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

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacMedic556 View Post
    I am 100% for the arming of medics. The observations and concerns I hold are for their safety and protection. Imagine a bullet fired from an EMT who is not trained to the states standards, not legally allowed to carry on duty, or is not deputized or a special reserve officer, strikes a hostage/civilian. There is unfortunately grounds from litigation. Yes the EMTs have a right to protect themselves, but they also have to abide by certain laws, including ones you and I disagree with. Just as I being a 14 year paramedic am prohibited from performing a C-section - no matter the totality of the circumstances, because it is outside my scope of practice. We are forced to, "stay in our lanes" when it comes to our jobs.
    The law in this state allows people with a handgun permit to carry a handgun for personal protection. Not for any law enforcement function...personal protection. Litigation...yes. Anytime there's a shooting, there are "grounds for litigation" no matter what the circumstances. Your C-section analogy isn't applicable since you aren't trained to do it and have no legal authority to do so.

    I, and the EMT-T's that I supervised, did train and qualify with firearms to SO standards, and took/passed this state's Application of Lethal Force test, the same one that all LEO's have to take in this state. Even so, it was a basic concept drilled into every one of them that use of lethal force by any Tactical EMT on the service was absolutely only in accordance with state personal protection laws and absolutely not the use-of-force laws that were statutorily granted to law enforcement officers.


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    Last edited by Hmac; 03-05-16 at 11:56.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmac View Post
    The law in this state allows people with a handgun permit to carry a handgun for personal protection. Not for any law enforcement function...personal protection. Litigation...yes. Anytime there's a shooting, there are "grounds for litigation" no matter what the circumstances. Your C-section analogy isn't applicable since you aren't trained to do it and have no legal authority to do so.

    I, and the EMT-T's that I supervised, did train and qualify with firearms to SO standards, and took/passed this state's Application of Lethal Force test, the same one that all LEO's have to take in this state. Even so, it was a basic concept drilled into every one of them that use of lethal force by any Tactical EMT on the service was absolutely only in accordance with state personal protection laws and absolutely not the use-of-force laws that were statutorily granted to law enforcement officers.


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    Right on. That's what I am talking about. You guys sound squared away and protected. At first it sounded like individuals carrying on their own and not vetted or backed by an agency. The analogy of the C-section comes from a true story and it is not the only time it has happened where medics performed such a procedure: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/27/ny...emergency.html
    Last edited by TacMedic556; 03-05-16 at 17:06.

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacMedic556 View Post
    Right on. That's what I am talking about. You guys sound squared away and protected. At first it sounded like individuals carrying on their own and not vetted or backed by an agency. The analogy of the C-section comes from a true story and it is not the only time it has happened where medics performed such a procedure: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/27/ny...emergency.html
    No, not exactly - I am talking about two different services. The Tactical EMS unit that is part of the Sheriff's TAC Team (SWAT) trains regularly and qualifies with all the weapons used -- same firearms standards as the sworn officers. The Tactical Medics function inside the inner perimeter and carry for self-defense only. The don't ask/don't tell policy I was referring to applies to our hospital's ALS ambulance service. Official policy of the medical center is no weapons carried by employees, but it's not illegal according to state law, as long as they have a handgun permit. If they do elect to carry and if are caught, they risk their job. They know that, weigh those risks, and make their decision. I don't condone it, nor do I condemn it. I don't ask, and I don't want to know. Personally, I don't believe that their employment should take away their right to self defense in a job that, occasionally, puts their life at risk.
    Last edited by Hmac; 03-05-16 at 18:35.

  4. #24
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    Like any "news" article, I read the link with a grain of salt. Some of what was written can be read in a few different ways, for instance....

    This will allow medics to respond in the middle of an “active threat.” A rescue task force firefighter or paramedic will enter “in step” with an officer…giving them a ‘faster track’ to the patient – and a better chance to get the victim to a safe zone.
    We implement the RTF concept in a pretty big way, but I've only seen our use of it in person so I can't comment on how it compares to Omaha's program. When the situation is warm (rough definition--we're 99% sure the area is safe but haven't done a secondary search on the complete structure) a team of officers will escort a team of FF to the CCP and back out.

    I can see how that could be considered "in the middle of an active threat" because when the medics come in we're probably only half way though dealing with the incident. Likely not even halfway done as the secondary search will take so long. So although the medics come in AFTER the shooting is over, they come in around the "middle" of the entire hullabaloo.

    And with our system they do come in "in step" with an officer. But not in the sense that they're stepping around with us to find bad guys and look for victims along the way.....They're in step with us in the sense that they aren't just wandering around alone in the structure.

    A lot can be lost in print communication and in the lingo used between different departments or areas of the country. For instance, the FF seem to only see things as "hot" or "cold". And without understanding the idea of a warm zone, the message they'll be sending out is that they're charging into hot zones. From the link inside the link....
    “Now we can be in the ‘hot zone,’ ” Mitchell said. “Prior to this training, we could only be in the ‘cold zone.’ ”
    I'd want a better idea of how Omaha's program is actually being implemented before I passed judgment on the program, and especially before despairing about this being indicative of new trends.
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    We've been hearing rumor that IFSI in conjunction with UIPD is going to be doing some classes on warm zone EMS operations, and it's in their brochure for 2016 Fire College going beyond the TECC classes they've done in the past.
    "I can’t remember a mile in my life that was even mildly amusing"

