Times are getting worse and we as firefighters have been faced with many dangers over the years. As some may remember, a firefighter was shot and killed as he was getting off the engine last year! While this made national news, I'm sure it happens more often than reported in the headlines. At my department we're close with the sherriff department and we look out for each other! But we recently had an inccident where there was a domestic dispute and it was stated that the assailant was armed but he was gone. He did leave, but he came back and the sherriff was still enroute. Even though we were suggested to stage the rescue and Batt chief went in to help! After a few uneasy moments the sherriff showed up and everything turned out ok! Do you think that at least one person, like an officer, should carry a gun as a last resort defense?
Damnthing-Have you ever heard of fire police? Have you ever heard of cross training? Do you know about special units in NY and other large cities that are trained in firearms, hazmat, swift water, high angle, collapse, confined space, and as medics? Also, I know firefighters and EMS workers who have and still carry guns! Times are changing if you haven't noticed and being crossed trained may be the future of our job! Yeah that's what the police are for, but why do people carry guns for personal protection! Do you carry or have a gun for protection? That's what police are for right? Guess what, due to hard economic times gun sales have sky rocketed, police officers and firefighters are being laid off! Could you see a future in combining police and fire to save money? So before you down a discussion do your research! Its an open discussion so if its BS you don't have to continue to read it or reply! I'm not saying take the job away from the police, but one day you might be in a situation that this concept can save you and you fellow firefighters life!
You dont? What? are you kidding? WOW! thought everyone packed.
No it is the responsibility of law enforcement to look out for our welfare. However, when moments arrise where something similar to what you discribed comes up then back out or stage. If you get caught then as best you can try to handle it verbally. Take charge and then retreat if necessary.
NO....We have enough to deal with....and the liability would be horrendous......BUT...We need to remember the cardinal rule at ALL calls...."Is the scene safe...?" If not you DONOT proceed and if the scene becomes unsafe then you WITHDRAW until it is safe...Always remember the basics...they will save your butt.....Stay safe, always keep the faith.....Paul
What you said...as that conversation pointed out, if you're concentrating on keeping your weapon secure, you can't concentrate on proper firefighting or patient care. If someone ambushes you while you're carrying, then you'll be a dead firefighter or medic with a firearm...or more likely, the bad guy will now have two firearms and you'll still be dead.
Also pointed out - as soon as one firefighter or medic shoots even one perp - no matter how justified - then it's open season on all firefighters and medics from now on. We don't need those targets pinned to us.
Let the cops secure the scene, firefighters fight the fires and make the rescues, and the medics do the patient care.
And as I pointed out here, staging is the best tool for avoiding violent and iffy scenes until the cops control them.
There are a few "Public Safety" departments where some of all of the cops are cross-trained as firefighters and vice-versa. That is nothing more than an excuse to cut out around half of the firefighters, because the cops never take a manpower hit. That keeps the same amount of cops on patrol, but when a fire hits, the cops are generally busy on other police calls, so now you just have an undermanned police department.
If the call is a violent one, guess what? You now have the cops doing the cop stuff, and the firefighter/cops doing cop stuff, and no one fighting the fires or working the patient.
There have been a few small and mid-sized cities in North and South Carolina that tried the public safety concept. Almost all of them got rid of it, as it was an unmitigated disaster over the long run. For starters, the two jobs attract people with very different mindsets.
Remember, most cops are loners and most firefighters are more comfortable operating as a mob.
Then there's the problem of how you're going to get to your firearm if you're wearing turnouts. The cross-trained cop/firefighters solve this by leaving their weapons secured in their patrol car trunks and fighting the fires unarmed...just like regular firefighters, except slower, because they have to dump the body armor and gun belt first.
Just what I want to carry into the next structure fire....explosives on my hip.......Let's just leave what is law enforcements duties to law enforcement people....as they leave Firefighting to Firefighters.....Paul