Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Defensive Tactics For Emergency Medical Services

Recently a video was posted over on http://www.ems1.com showing two firefighters attacked by a knife wielding bystander as they responded to a request for medical assistance .

This sort of incident is often talked about in the self defense training world. The methodology I subscribe to prepares us for a counter ambush mindset. We accept that an incident such as this will be surprising, chaotic and present a lethal threat. During firearms training I talk to my students in the context of a lethal threat that is farther than two arms length away.

Emergency Responders generally do not have this luxury. To properly assess and treat a patient   you have to get up close and personal. You need to get inside that two arms length space. It is drilled into EMS personal that they need to ensure a scene is safe before proceeding. However scenes do not always remain safe. Furthermore in a rural environment LEO may not be available during an incident that may require immediate medical intervention. EMS personnel need to be trained to escape a violent encounter and defend their own life as an essential job function.

 There are a few organizations that offer this training such as DT4EMS . However they are not nearly as prevalent as organizations offering training to Law enforcement or the public in general. I encourage EMS Service Directors to organize a DT class as part of the  regular training cycle. I also encourage State Departments of Public Health to advocate the implementation  of Defensive Tactics training. The next life EMS saves may be their own.