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    I am using this subject for an English paper, does anyone have links to articles arguing for or against this?
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    My experience is all military so I certainly understand the issues of "care under fire." I guess my opinion is that this makes sense for what Bleudreaux above calls the "warm zone" where the active shooter has been neutralized (or offed themselves) and you are 90% sure it is over. At this time we are just a few minutes to a half hour in or so, it makes sense to me for escorted civilian EMTs with armor to come in and not wait another hour for it to be declared 100% safe. Especially if there aren't any LE TAC medics on scene or it is a mass cal and the TAC medics are overwhelmed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by strambo View Post
    My experience is all military so I certainly understand the issues of "care under fire." I guess my opinion is that this makes sense for what Bleudreaux above calls the "warm zone" where the active shooter has been neutralized (or offed themselves) and you are 90% sure it is over. At this time we are just a few minutes to a half hour in or so, it makes sense to me for escorted civilian EMTs with armor to come in and not wait another hour for it to be declared 100% safe. Especially if there aren't any LE TAC medics on scene or it is a mass cal and the TAC medics are overwhelmed.
    Very logical and clear statement. I agree with your view in 90% of possible scenarios. In situations where it is less clear or could potentially move from field care to a care under fire situation, I would propose we have armed and trained medics. It is not at all difficult to arm and train medical personnel.

    I am convinced that the main reason society and municipalities are hesitating to train medical personnel in the use of lethal force is because of what it means we have to admit has happened to our society if we do. It is a line in the sand essentially. Once we begin arming medics and training medical first responders how to integrate into the dynamic, tactical , unconventional medicine environment, we have admitted that certain incidents have become more common place that once were less common, that society has changed for the worse. Most cities wish to ignore, deny, that many of these threats exist at the level they may. History and our way of life is not static - and staying the same from generation to generation - our posterity will face threats we never did.

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacMedic556 View Post

    I am convinced that the main reason society and municipalities are hesitating to train medical personnel in the use of lethal force is because of what it means we have to admit has happened to our society if we do.
    I suppose every government unit is different, but the ones around here couldn't care less about admitting anything happening to our society. They're concerned only about their little corner of the world, and in that corner there has never ever been a need for a policy that allows for armed medics, even it their liability carriers and the state Attorney General allowed it. More to the point, there are virtually NO municipal EMS services around here...they're all private companies. Likewise, those companies don't give a crap about what "armed medics says about society..." they care about the liability and optics of having non-LEO and untrained employees toting guns on calls for which that company is responsible. Like the vast majority of corporate America, employees carrying guns on the job just ain't gonna happen, in Middle America anyway.
    Last edited by Hmac; 04-01-16 at 13:46.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmac View Post
    ...they're all private companies. Likewise, those companies don't give a crap about what "armed medics says about society..." they care about the liability and optics of having non-LEO and untrained employees toting guns on calls for which that company is responsible. Like the vast majority of corporate America, employees carrying guns on the job just ain't gonna happen, in Middle America anyway.
    I should have clarified. I was referring to municipal/fire based or government provided EMS where the Paramedics are perhaps employed by the same City government or County government as the Law Enforcement agency. I completely agree and see your point with private entities being less keen on arming employees - such as agencies like Rural Metro or AMR.

    The integration of Paramedics finding positions on tactical teams is happening with great success where they are employed by a municipality or jurisdiction that also provides law enforcement - such us in my case going on a decade now. As long as all POST training is up to standard, requirements are met, and policies and procedures in place the implementation can be incredibly beneficial for the team and public safety, by providing care when it would otherwise be delayed.

    True Story: I was doing a grant presentation for a large corporation last year, in order to obtain several dozen active shooter trauma kits for two large High Schools in the area. A woman at the board stated and I will paraphrase, "I think we have to admit that we need to evaluate our societies desire to have guns in and protect that right to have them if we are at the point where now we need to place items like this in our schools". She went on and I cannot recall her statements as it was months ago. However she made it clear that she was troubled by the fact, we have guns in society and because of that (in her mind) we have gotten to a point to where we need trauma kits in schools (even though these can be used for shop accidents as well).

    My point above is that some members of our society have an aversion to anything firearm, as well as having to discuss or entertain thoughts of bad things happening in their community. They are fragile. It is traumatizing for them to even begin to think about or plan for trauma that has yet to even happen. I have personally seen and witnessed a similar aversion to tactical medic positions on multiple occasions. For some reason, they see a magical line that separates someone who is medically proficient and trained from also being able to operate a firearm in a hostile situation.

    I attended fire academy in 1999 - getting my FFI, FFII and EMT-B. I graduated with a degree as a Paramedic in 2002 and was hired as a professional firefighter paramedic. I have trained exhaustively in many skill sets for 16 years related to a myriad of hazards and emergencies. I qualified for SWAT in 2006, attended multiple TCCC and LETTC courses taught by US Special Forces (PJs, Delta, USAF Trauma Surgeon) as well as attending other courses related to terrorist bombing incidents. I understand my position is unique and foreign to some. In discussing trends, attending training out of state, and reading periodicals I cannot help but sense at times, from some individuals, a feeling that they are uneasy with the arming of those whose job it is to provide care - not harm. The idea of using force in order to provide care is foreign to some.

    It is late, think I will hit the hay. Have a goodnight gentlemen.
    Last edited by TacMedic556; 04-03-16 at 00:13. Reason: grammer

    EMT-B, FFI&II 1999
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