Support for EMS and firefighters to legally carry weapons on duty is steadily growing.
Concealed carry laws have been proposed in Texas, Kansas, Georgia, Florida and New York. And other states are quickly preparing to follow the trend.
Because EMS and firefighters are increasingly targeted when trying to save lives and property.
Thugs target the uniform.
The line between police, fire and EMS is blurred.
Critics say concealed carry laws will cause more problems than it will solve; however, many states are pushing ahead with legislation to protect their first responders.
What It Means For EMS
What does it mean for EMS and air medical operators?
That’s what this article is about.
Things you need to know about concealed carry laws to make smart decisions as a first responder.
Reality is that EMTs, Firefighters and other first responders will soon be forced to make decisions about their personal involvement with the new concealed carry laws.
Even if you choose to never carry, you may still work shifts with a partner who does. The more you know and understand the new laws, the better off you’ll be.
Below are 5 things you need to know about the EMS concealed carry law:
5 Things To Know About Concealed Carry Law
1.) Scene Safety Still Matters — A Lot
There’s a saying in air medical.
It’s true and it applies to both air and ground operators. What’s the point?
The point is to never let the ability to carry a concealed weapon lull you into a false sense of security. Don’t make the mistake of approaching an accident scene differently because you or your partner are carrying a concealed weapon.
The need to properly secure a scene never changes.
Don’t get complacent because you (or your partner) is carrying a concealed weapon.
2.) EMS Is Leveling Up
Regardless of your views on concealed carry laws for EMS, one thing is for certain—
EMS is leveling up in the EMS, fire and police triad.
EMS is included almost across the board in new legislation. This is a good thing.
If you work EMS, I don’t have to tell you EMS is sometimes forgotten (or excluded) in matters that affect EMS, Fire and Police services.
But that’s not the case when it comes to the new concealed carry laws.
EMS was included from the beginning and continues to be included in over 90% of all proposed laws regarding concealed carry.
Almost all concealed carry bills include EMS personnel from start to finish.
3.) Concealed Carry Is A Tool, Not A Guarantee
Remember that concealed carry is a tool. It’s in no way a guarantee of your safety.
Treat concealed carry like any other tool. Use it only when it makes sense to do so.
An analogy is how flight crews use Night Vision Goggles (NVGs). Smart flight crews never use goggles to fly into situations they wouldn’t fly into without goggles.
The goggles are an assist.
The NVGs are a tool to make certain flights easier. All the same rules of common sense and good judgment still apply.
A concealed weapon is a tool only used (or even considered) in extreme situations and only after all other available options are spent.
4.) More Training Is Required
Thinking a concealed carry permit from your state is all you need to succeed with the new concealed carry laws is foolish.
In all cases, more training is required.
If you’re carrying a concealed weapon, your partner needs to know.
Or think of it this way — if your partner is carrying a concealed weapon, wouldn’t you want to know?
Even if you choose to have no part of carrying a concealed weapon on your own, it’s still in your best interest to know all you can about the new laws and how it affects you as a first responder.
5.) Hope Is Not A Plan
Hoping your EMS or fire station won’t be affected by the new concealed carry laws isn’t a plan.
Like it or not, concealed carry is law in some states, and coming to more states soon.
Learning as much as you can before laws are enacted in your state is the smart approach.
Knowledge is your friend.
Make smart decisions now. Decide what works best for your situation and start getting ready now.
What do you think? What’s your best advice for getting ready for concealed carry laws in your state? Let me know in the comments section below this blog.
Here is the audio version of this blog post:
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