Fire chief believes EMTs would be safer carrying guns

Fire chief believes EMTs would be safer carrying guns

Fire chief believes EMTs would be safer carrying guns

When emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, are responding to a call, they may have a sense of what they will find at their destination, but not know the full extent of the situation until they are in the thick of it. While these professionals learn how to navigate potentially dangerous scenarios in EMT training, there are those who believe EMTs should go one step further and be allowed to carry handguns.EMTs may be responsible for saving other people’s lives, but sometimes these professionals can become victims themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 52 percent of today’s EMTs have been assaulted on the job, WDTN reported. Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that mentally unstable or combative patients may attack them

.Carrying guns may save EMTs’ lives
Tim Holman, the fire chief in German Township, Ohio, told the news source he believes paramedics could benefit from carrying concealed weapons. Holman’s personal experiences have shaped his views on this issue, as he has had a gun pulled on him twice in his 37-year career.

“When we go into a fire we’re fairly well protected,” Holman said. “We have equipment on that’s going to protect our breathing. We have turnout gear that’s going to protect us to a certain temperature. I make sure they are safe when they go to a fire, but I can’t guarantee that safety when they go to an EMS run.”

In Holman’s opinion, carrying a concealed weapon could reduce the number of future attacks on EMTs. He went so far as to say data has shown that states that allow people to carry concealed guns have seen a decrease in their crime rates.

Carrying guns may put more lives in danger
Not everybody is on board with the idea of arming EMTs. Kip Teitsort, a former police officer and EMT, is among them.

“Let the guys with the hundreds and hundreds of hours of training, the tools, and the pepper spray handle that guy,” Teitsort told the news source. “Then medical care can be applied.”

Teitsort does not see how fire departments could provide EMTs with the amount of  training they need to safely carry weapons. Without the proper training, there is always the chance that EMTs could do more harm than good with a handgun that is meant to keep them safe.

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