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Old March 9, 2009, 06:34 PM   #1
doh_312
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EMS Persons...

I'm going to finish up my course in EMT-B in May. I plan on continuing my education to EMT-P or even Fire/Rescue. I really have my heart set on this career path. My course instructor is antigun and sees no reason EMS would need to protect themselves. She believes police are always around. As annoying as that though process is, the thing that bothers me is she firmly believes EMS are not allowed to carry. She cannot state a specific legislation or contract stating such. I do not want to change careers but I do not want to work EMS unprotected. Now I am not a mall ninja and if I heard gun shots I'll gladly let PD handle it. But if someone is shooting at me, I will shoot back and that requires I have my gun.

Any current or past EMS, in metro Colorado or not, that know of any company policies or National Registry, DOT policies that state one way or the other?
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Old March 9, 2009, 06:53 PM   #2
Ben Towe
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I have no idea about Colorado but I'm aware that some cities/municipalities have this policy or law. Many EMTs ignore it, particularly if they have to respond to urban project areas and such. If it isn't specifically banned in the form of writing in some document you're given I'm not sure I'd ask, to be honest, if something was said I'd claim ignorance.
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Old March 9, 2009, 07:01 PM   #3
doh_312
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I agree, I've been going on my clinical ride-alongs and pocket carry a S&W 5 shooter or a Bersa Thunder CC. As with all CC, no one brought it up and I never told anyone I had it. More and more I'm starting to feel no gun areas are more like make me lose the gun, but you have to know I have it first. I'm currently checking for laws in my area, go google
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Old March 9, 2009, 07:04 PM   #4
AZ Med18
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The only problem I see. I am a paramedic in Phx, AZ. Is that the law regarding firearms in hospitals. I do not see the state giving waivers for us to carry into hospitals. And no police are not close my first day as a medic a pt started throwing knives at us and it took PD 45 minutes to get there.

Also it is understood that we do no harm because we are in the medical field. I say what about SWAT/Tactical Medics they sometimes have firearms. Also we having staging in our systems certain calls we automatically park away from the scene and wait for PD to get there and give the all clear first. You still get the tones to bail out on the scene and the scenes do get hairy crews still get shot at because we are there.

I would love to carry but I think there would need to be some big federal legislation to actually make it happen.
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Old March 9, 2009, 07:19 PM   #5
Ben Towe
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More and more I'm starting to feel no gun areas are more like make me lose the gun, but you have to know I have it first.
Ditto
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Old March 9, 2009, 09:33 PM   #6
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I work for a state agency thats policy is no firearms, period. My job is to fight fire and to handle fire-related LEO duties. Its pounded into our heads during our LEO training that we're not to defend ourselves until physically attacked first. But thats some agencies for ya. They'd rather have an employee die than cover the liability of allowing armed officers.

Generally, EMT's have the same rules. No guns allowed.
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Old March 9, 2009, 10:14 PM   #7
doh_312
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I just do not understand the thought process of these state agencies. We're giong into dangerous situation just as police are. Sure we dont knowingly go into a maniac's house, but a behavior call, drug or alcohol, violence in general usually gets a medical response. Why is it less important for me to go home to my wife at the end of the day than a police officer? Granted, PD purposefully get in harms way, but EMS and Fire responds to the same scenes often. Sure we're taught to park down the street, out of the "danger area" but bullets fly far and humans run fast. It is insane to think EMS or Fire will not meet creeps, it is even more insane to think PD rides shotgun on all EMS calls.
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Old March 9, 2009, 11:12 PM   #8
AZ Med18
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And when an officer is down the police will usually clear a scene before the attacker is found. Now this puts me in more danger because well its funner to shoot at the unarmed I guess. I don't mind getting to an officer quicker but why can't I defend myself in the process.

What about when your transporting mafia/mob bosses and there is a US Marshall sitting next to you with a shotgun and an unmarked car because there might be a hit during transport. Oh and no Ballistic armor allowance either.
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Last edited by AZ Med18; March 9, 2009 at 11:12 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 10, 2009, 12:40 PM   #9
Ben Towe
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What about when your transporting mafia/mob bosses and there is a US Marshall sitting next to you with a shotgun and an unmarked car because there might be a hit during transport. Oh and no Ballistic armor allowance either.
How can they disallow ballistic armor?
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Old March 10, 2009, 01:07 PM   #10
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I just do not understand the thought process of these state agencies.
It is all about risk reduction. The folks in charge are trying to reduce their risk, not yours.

