This is a discussion on Poll re: Armed EMS at Journal of EMS website within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am not one to limit someones rights, So I voted 'yes, with a permit'. Personally, I'm not sure if I would carry on duty. ...
I am not one to limit someones rights, So I voted 'yes, with a permit'. Personally, I'm not sure if I would carry on duty. There are many instances where a firearm on my person would simply get in the way and could be lost. Another problem for me is that I often have to accompany the patient to the hospital. Several of my local hospitals have psychiatric wards, in which concealed carry is prohibited by law in the State of Florida. Anything metal up against my bare skin in a burning building is not fun. There may come a day when I need a firearm while on duty, hopefully I make it out alive.
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Sure, as long as they have a valid permit.
55% (117 votes)
Yes, but only if they have a valid permit and have gone through agency-approved training.
35% (74 votes)
No, I don’t think EMS providers should ever carry a weapon.
10% (22 votes)
Total votes: 213
Would I carry? Absolutely.
I'm not worried about how to carry, losing the gun or prohibited places. It's something people will work out. Weapons can always be secured inside security cabinets on the ambulance as needed in the same manner narcotics are locked. All ambulance manufacturers offer steel security cabinets as options on the rigs and many just go ahead and install them as standard features.
As far as having a firearm becoming too cumbersome or in the way when doing some types of patient care, again people will work out those issues. There are several sheriff departments who operate technical rescue teams where the deputies are cross trained as paramedics. They keep their weapons on even while performing technical high angle rescues in the mountains, and difficult cave rescues. Some may opt to remove their gun belts, but over the years I've seen plenty of pictures of armed deputy/medics published in the trade journals in the midst of difficult scenarios while armed. The San Diego County Sheriff's Dept. Hasty Team comes to mind as one of them. U.S. Border Patrol's BORSTAR team is another one.
I whole heartedly support armed EMS personnel. Not everyone will want to be armed, and not everyone would be qualified under the law to be armed because they may have certain backgrounds which disqualifies them from possessing firearms (yes, unfortunately there are those types of people around in our industry), but for those who have clean records and want to, I support them.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."