1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Firearms on apparatus

    Just a question. No we dont carry on ours and
    I know the line "Were here to save lives not take them. But what do you think about having a ready means of protection for you or your crew. My father was almost shot in the head by some wacko who was just shooting at the lights.(so he said) We all have been in very
    shaky situations at times with no backup from
    PD or SO. I wouldnt' mind at least the Captain's in our dept TRAINED to police level.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Never should happen! When the public looks at a firefighter they should be thinking about these things "RESPECT", "HELP", "THANK GOOD" -- not does he have a gun. I have always looked at this as a no brainer -- if you need protection from guns -- CALL THE POLICE AND BACK OUT!

    This has been my thoughts for the last 32 years


  3. #3
    DOG 4035
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I definitely have to agree with cherryvale1.


  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    This is a good question.I know I've "walked" in on unsafe scenes on med runs and have known firefighters/medics who have been assaulted.We have a population of about 60,000,which isn't really that big(6 stations),if it can happen here it can happen anywhere.Dispatchers are trained to relay danger to fire rigs on let's say domestic disputes,our procedures are to stage away until P.D.have the scene safe.But let's face it,dispatched info.doesn't always match the scene!Many times P.D. doesn't show to med runs.I'd like to know the opinions of larger metro depts.
    Stay Safe.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    If you think we should keep fire arms on the fire apparatus in my department, I have one thing to say to you.
    YOU CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Never mind the outside enviroment,(and we have some neighborhoods that out-arm the united states army)but we would be having shoot-outs in the firehouse once a week. Take my word for it, I have seen guys fight over sitting in a certain chair. I have seen a brawl over ice cream. We would be hiring non stop. Believe me, I dont know where you come from, but in NJ there sometimes can be some hostility between certain co-workers.
    But if it works for your department,more power to ya.

    NJ/FMBA is good.
    Go NY Yankees!!!!

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm not saying I agree with carrying or not carrying but I also have walked in on "supposedly" safe scenes and found out real quickly that they weren't as safe as they were suppose to be. Fortunately I haven't been in the situation that I feel a need for a firearm. Wouldn't have minded having something like pepper spray in a pocket or something a few times!! I respond in a fairly rural area and by the time we suspect something is dangerous it may take PD 10 minutes to get an officer there.
    Just something to ponder I guess

    Jamie EMT-I

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hmmm - good post. I had to go back and read your question over several times (I also had to go back and delete the almost page long epistle I had written). One thing I would like to point out to everyone else regarding your question.

    Not once did you ever mention carrying a gun.

    You simply asked about having a ready means of protection for you or your crew. Now depending on what you decide to use for this means might or might not be a bad idea.
    Fire Arms (of ANY type) - Bad Idea
    Body Armor - Good Idea
    Pepper Spray/Tazer Guns - depending on specific device, training and application my answer might vary, but generally speaking - Bad Idea.
    Members or Crew Radio with "Panic Button" - Good Idea
    Self Defense for Fire/EMS providers Class - Great Idea
    SOP's to have PD respond to known locations of hostile environment (even if it sounds like a safe call) - Good Idea

    Having Cpt's trained to police level might be an option for you. Lot of variable to consider here.
    Would he be armed?
    How & where would he secure this firearm during routine calls & working fires?
    If you have no PD backup - what are you going to do if your Cpt. actually arrest someone?
    What happens if your 1 Gun Cpt. gets into a situation and is out numbered ? Now the entire crew is looked upon as a threat to the assailent(s) and they have no means of self defense.

    I agree that if you aren't getting timely (or any) support from PD then you have a problem that needs attention, however the use of force (esp. deadly force) is a last resort, all else has been tried and failed option.

    Take Care - Stay Safe

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It was back a few years, but we had one particular apt complex that was rough. Everything else was upper middle suburban or rural.

    On one particular call (domestic w/injury) we walked in expecting PD on scene (which we doubted, this was unincorp. county and the sheriff typically took 20min or more). The LT took the pick-head axe (I know, cause he came around to MY seat to get it), while I grabbed the med box.

    When we got to apt, the 350lb biker told us to "Get expletive deleted OUT", then came up with a big hunting knife. As I was backing up, LT came around me w/axe out front, not threatening, but telling him we were there to help his girlfriend.

    All I can say is I'm glad he thought to pick up the axe!

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    >N2Dfire-A few years back a couple of my FF/Medic brothers bought their own body armor,they used it for awhile,til they found it wasn't practical=HEAVY.Since we work as FFR/Paramedics,we have alot of gear to carry/maintain.Body armor/vests are fairly heavy to carry around 56 hours/week.It was a good idea,but not very practical.
    We also have had self defense classes from our P.D.,also a good idea until you face a gun/knife.Keep safe.

