Maybe an odd question, but the other day I was looking at sub-compact pistols and revolvers for concealed carry (yes, I have the necessary training and permit), and the thought crossed my mind... do you think there could be potential problems with concealed carry and working a fire?  In theory, your PPE should protect your firearm from thermal exposure just like it does you, but we don't live in that neat little town called Theory.

And the more I think about it, I'm thinking this question more affects the volunteers than full time FF's; a full-time knows when he's on duty, and even if he carries while off-duty, once he gets to the station (or leaves home for the station), he can remove his holster.  But for a volunteer, you never know when you're going to get paged.  Do you leave the gun on you, slip it out of the holster and leave in your (locked) vehicle, drop it in the station when you grab your gear....

These are the kinds of things I think about on long drives... the "what-ifs" of life.

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I'm a career guy of 26 years, and it amazes me that the world has changed so much and our jobs have changed so much in this short time span. Within my first year on the job, I responded to multiple structure fires that had been involved in hillbilly or gang feuds. First, there is no house or property worth dying in or for. If we heard shots or if we were advised that there was a chance, we staged in a safe area until the police gave us the go-ahead. Usually, everyone wanted us there to save their homes, so it was ok. Now, we responders are many times the main target of a terrorist act; kill the people that are there to help, thus ratcheting up the fear and pucker factor. I like hunting and target shooting and own a few varied firearms. All that to say is I believe in the right to bear arms , but the liability of carrying on duty is through the roof . Our employer prohibits it already, but in the political scene in Oklahoma, who knows what the next legislative session will bring? So what is the answer?.. Hire more firefighters, give us more vacation and more paid leave, up our retirement. May not help , but it couldn't hurt? ; ) no , just respond cops with us and increase our awareness ...and pray everyday. But I believe we should leave the concealed weapons locked in the car or at home. Could you live with yourself if something accidentally happened with your firearm?

Rick,

First of all, many of us here are gun owners, some concealed carry permit holders, but for sure pro-gun, anti-crime.

Secondly, YOU mentioned antiquated opinions in your first post, AND you invited people with a different opinion to move to another country.

Thirdly, you will not change my mind about arming firefighters.  Frankly, I couldn't pretend to care less what you do in your area, or within 250 miles of your area for that matter.  None of the FDs in my area allow concealed or open carry while on FD premises or on emergency responses and that is that.

Fourthly, thanks for finally answering the question about how to carry...I still don't agree but thanks for finally answering.

Fifthly, no one attacked the 2nd Ammendment.

Sixthly, if the reports I have read are true the 2 firefighters that were killed had absolutely no chance since they were shot and killed almost immediately upon exiting the vehicle they arrived on.  So, I adamantly disagree with your ascertion tha if they were armed they would have had a chance to survive.  The wounded did survive even though they were not armed.

Seventhly, You need to chill the Hell out.  Your posts read very hostile and that is why you got the responses you got.  Frankly, I like people who carry guns to be a hell of a lot cooler and clamer than the image you project here.

Have a great day.  I know I am. 

For those of us who are near the Rochester area and have as much access as possible to the people in the know as possible. We now believe that the shooter may have shot the operator of the first in engine as it arrived. The operator just happened to be a cop. Even if he saw the muzzle flash he could not have survived. Even if he had his back up piece with him he could not have used it in this case. This is not the first time that we have lost brothers and sisters by gunfire nor will it be the last. Dose that change the fact that it still hurts In no way will it. Even if policies change to allow us to carrying situation like this where the perpetrator is well armed and has plenty of ammo we can not change the results because the perp controls the element of supprise

Hi All,

 I have read all these post and it is a great debate. I for in my career of 30 years I have been assaulted and had guns drawn on us and also been shot at while on duty. These thing will happen to us  at lease one time in our lifetime and maybe they will not. Our job as a firefighter are changing . As to what happen to these brothers in NY even if they had guns with them I believe would not have change a thing they were ambushed . Rick , you are entitle to your option but it does not make them fact. I for one respect your option I just don't agree with them. Let makes this clear I am all for the 2nd amendment and I do carry a gun , but not on duty . I do not know of any fire department that allow their members to carry  on duty. If they are allowed to carry on duty in my option they are fools to think that nothing bad is going to happen. Because when you are on a bad call and a gun is drawn things are really going to get bad.I for one can tell you if a gun was on scene when I was stab , it would not have changed a thing . I do agree with these other post that we should not carry on duty . Our job are hard enough and to be having a gun on duty makes it worst . 

