Finally, let’s keep in the same vein as the last article and talk about EMS and gun violence. Recently, EMS crews in Milwaukee reported that they had shots fired at their ambulance while driving through the city. When they inspected their unit later, they found that the unit was indeed struck by bullets during the shift.

Ambulance Crews Unaware

An ambulance driving to an emergency on a snow dayThe crew initially thought they had been hit by a rock or something kicked up from tires of vehicles in front of them. Later they found out different. Nearby police officers responded and confirmed that the ambulance had been struck by gunfire.

This is a safety issue since many systems don’t have any requirement for bullet proof vests in their system’s medic crews. Paratech, the EMS company that crews the units in that area are holding additional safety and awareness training for crews. They are not sure if the ambulance was struck on purpose or not but better to err on the side of caution.

More Situational Awareness for EMS

Still, even with additional awareness and focus while approaching scenes, what can EMS do in a truly violent situation? It falls to us to stage prior to a dangerous call or even a dangerous area of our districts and rely on law enforcement to clear the scene as best they can.

I agree with the authorities quoted in the article from local Milwaukee news, this is alarming and shooting at EMS and fire department units while responding to help others is not something that anyone wants to see. It just reminds us all to be extra careful out there as the world and our communities are constantly changing and what could have been a routine call is never really routine any more.

Stay vigilant and focused at all times while at work and don’t let your guard down. Remember the mantra we say here on the MedicCast all the time: Scene Safety, BSI!

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Follow up on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Flakka, Gravel, N-Bomb and Synthetic Drugs in MedicCast Episode 439.

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