Securing your firearm and calling 911

This is a discussion on Securing your firearm and calling 911 within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We've already talked about what EMTs and First Responders may or may not do when responding to a 911 call where the patient is armed ...

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Thread: Securing your firearm and calling 911

  1. #1
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    Securing your firearm and calling 911

    We've already talked about what EMTs and First Responders may or may not do when responding to a 911 call where the patient is armed unconscious and/or in a bad accident.

    As I said in that thread, I'm going through EMT class right now and was advised to let law enforcement takes control of the firearm.

    We were also advised that if the patient is conscious and it's discovered that they are armed we should back out of the scene until law enforcement is able to secure the firearm for our own safety.

    Now, if you called 911 because you are having shortness of breath or think you are having a heart attack the last thing you want to have happen is the EMTs or paramedics to see your gun, stop treatment and beat feet out of your front door until the police arrive. However, you have to understand the position of the responders. They don't know you. Many medical emergencies can result or present with altered mental status and they do not have the authority or training to secure an armed individual.

    Have you thought about what you can/should do with your firearm in the event you need Emergency Medical Services for a medical emergency?

    Would you try to secure your firearm yourself? How would you do so, especially if you were not at home? Would you have a family member take possession? Would you keep it with you knowing it may compromise your care if the responders have been trained not to treat until your firearm is secure? Would you alert or have the caller alert the 911 dispatcher to the fact that you armed so that they could dispatch an officer and EMTs at the same time so your firearm could be secured and you could be treated quickly? Would you have the presence of mind to even think about it given the emergency?

    What do you think is the best course of action from the perspective of the carrier so that treatment is not delayed due to the presence of a firearm?

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    Bear in mind, what they teach in class does not often translate into how you act once out in the field. Your comfort level around firearms is going to be different from another persons. Where I work, we come along people with firearms in the home quite frequently. Many times the firearms are out in the open and visible. A lot of how you deal with it depends on the behavior of the people present.

    As far as running into patients who are ccw holders, that has been a rare experience. I've only come across 3 or 4 ccw holders on the ambulance. All of those have been motor vehicle accidents. I have taken possession of only one of them. I had local police meet me in the ER and turned the gun over to them with the owners permission. On the other calls, one person had his wife meet him at the scene before leaving for the hospital and she took possession and the rest of the times, the police or state troopers took possession of the gun and turned it over to the wife or back to the patient at a later time.
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    Interesting thought.

    If I was thinking clearly and had the means to safely stow it, I probably would disarm. However, if I need an EMT responder, I'm probably in pretty bad shape. Also, (as you suggested) if it's me and my motorcycle scattered down 100' of road, there isn't anyplace that I can stow it. I can't do what I can't do. In that case, I suppose I'll have to hope it's someone like you or Bark'n that's working on me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Bear in mind, what they teach in class does not often translate into how you act once out in the field. Your comfort level around firearms is going to be different from another persons. Where I work, we come along people with firearms in the home quite frequently. Many times the firearms are out in the open and visible. A lot of how you deal with it depends on the behavior of the people present.
    I already told my instructor that I would have no problem treating a legally armed individual who was alert and oriented and not showing any signs of aggression.

    He looked at me like I told him I was willing to walk across fire with an open can of gasoline in my hands. The fact is, of course, that most of your armed individuals are good folks and pose no threat.

    The rest of my classmates were on the fence or very adamant that they are not going near any non-LEO armed individual.. legal or not. It will be interesting to see if any of us change our minds once we get out there.

    WHEC, Here's the golden question.... if you crashed your bike and were hurt but still conscious and a responding EMT needed to work on you, would you allow that EMT to take possession of your firearm?

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    Before I was a physician I was a LEO and you're correct. EMS was advised not to approach any "threat or dangerous situation without law enforcement". When EMS was sent on a call the nearest officer would also respond as a courtesy. If the scene is secure the officer may resume patrol or stay.
    I think depending on the department and how they word their protocol will affect how EMS responds. The way our EMS is stated it is "threat or dangerous". So our guys would not enter a scene if they felt in danger. However a lot of our Paramedics are also reserve LEOs.
    I think for the most part if the situation presented that say, you're a coach on the youth football team and there's been no altercation, brandishing or other issue and you have simply collapsed. Possibly had a MI or fainted do to heat exhaustion I don't see EMS, at least around here, not responding simply because you have a holstered weapon. Most of the staff at the hospital are CC holders so it's not that unusual around here that someone would be carrying. IMHO I wouldn't worry too much.


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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    WHEC, Here's the golden question.... if you crashed your bike and were hurt but still conscious and a responding EMT needed to work on you, would you allow that EMT to take possession of your firearm?
    I'd give up possession. If I need that kind of help, that means I could go into shock and/or lose consciousness. I can't safely control the firearm in that situation. It's a good argument for 'clip' style holsters that can be unclipped and handed over without unsheathing the firearm.
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    If I need an EMT the last thing I am going to worry about is my firearm. Just keep me alive and I will deal with stuff later.
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    I ask my nephew who is a detective the same question that they would secure the fire arm first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post

    We were also advised that if the patient is conscious and it's discovered that they are armed we should back out of the scene until law enforcement is able to secure the firearm for our own safety.
    Is the person who gave you that particular bit of advice legally and civilly liable if you follow it, or are you?
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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    I was hit on my motorcycle by a Ford Ranger and as the Fireman began cutting my clothes off I told him his scizzors was going to start hitting pistols and he called the officer over who took them, I got them back later.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    I already told my instructor that I would have no problem treating a legally armed individual who was alert and oriented and not showing any signs of aggression.

    He looked at me like I told him I was willing to walk across fire with an open can of gasoline in my hands. The fact is, of course, that most of your armed individuals are good folks and pose no threat.

    The rest of my classmates were on the fence or very adamant that they are not going near any non-LEO armed individual.. legal or not. It will be interesting to see if any of us change our minds once we get out there.

    WHEC, Here's the golden question.... if you crashed your bike and were hurt but still conscious and a responding EMT needed to work on you, would you allow that EMT to take possession of your firearm?
    No, the golden question is would your instructor deny medical care to an LEO similarly armed? If so, why, and if not, why not?
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    It's an exercise in personal comfort, If I respond to a level headed holder of a firearm that is not calling for something like a suicide attempt ect. No big deal, take pocession and move on turn it over to LEO or security when I get a chance. These aren't the people I worry about. Responding to a drunk or metally desturbed. Your going to bleed to death, cause I'm not going into that scene, Now if I find the weapon after the fact, That is where tact and civility come into to play. Disarming the armed can be a big deal but in close quarters and done properly then it can be a non issue. First off just like any other EMS situation, don't lose your head and you would be surprised how well even the mentally disturbed will cooperate. Calmness will get more out of folks than anything. A Paragod attitude will get you shot.
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    I would hate to think that the EMT's responding to a firearm find would say..."We're outta' here until the cops arrive!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    No, the golden question is would your instructor deny medical care to an LEO similarly armed? If so, why, and if not, why not?
    This does bring up a point. Let's say an EMT responds to a scene where an individual has been struck by a car and when he fell a gun is laying beside him. So following the advise of the instructor. EMS waits for LEO to arrive. Now when you start cutting clothing you see a badge an find out the guy who got hit was a UC chasing a suspect. You just don't know and IMHO the mere fact of a gun shouldn't deter you from providing treatment. Evaluate the situation then proceed as you feel comfortable. Because ultimately its you and not your instructor who may have to answer why you didn't treat.


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    Volunteer with your local police Auxiliary, so you can carry an "official good guy badge." Now the EMTs won't be so scared.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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