Concealed Carry for EMS: 2 Questions

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Concealed carry for paramedics and EMTs has been a hot topic in the EMS blogosphere recently. Other bloggers have already waxed poetically and philosophically on the topic. For some of the best see Ambulance Driver and EduMedic. There was also this article about EMTs that want to carry guns on the job.

I understand the absolutist argument that concealed carry should not be limited in any structure, vehicle, or open area. The momentum on the issue of no limits on concealed carry is strong. Any political capital an opponent of concealed carry might have is probably better spent on other issues.

Thus my two questions about concealed carry in the EMS workplace which includes but is not limited to stations, EMS vehicles, patient vehicles and homes, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, public places and roadways, private business, day care facilities, taverns, etc. are:

Why is concealed carry preferable to open carry?

Intuitively I think a visible firearm is a better deterrent, easier to access, and quicker to access than a concealed weapon. What am I missing? Why aren’t we arguing and advocating for open carry in the EMS workplace?

Which patient would you have shot?

Many apparatus bay and training room conversations start with “If only I would have had … I could have … ”

  • If only I would have had intranasal narcan I could have …
  • If only I would have had serial 12 leads I could have …
  • If only I would have had a King LT I could have …
  • If only I would have had haldol I could have …
  • If only I would have stepped left I could have missed the patient’s left handed haymaker …

Do you have a “If only I had a concealed weapon I would have shot that patient“?

At my core I am a realist. Concealed carry is coming to the EMS workplace. Doesn’t really matter if I believe it should or should not. If we want to add a tool to our arsenal we should be able to look back at previous incidents and identify times we could have used that tool. Use those incidents to equip and train for same or similar incidents in the future.

Bonus question: should the employer provide employees smartphones handguns or is BYOD BYOW preferable?