A Comment on Arming EMS
Two weeks ago I wrote about whether arming EMS responders was a good idea. In the three weeks or so since the original news story was reported, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback in comments, emails and on Twitter and Facebook. Many other bloggers have also written about this topic (see links below). One comment in particular, however, stuck out in my mind. Dustin Cox wrote:
I agree. I think that carrying a gun while on duty could be even more dangerous not only to you but everyone around you. Besides, WE are one of the top trust professions and I feel that if we carried while on duty we would not be trusted anymore because we would look like police whom is not among the most trusted professions. I am an NRA member and support all gun rights including concealed carry (yes I am a carrier), but I believe there is also a time and a place to carry and while I am on duty is not a time.
Dustin brings up a great point: people trust us. One of the reasons we are able to treat our patients as effectively as we are is that they are willing to answer our questions about behaviors they wouldn’t likely share with their mothers. I’ve worked in systems where I’ve worn a badge and I’ve worked in systems where our uniforms closely mimic those of law enforcement. That comparison frequently put me at a disadvantage that I had to battle back from to earn the trust of a patient. This period can potentially delay care given certain circumstances.
At the end of the day I, like Dustin, fully support the Second Amendment including the right to concealed carry. I agree, however, that EMS carrying on duty potentially puts the trust the public places in us at risk. What do you think?
To read more about this topic among the EMS blogs, check out the links below:
Should ambulance crews be allowed to carry weapons? – Kelly Grayson
Will Virginia EMT’s Be Granted Right To Carry Firearms? – A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver
Concealed Carry for EMS: 2 Questions – Everyday EMS Tips
EMS Providers Carrying Guns – A terrible idea – Life Under the Lights
Surviving the Next Shift – Part I – Rogue Medic
Armed EMS – Reactive or Proactive? – Unwired Medic