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?

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leave the police stuff to the cops and the firefighting to us. our dept had a similar call about two years ago. when the shots rang out, we loaded one patient, re-staged until the scene was secure, and went back for the other two. urban combat is not my cup off tea, and i don't want the responsibility of carrying a firearm.
Of course I'm not talking about taking a gun into a house fire! For what, to shoot the flames out? We carry thermal detectors on the truck, but we only use them for fires. So why not have a firearm available on domestic disputes or any other situation that might involve violence! If a fire investigator can carry one why not another firefighter? I'm talking about POSSIBLY A-post certifying an officer for each shift! Its just a thought! People are gunning down cops left and right(remember the 3 in CA a few weeks ago) so what's going to stop them from shooting us? I don't know where you're from damnthing but they don't call this the dirty south for nothing! I remember years back when the Birmingham fire department was attacked by a half of a housing project just because they went to close a hydrant that some kids opened to play in! Did they think about staging on something that simple? It turn into a riot out there but it was only a four man engine crew against a mob! I'm not saying start a malitia, but I would rather have a chance at protecting myself and crew! A good point was made about us being targeted if we carry guns, true! But I wouldn't broadcast it on the news. Let these idiots find out the hard way! Look at how that guy walked into the church and shot the pastor in front of everyone! So while damnthing is calling me an alamist, he should be calling me a realist! Nothing is safe anymore! We have enough to deal with on our jobs which is a good point that someone brought up, so why should I add a idiot trying to shoot me! We had a call where a man shot another man, and as the ambulance was leaving the shooter jumped in the back of the ambulance and told them to drive and don't touch the patient, drive until he's dead! I've been on numerous calls where we thought we were going to be victims! We have had ambulances robbed at gun point for the drug box! We have alarm systems on the rescues! This society is not getting any better and the cops can only do so much. That's my opinion and like a A** hole everybody has one so respect mine because I respect yours. And as for the BS discussion remark, I've seen worse and I don't claim to have the best or even good ones! But if its still BS, why still reply??? Hmmm! If the discussion doesn't interest me or I don't have anything to say, I don't reply! And thank you to those who just give your opinion instead of giving me a hard time and realizing this is just a DISCUSSION!!!
So now EVERYONE should go armed? Every pastor in the pulpit should have a Bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other because one...yes, one...pastor has been shot in the pulpit?

How would having firearms in an ambulance help when a perp jumps in and holds you at gunpoint? That would likely result in dead medics to go with the patient the perp wants dead.

Did the engine crew on the open hydrant call need firearms to bail out? It doesn't sound as if they did. Firearms would likely have escalated that incident into four dead firefighters, unless those project dwellers are poorly armed compared to the ones I've experienced.

Is it worth shooting someone or getting into a gun battle to keep someone from stealing the medic unit's drug box?

Fire and EMS personnel going armed would likely have made every one of those incident exponentially worse than what actually happened. Aggressive staging policies, body armor, and refusing to enter violent scenes without the police having first secured the scene will do lots more to keep fire and EMS personnel safe than will firearms.

Armed firefighters and medics are a cure that is much worse than the disease.
I didn't say everyone should go armed! Why are my replys being taken out of context? He was not the only pastor shot in the church, just the lastest to make headlines! A lot of churches have security for that and other reasons! Ok, the fire department had God looking over them in the housing projects. They were not killed, but they were hurt, and my fellow firefighters being hurt or killed by a low-life thug is unexceptable to me. I know that's life and it sucks, but don't don't hurt us for trying to help you! All don't make it! Once again people this is my opinion, my view, not an argument, not law!
You're so right! Like the parachute comment! Still brothers through fire!
Jack, thanks for your opinion. I always appreciate your prospective and point of view.
You are opening yourself to a law suit if you carry a firearm.Leave it to the police officers.Ive beem in law enforcment for 9 yrs. .If you get a gut feeling somethings wrong back out until the police show up.It was poor judgement on your Battalion Chief went in befire Sheriff shows up. Just remember you come first ,You can't help anyone if your dead.
depends on the person as well as the department. we also work very close with our sheriff office and i am a certified with the state carrier. i have made many long late night calls where i am the first one there before anybody else shows. i have carried for a long time now and do not have a problem with any of my officiers that are first in by themselves carrying. it became a given with our sheriff office that must of us were carrying anyway. so i believe that each is to their own situation

I didn't take your replies out of context. I asked specific questions in regard to specific examples you gave.

The most important one is "How would going armed make the firefighters (or the pastor) safer?" If you're being attacked by a mob and you shoot one of them, then you'd better have enough ammo...and aim...and time to kill them all, because they're going to go completely animal on you as soon as you pull the trigger once.

If you think a medic unit drug box is worth killing someone over, then we're going to disagree. They can have every drug box I've ever seen before it's worth killing someone over a purely property crime.

And...if the pastor isn't ready to shoot anyone who approaches the pulpit, then a perp with intent is going to kill the pastor, whether the pastor is armed or not. The vast majority of pastors/priests/rabbis are too busy ministering to worry about firearms...particularly when their flock is going to get shot with every round from the pastor's weapon that doesn't hit the perp. "Know your backstop" is Rule 1 of firearms use...except for criminals that don't care who they shoot. I don't think you'll find many pastors in the latter group.

I still haven't heard a good reason for firefighters or medics to be armed.

The cure shouldn't be worse than the disease.
No...... I don't know how you protocols are with assualt calls but ares in north carolina are that we are to stage until law enforcement arrives on scene and the scene is safe to proceed in. Your BC and rescue put not only there lives in danger but everyone else there from emergency services. They teach you in EMT your saftey first,Then your partner,then the patient. leave the gun packing to the cops
I'm not saying pastors should be armed, though I know some who are due to people robbing churches because of offering money! I'm talking about security! As for drug boxes, I'm not saying protect a drug box, some people will kill you even after they get what they want! I don't know about you, but I don't want to be victim! Your opinion is they shouldn't be armed ok fine! Mine is I don't care, I see both sides of it! If you haven't noticed from my replies, I really don't care what the higher-ups decide, as long as I'm doing what I love to do! I understand we are here to help save a life, but by no means will I let someone take mine if I can help it! Laws are here to protect the criminals! Look at the pirate situation! There are no laws on the open sea so they let some of those low-lifes go the other day! I can bet you these ships are about to start protecting themselves!
You still haven't explained how firefighters or medics going armed is going to improve their security.

U.S. law doesn't exist to protect the criminals. If so, I guess all of the thousands of prisoners in the federal and state prison systems really ARE innocent.

The pirate situation isn't really pertinent to this discussion. The sailors aren't firefighters or medics and they aren't entering the projects or a burning building. Then again, who is protecting the ships in the pirate areas right now? It's the navies of several countries...in other words, the cops of the sea. Even if the ships start going armed to protect themselves, the ones manning the guns won't be fighting an apartment fire or taking care of a stabbing patient while they're up on the guns. They will have the ocean as their backstop, too, not a church full of parishioners, an apartment full of the patient's family, or a street full of a mix of the innocent and the criminal.

The first time you shoot an innocent bystander while working as a firefighter or medic, you paint a bullseye on every firefighter and medic. Your imagined sense of security doesn't give you the right to do that to the rest of us.

I'm about as big a fan of the 2nd Amendment as there is, and I realize that there are occasional miscarriages of justice in the courts. Neither makes it smart for firefighters or medics to carry - or use - firearms. The closest to security you'll get while carrying that firearm is the "false sense of" kind.

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