If they allowed EMTs/paramedics/firefighters to carry guns and something bad happened (e.g., ND in the firehouse, unjustified shooting, etc.), then there would be a big scandal and the big guy's job would be at risk. If, on the other hand, an EMT/paramedic/firefighter is killed or injured by a perp, then that is just looked on as a terrible tragedy and not the fault of the fire chief.

So from their point of view, allowing employees to carry guns is all downside with no upside.

I don't agree with the policy, but I think that I see where it comes from. The prime directive of many high ranking public employees is "Thou shalt not jeopardize thy pension." Everything else is secondary.
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Old March 10, 2009, 01:34 PM   #11
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i have been in EMS for 12 yrs and have worked in 2 states and 5 agencies all of which have strict no carry policies. i however did carry against policy which i am not in any way telling you to do. i feel it is your right to do so and think these rules are ignorant. to my knowledge every EMS agency has a policy against carry of firearms due to the fact they dont want the liability. here in MN there are several law enforcement agencies that are dual certified paramedics and police.
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Old March 10, 2009, 03:31 PM   #12
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Helpful insights guys. Appreciate the conversation. My safety trumps high ranking official's pensions.
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Old March 10, 2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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Just be sure that you understand the consequences if you carry against policy.
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Old March 10, 2009, 04:23 PM   #14
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I've been a firefighter paramedic for 5 yrs. now and really believe that we should be allowed to carry. I go into some real crappy gang areas and they've been known to shoot at us. Actually I've been shot at a couple times, not fun. Being that its against dept. policy, I don't carry. I know a few guys that do and I also know a few that wear bullet proof vests. If you decide to carry and get caught, be prepared to look for another job. Unfortunately public safety has some negatives, and putting your life on the line is one of them, but we know this going into the field...and I wouldn't do anything else.
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Old March 10, 2009, 04:40 PM   #15
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If they allowed EMTs/paramedics/firefighters to carry guns and something bad happened (e.g., ND in the firehouse, unjustified shooting, etc.), then there would be a big scandal and the big guy's job would be at risk. If, on the other hand, an EMT/paramedic/firefighter is killed or injured by a perp, then that is just looked on as a terrible tragedy and not the fault of the fire chief.

So from their point of view, allowing employees to carry guns is all downside with no upside.
That can be and needs to be reversed with a few lawsuits against them for any injuries or death of EMT's for not allowing them to arm themselves. The door needs to swing back at them and hit them in the face.
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Old March 10, 2009, 05:24 PM   #16
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That can be and needs to be reversed with a few lawsuits against them for any injuries or death of EMT's for not allowing them to arm themselves. The door needs to swing back at them and hit them in the face.
It should. But it won't.
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Old March 11, 2009, 03:28 PM   #17
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I was once a volunteer FF and EMT in New Jersey. I have never heard about any law that specifically forbade FF's and EMT's from carrying, however, NJ prohibits all carry without a permit (almost impossible to get anyway).

I know that many employers (of all kinds, not just emergency agencies), specifically have rules prohibiting employees from carrying weapons, whether licensed or not. Many don't even allow employees to keep weapons in their vehicles, although some states have passed legislation banning that practice.

With that in mind, your instructor is probably incorrect in saying that EMT's cannot carry by law or by regulation. Most likely, it is a policy held by most if not all EMS agencies. By my understanding, open carry is legal everywhere in Colorado except for Denver, and concealed carry with a permit is legal everywhere. This does not mean that your employer cannot impose rules that prohibit you from carrying while working for them.
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Old March 11, 2009, 11:17 PM   #18
doh_312
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I will be sure to fully understand the consequences of carrying before I decide to or not. Either way I can not say here, call me paranoid but spies are everywhere
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Old March 11, 2009, 11:29 PM   #19
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Helpful insights guys. Appreciate the conversation. My safety trumps high ranking official's pensions.
I doubt high ranking official cares if you CCW or not. As long as policy prohibits carrying s/he has a safety net if something goes bad. CYA or yer SOL. It ain't about to change.
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