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Thread: Dangerous Precedent: Paramedics to no longer wait and stage during active-shooter

  1. #1
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    Dangerous Precedent: Paramedics to no longer wait and stage during active-shooter

    http://www.firefightingnews.com/para...er-situations/

    There is a dangerous precedent being attempted in some areas, where they are attempting to send unarmed (future victims/victims not shot yet) into harms way.
    What's that Paramedics plan when the guy covering her goes down? Just curious. As a tactical paramedic, actively working as an entry member and SRT medic for 10 years, I have a hard time agreeing with some - mind you some, of the concepts being put forward with these rescue task forces. If you send me into an environment where I need a VEST, and may be exposed to gunfire, then I demand to be able to return some lead pills. Any responders going into the UNRESOLVED, ever changing, unpredictable, hostile and dynamic, disruptive environment of a shooting need to be armed. Remember - be the feeder not the receiver, there are no victims only volunteers, change the circumstances, control the situation and win.

    As a fully trained, armed entry team member I can tell you right now, I would not go into that environment unarmed and untrained. It takes one round to incapacitate the individual covering you, not to mention the non-static environment where you may be required to cover those covering you. Stop messing around and arm them. This conversation is ridiculous and literally being dominated by people with the least amount of experience or training on the issue.

    When they ask you to do this, say this: Nope. Give me a gun and training. Get off your wallet jackass.

    Yes there are a lot of variables and every situation will be unique and different. No one would have went on the raid at Entebbe or Ma'Alot or Beslan unarmed. I remain un-wavered in thinking the precedent is dangerous and all about saving money and image. The decision makers developing and backing this type of response do not want to spend the money to properly arm and train certain responders. EMS and Fire need to stay well outside of the hot and warm zone in most cases, with armed tac medics working on patients in the tactical field care and CASEVAC phases. What do they teach or drill when your field care evolves into care under fire and you start taking rounds? Lay down? Hide behind a cop? Run? There are many capable firefighters who can and would willingly train (take my case) to fulfill the role of armed medic on a tactical team.
    Attachment 38030
    Last edited by TacMedic556; 02-27-16 at 13:02.

    EMT-B, FFI&II 1999
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    I agree. Such task force personnel should be armed. If not, don't volunteer...

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    I was Medical Director for our county's TAC Team for 15 years. I supervised 9 EMT-P's. On scene, we were always armed and wore body armor. Usually, one of us was part of the entry stack, and we trained for evacuation of injured personnel before the scene was "safe". As Medical Director of a non-tactical EMS Department, I would never allows my EMT's to enter a scene that had not been rendered safe by the LE personnel on the scene. I'd let them do so voluntarily, but only if they were trained tactical medics, and were armed and wearing body armor.
    Last edited by Hmac; 02-27-16 at 13:19.

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    I'm far from a trained professional she it comes to this, but I see this as a bad idea. You will have limited officers available at the onset of an active shooter call. Those officers need to go in an hunt down the people causing the carnage ASAFP. I was under the impression that the best thing to do in an active shooting was to go find and stop the shooter in order to end the carnage as fast as possible. How is that going to be achieved if the responding armed members are having to stop and over watch the paramedics?

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    Some of our local Fire Departments have body armor on their rigs, however I am not sure of their SOPs. I work private, and there is no way my company would outfit us with armor.

    I can understand your position and agree with it on an intellectual level, however I think in the moment I would have a hard time saying no. In a situation with civilians or officers down, I don't think I could hold back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pv18463 View Post
    Some of our local Fire Departments have body armor on their rigs, however I am not sure of their SOPs. I work private, and there is no way my company would outfit us with armor.

    I can understand your position and agree with it on an intellectual level, however I think in the moment I would have a hard time saying no. In a situation with civilians or officers down, I don't think I could hold back.

    I am not judging your decision or statement. The issue I see with that mindset however, is that you then could put others in harms way as well as become ineffective when you yourself become a casualty. Any skills you were bringing to the scene are now void, should you become a victim (because you were rendered impotent and unarmed by administrators and desk jockeys). You also potentially put others in harms way, as they come to your aid.

    If an individual needs a vest, he/she needs a gun. We must continuously enforce the mindset from Kyle Defers brief - We are the feeders not the receivers.

    I will never support this unarmed task force crap.

    THE BEST MEDICINE IS FIRE SUPERIORITY
    GOOD MEDICINE OFTEN MEANS BAD TACTICS AND BAD TACTICS GETS EVERYONE KILLED

    EMT-B, FFI&II 1999
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    Even if this is put in place, I don't see many following through with it on the street level. Yes there are those who have grand illusions of running in and being a hero. But it will only take one instance nation wide where a MEDIC or EMT is injured or killed and there will be a immediate reversal of this policy.

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    The rescue task force concept is older and more widespread than most realize. Folks are just hearing about it now as it gets more press and discussion. It is a national trend, and will be a new normal and standard of care. Properly implemented, it integrates trained FF/EMS personnel and armed LEOs in rescue team and CCP operations in warm zones and relies heavily upon judgement, tactics, and leadership in its execution. When well done, it is a good thing for these events. It is a radical departure from the traditional "my gloves are on and the scene is safe" FF/EMS safety model, a significant hurdle for many. It can also vary widely in design and execution, adding to its success and failure potential.

    I am fortunate to have significant involvement in some efforts, and I would encourage others to go deeper before forming a definite opinion.
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    ST brings up an important point. Depending on the scene, it can take hours to declare it secure. This all stems from TSA officer Hernandez bleeding out in LAX while the shooter was already dead, but no one knew for sure it was over. You always get the mass confusion, reports of possible additional shooters, possible IEDs, etc. The actual occurrence of those additional threats materializing is fairly rare. Most of the time the shooter is down upon contact with armed responders and the rest is a building clearance drill. There's a difference between an active scene and an unsecured scene.

    I'd never recommend adding any additional unarmed responders into an active scene, but entering an unsecured scene with an armed escort may save lives, with managed risk. It's a gray area, but one that deserves thoughtful analysis rather than institutionalized rigidity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacMedic556 View Post

    If an individual needs a vest, he/she needs a gun.
    Regarding your quote above, I disagree in that there are many neighborhoods where drive-by's are the bigger threat. A gun isn't going to do much there, but the vest will. A neighborhood in my city was such an area, and the city razed it several years ago (and we [medics] had body armor for this, and this was the early 90s. The drive-bys still happened, but just moved areas.

    I agree in that the proposed concept is a bad idea. And personnel who are forward and needs a vest because of a threat of being shot should be armed and trained.

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