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.