined up to spray and nothing is preventing the plunger from being depressed. This is a capsicum ND waiting to happen. Disarm this cowboy before he maces himself, blinds the ambulance driver and causes a crash, or accidentally slays an asthmatic patient. Make him leave his Kershaw and pistol at home, and if he wants to carry pepper spray it needs to have a better design.Those twist type pepper spray safeties are always inadvertently disengaging it’s a bad design.

  10. avatar Temur Perkins says:

    One can see in the photo that he has rotated the “safety” of his pepper spray 90 degrees away from safe into the firing position. The orifice is now lined up to spray and nothing is preventing the plunger from being depressed. This is a capsicum ND waiting to happen. Disarm this man before he maces himself, blinds the ambulance driver and causes a crash, or accidentally slays an asthmatic patient. Make him leave his Kershaw and pistol at home, and if he carries pepper spray it needs to have a better design.Those twist type pepper spray safeties are always inadvertently disengaging, it’s a bad design. I appreciate his public service, he just needs to fine tune his carry.

    1. avatar Temur Perkins says:

      Julius, A flip top safety like this https://www.qmuniforms.com/galls-mk-3-defense-spray?PMSRCH=sd139#.WyAlvVU3kr8 works much better than the twisty that is shown inadvertently twisted into the firing position in the photo. Flip tops work especially well if you put a strip of scotch tape sideways across the top to hold the safety down. When you want to use it, the scotch tape breaks as you push finger into the trigger well forcing the safety up. Works great, you won’t accidentally get your finger on the plunger reaching for your car keys in the same pocket but it will break and fire when you want it to. And sorry for calling you a “cowboy” in a previous post, I tried to delete it but cannot so sorry, and thanks for serving your community as an EMT.

  11. avatar james says:

    Don’t ask, don’t tell. Just in case.

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