   We all know that this our job and it is dangerous . We knew that going into it and sometimes bad thing happen. All we can do is train for it and maybe it will not happen again and maybe it will who knows. I pray for those brothers and their family. 

 Have a great day

  Petey  

I have been following this for a while. I must preface this response that I am a multiple gun owner. I also have my concealed carry permit. I DO NOT carry all the time. My fire department has a policy that regardless of my legal right, that I am not allowed to carry while on duty or even (off duty) while on the premises. Too much liability on the department that allows the employee (paid, poc or volunteer)  Plus the department's that do allow them, I suspect their liability insurance carrier does not know the Fire Chief allows them.

 

From all of the reports and video I have seen, the brothers who perished in NY were ambushed and never knew what they were stepping into.  That said, carrying a pistol or heck even an AR-15 would not have prevented that tradgey.  Godspeed to the brothers lost and may I hope for a quick and "complete" recovery for the two who survived the shooting.

 

I am still trying to figure out how a firefighter who was thinking about all of the "what if's" is expected to complete a size-up, provide a radio report, choose an operational plan, select the appropriate line, advance that line all the while at the same time be thinking - "maybe someone is lurking with a rifle and wants to shoot me?"   The answer is it simply cannot be done.  If it does, then the person who is thinking this way is not fully concentrating on one task or the other.  Heck if a person is thinking this way they should be fully decked out with armored protection on top of their turnout gear.  This as stated before is not the first LODD shooting and to be honest it will not be the last.  It is a dangerous world out there, but it is the one we now work in. TCSS

 

Well said brother.  Being armed doesn't prevent one from being shot from ambush. 

 

Firefighter shootings are horrible and tragic, but fortunately, they are very rare.

In fact, they are so rare that when they occur, they are front-line national news.

 

As with any other issue, we need to be calm, logical, and unemotional.

That means not setting the rule based on the exception.

That's why you have a good relationship with your local law enforcement. They are better equipped and better trained to handle those types of situations.
I udnerstand the idea that you might be first on scene but as with any EMS call, the first thing you even before you set your vehicle in park is to assess if the scene is safe. And you continue doing that as you move through the call. If at any point the scene becomes unsafe you BACK AWAY and call for help. You can't do this every time, but the number of times that drawing your own weapon to defuse that one in a million situation successfully is probably more remote than winning the lottery. Any time guns come into play, the situation becomes that much more unstable. Back away or find cover and radio for PD backup. That's what the guys in Webster did. Yes, two of our brothers are dead now and two more are recovering in hospital but the only reason there weren't more firefighters shot is there happened to be a police officer nearby who was able to step in. Oh, he got hurt too. Firearms training, how to handle shootouts and ambushes and all those situations law enforcement train for years do handle, shouldn't be part of a firefighter's job. We have enough to deal with as is. And what good is a holstered, concealed weapon going to do if you have full turnouts on anyway? Leave it at home or in your POV, locked up.

Well said  Steven

Steve, on Fridat you said that we need to work better with our law enforcemen I generly concure.  However, I believe that you are a urburn  or surban Firefighter, in many ares of the country the nearest cruiser is miles away.  The fire department is minutes away.  I have stated this before and will so again.  If necessary, We should control the nozzle by open the bail to the fully open position and adjust the stream to straight stream.  We can stoot a weapon out ot the perps hand and control them as well.  it is non leathal and we really can control the individual.  BTW, I have a CCW as well.

You don't always have a nozzle, let alone an engine, when responding to EMS. We don't and yes, we are a "rural" department with over 120 members including 6 full time firefighters and 2 part timers. We serve a community of over 17,000 people including food production industry and a 5,000 student college campus and a major interstate. We don't have everything, but we have quite a variety and shootings, especially involving gang/drug activity, is on the rise. We have a few CCW firefighters, one of them happens to be a federal officer as well. They do not carry into fires and I'm sure if they carried into an EMS scene, they would use their weapon as a last resort.

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