Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Do EMT’s get gun training?

Posted by Lissa on August 17, 2011

I was feeling rather ill at work last week and scurried back to my desk to get it under control. I carefully took some deep breaths and surreptitiously lowered my head as though digging for something in my purse. The feeling passed fairly quickly — last time I take vitamins on an empty stomach! — helped by the realization that if I keeled over I’d probably flash my thigh holster.

Even in my muzzy nauseated state it was somewhat of a comfort to me that my boss is a gunnie. If I ever DID get really sick, I know he could safely disarm me and stow Kevin while waiting for the EMTs.

Which begs the question of my post title.

This is Florida. While the vast majority of the population goes unarmed, there are still significant numbers of us who go about our daily business with the best self-defense hand-tool available.*

Do emergency medical personnel receive training in how to safely handle, make safe and stow firearms?

If not – why not?

(I’m hoping that TOTWTYTR will take the lead on this one, but anyone is welcome to chime in with their thoughts, medical professionals or not!)

*HAND-tool. The best tool period is still between your ears. Of course. 🙂

8 Responses to “Do EMT’s get gun training?”

  1. ZerCool said

    Generally speaking, no. Most EMTs, if confronted with an armed patient, will simply call for a cop to deal with the scary gun.

  2. Kevin H B said

    As a long time, 20 years now, no. At least in Minnesota. Outstate (meaning non Twin Cities Metroplex) generally know how to deal with weapons as most of us are raised around them and use them for hunting, cleaning up varmints , target shooting etc., etc. As the tools they are.
    But having worked in the metro for a “few” years also. I know damn well how some EMTs and Medics will and do react “OMG!! A GUN!!”
    Yeah…It was interesting to watch sometimes and the few times I had to actually deal with a weapon, other then the onetime struggle when a 13 year grabbed a Deputies gun and I grabbed his wrist at the same time!!, I have removed, safed and unloaded the weapon. Only to find my partner fearfully looking at me and the weapon as if it had turned me into some kind of monster!

  3. Hate to scare you, but even the average LEO doesn’t have much training outside their issue gun (unless they are a gunny and get it themselves). I was pulled over in Azalia Park (East side of Orlando) a few weeks ago and the LEO decided he wanted to unload my 9mm “for his safety” (dumbass). He couldn’t even figure out how to drop the magazine (I had to tell him how) and then didn’t empty the chamber until I suggested that he needed to in order to make the weapon safe (no magazine disconnect on that one).

    For those who take offence to the “dumbass” remark, the LEO in question turned his back on me for like 10 minutes trying to “safe” the weapon before finally asking for instructions. If I was a bad guy, I could have killed him countless times as he stood, in condition white, while concentrating on the puzzle of a Walther P99 (which isn’t all that exotic).


    • Don’t you know that bad guys only carry one gun, no knives, and will only attack an officer head on? Don’t you watch frickin’ TV, dude? 😉

      • Oh, I must be a good guy. I sometimes carry two. I have even been known to carry 3, but that was just for fun. It’s not like I can shoot three guns at once. Hmmm… well maybe… I am pretty good at picking things up with my toes.


  4. Sidney said

    Also, in the DC and Maryland area, no. The EMT’s don’t even get Eddie the Eagle training, let alone how to remove and clear one. But many good old country boy’s seem to have figured it out on their own. 🙂

  5. As everyone indicates, no. We’ve had some non hands on education during crime scene management classes. I like Sidney’s idea of Eddie Eagle training, but many agencies, including mine wouldn’t hear of it because it’s sponsored by that evil NRA.

    One thing that I always suggest is that if an EMT finds a patient with a gun, that they NOT try to unload it. As Stuart noted, trying to unload a firearm with which you are not familiar is a good way for someone to get hurt or killed. MY S&Ws have magazine disconnects, but that’s no guarantee that the next guy’s S&Ws do. Smith offered that as a delete option for law enforcement agencies and many of those guns made it to the civilian market as trade ins. Glock doesn’t have a magazine disconnect, I have no clue about any other manufacturer.

    My suggestion is that if the patient is conscious ask them if they have a way to secure it. If the patient is unconscious, ALWAYS secure the weapon as people are usually pretty disoriented as they regain consciousness and could think they are being attacked. That’s standard practice for police and the military and it makes sense. Handle the firearm as little as possible, note where you touch it, and don’t try to unload it. That firearm might be part of a criminal investigation and the last thing you want to do is get your finger prints all over a piece of crime.

    Most of the people I’ve encountered who were carrying were licensed to do so, but once in a while I’ve come across someone who wasn’t. Generally that sort of person will ditch their firearm (or have it stolen from them), but sometimes they are still armed when we get there. I could tell you stories…

  6. guffaw said

    When I was in a serious accident 16 years ago, the EMTs didn’t remove the gun. After I was at the ER, they were examining me and stripping off my clothes (I was told, I was unconscious) and at one point some nurse yelled “gun” and removed it as if it were a dead rat – thumb and forefinger! – and handed it to a nearby police officer, who promptly handed to my ex. She ultimately gave it to a gunnie friend of mine for safekeeping.
    Watch COPS reruns – none of those guys know how to safely clear a firearm and stow it.

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