I'm going through EMT training right now and asked my instructor. According to him, in the three ambulance services he has worked for in his 21 years as an EMT and then paramedic he has never seen an actual written protocol for securing a firearm. His advice to us was, if we do find a gun and the patient is unconscious, if we are comfortable enough with firearms, secure it on our own person until it can be handed over to authorities.
If we are not comfortable, don't handle it.. call the police and let them handle it. He strongly recommended NOT just handing it over to family members because you don't know if they can legally have a firearm and you don't want to inadvertently be handing a firearm over to a felon, etc.
If the patient is conscious we need to STRONGLY consider backing out of the scene and calling in law enforcement to secure the firearm before continuing with treatment of the patient.
I know a lot of people will get a little ornery about that, but you have to remember that in medical emergencies level of consciousness and altered mental status can make for combative individuals. A person who would normally not hurt anyone without just cause may not be thinking clearly and as the responding EMTs don't know you their responsibility is to themselves and their safety.
I crashed a motorcycle in 2003 while carrying. When the police arrived and asked for ID, I provided DL & CHL as required, he asked where the pistol was, asked me for it and told me I could pick it up from the property room when I was discharged from the hospital. There was no hassle picking it up the next day.
My thinking is that it would be like drugs. A responder can find a patient with drugs on his person and take the drugs with him to the hospital and not will not be charged with possession, etc. It's just part of the job.
I'm not sure about all states but in order to even start my ride time I have to have a criminal background check and show proof that I've not been convicted of any felonies and am in good standing with the law. According to my instructor it doesn't necessarily mean that ever EMT and paramedic out there is squeaky clean but there are legal standards.
If you, as a responder, can't legally take possession of a firearm then it's kind of on you how you are going to handle it, whether you wait for an LEO or have someone else take possession or just call in and ask and wait for instructions. You give it to a civilian, however, you are the link in the chain that could end up broken via legal channels if anything untoward happens.
Now, if it were a ccw situation with a husband and wife or if the family member also had a firearm on themselves I might risk it and hand it over to the family member... I guess it depends on the situation. I'll let you know if I ever come across it..lol
Thanks for all the input. I know several local law men and don't think it'd be hard to get it back. Just wondering what the first responders would do. The thought of an idiot taking my gun off me when i have no say scares me. (Not to start another thread)
I'll sick my wife and attorney on them! One and the same. It's nice to be a kept man.
My department has a policy for handling of persons with firearms. If the person is unconscous or unresponsive the weapon is turned over to a Command Officer on the scene who clears the weapon and alerts the responding P.D. and turns the weapon over to the P.O. on the scene. The P.D. logs it in to their weapons locker. Stays there until arrangements are made for the owner to pick it up.
Also, for just starting out in his medical career limatunes sure is making a lot of sense and making some very good points. I have agreed with most of his comments thus far.
You'll probably do just fine in EMS sir and we're glad to have you!
I was in this situation a couple of times when I was in EMS. Both were LEOs and unresponsive. The officers on scene quickly removed the firearms and we went on our way to the ER. Good outcomes in both instances, so I'm sure the weapons were cared for and returned to them. I don't think the officers would have acted differently for anyone CCing.
In my area the Police are ALWAYS on the scene to back-up and assist the Paramedics and to do traffic control etc.
If you were a legal gun owner and were carrying a firearm in my area it's sure bet that a LEO would take control of the firearm and it's also a sure bet that it would be promptly returned to you as soon as you were able to to take possession of it.
Hey............Kudos lima! :yup:
things that make you go huuuhh, I would certainly hope that LEO would take control of my gun...My wife hates guns, and would feel uncomfortable handeling any weapon (try to teach her and take her to the range, she's not ready, had hot brass go where hot brass isn't intended) LEO know how to handle the weapon and I'm sure would take good care of it...
I've had a few armed patients, but only one was unconscious; my partner found a (very nice) custom Kimber .45 in the gents waistband and got kind of wide-eyed. I removed it from the waistband, cleared it and put it on the back of the stretcher while he called for LE. When they arrived a minute later, they took custody of it, ran it through NCIC (clear all the way) and told us he could retrieve it the next day from the LE Center. I ran into the fellow a few weeks later and he told me all he had to do was show his DL and CWP to get it back. He did thank me for taking care of it for him, which was nice. I've seen a few at MVC's with conscious patients; we normally let the sheriff or PD get it from the patient and stick to doing our EMS thing. If it's a long gun we just leave it alone until the cops arrive.