There is a dangerous idea making the rounds of law enforcement circles and I want to go on the record. Many agencies support the concept of sending unarmed “rescue task force personnel” into the hot zones of terrorist or active shooter incidents. This just sends additional unarmed future victims 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.
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
Leaving it up to each individual or crew to decide on that particular day in that instant how to respond, creates an inconsistent response, standard and known resource(s) response capability for a jurisdiction. This idea, coupled with no SOG/SOP, proper legal affiliation to be armed, lack of standardized training hours/recorded POST hours would leave any individual who chose to act, be armed, employ weapons or lethal action to extreme risk of liability and most of all litigation. The training, and professional arming of medics is imperative and in a way serves to protect them, as well as the public we serve.
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.
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 18 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 two other courses related to terrorist bombing incidents. I have been decorated with the police Exceptional Service Medal, and participated in thousands of hours in tactical training, CQB, as well as instructed bleeding control courses and hemostatic agents. I am responsible for a large portion of the agencies in my region learning and adopting tourniquets dating back to 2006 even though it was at the time frowned upon by the dinosaurs of EMS.
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.
Portions of this post originally appeared on steemit.