  10. #10
    J Almon
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It depends on where you are and how far away law enforcement is from your calls. Years ago in another state, we carried a pistol in the ambulance because thugs were robbing the ambulances in the middle of the night miles from the nearest town.
    I don't know how long this will be posted on the WTVF website, but there is a story abut a Metro Nashville FD captain who is alleged to have shot a dog at a firehall. www.newschannel5.com

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    These are all great opinions thanks for taking time to reply. To shed a little light on the basis for my question I'll share some background on my dept. We are a 250 square mile dist. 5 stations, 2 people on duty per station....understaffed to the bone we encompass parts of Fresno City(the county islands) and the northwestern half of Fresno County. Our second due is 10 to 15 min away.
    Being in the Central San Joaquin Valley as youve' probably already heard we have more
    meth labs than farm houses. These wacko's will do anything to protect "thier investment". They are usually heavilly armed
    and accident prone. We cant' totally rely on our dispatch since they are civilian hired off the street. Some of our boundaries lie between the city and county so there is usually a delay for PD or Sherrif.

    I do not want to have a firearm aboard the engine, but I also do not want to be killed
    by some wired up crank freak who dosent' want
    his lab discovered. Our dept. dosent' start
    law enforcement for "Unknown type fires" nor
    do we send a second unit or BC.

    The pepper spray is a good idea as is the vest. But it's hot enough in turnouts without a vest.

    Anyway that's our situation here, there hasnt' been any talk of this amongst the ranks. Thank's again for the input.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    There is a unique Critter out there called a PSO. He is a ems/fire/law officer. He has a car with ems stuff and turnout gear but works as a cop most of the time. He goes on fire and ems calls as needed. He is a sworn officer with arrest powers. This is not an answer but ya might want to explore it. I have seen small departments use it to augment their response forces during the day with low manpower and with extended response areas

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Only in America

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    One other way to solve problems like this would be if you have your arson investigators armed and trained as peace officers which all should be anyway. This is way you can have your arson tech respond if the cops wont help you or cant.

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We had a couple of Deputy Sheriffs on the dept. (vol.) It wasn't uncommon for us to get a deputy (off duty, out of uniform) on the first due, then have to wait 30 minutes for the "on-duty" to get there, because they were in the other end of the county.

    We never had a problem back then, but I suppose if we had, we'd have made use of them. BTW, they all carried an "off-duty" piece, and either left it in their cars when they got to the station, or left it in the cab of the truck when they put on their turnouts (if they forgot to leave it in the car).

  16. #16
    Lone Hunter
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have known drivers who had kept a gun with them on the rig.As far as guns in the firehouse and guys shooting each other over chairs or the tv,give me a break!Maybe your that unbalanced but don't think everyone else is.Personaly I know a lot of guys who bring a handgun to and from work.I would say that there is at least one gun in each firehouse and deer season a lot more.

    One year we had 5 people killed within 100 yards of the firehouse,and right now there is a very active drughouse right across the street.I do what I feel I have to have a fighting chance.That is my Glock goes back and forth to work with me.

    On the job you got to keep your eyes open and learn to talk yout way out of trouble(some are better at this)watch each others back,and remember you can back away your not a cop.Plus you need a flashlight don't you?Well maglite makes some pretty large, heavy ones.And that 4 inch Spyderco or Benchmade knife I carry is a work tool also.

  17. #17
    Brian Dunlap
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    I Would have to say NO to Firearms on the Rigs. We're in the Business of Saving/Protecting Lives....Not to Take Them. What is the Answer ? I wish I knew

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Seems to me that way back in recruit training for fire and ems the first rule was to make sure the scene was safe. Now in the real world I know that doesn't always happen, but having a gun to protect yourself isn't the answer. Even if you had the authority to use firearms you and your fire department may never recover from the reputation damage or the civil lawsuits. I say pepper spray or a taser, or at best wait for pd no matter how long it takes. Police always get the staffing increases anyway let them earn it.

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Guns in the FIRE SERVICE. What are you thinking about? That's what PD is for!

    Be safe.

  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Guns on the Engine Companys? Never leave home with out it. Of course in Alabama, everbody is armed and polite. For the most part

  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


  22. #22
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I thought I remembered hearing that certain LAFD and Chicago companies already carried firearms in their rigs. But we all know how rumors are in the firehouse.

    Anyways, we have a particularly bad HUD development that is notorious its residents turning everything and anything into a mini-riot, and we on more than one occasion have had to take the engine over to bail out the medic crews. Although we don't carry firearms on our truck, we do have our assortment of handtools that seem to do a good enough job of intimidation, at least enough to get our guys the hell out of there.

    Everyone loves seeing firemen, few love seeing cops. Arming firemen will only put us into the same class and eventually cause us to be in the same boat as cops. I for one do not want to worry about patient care as well as the security of a personal or crew firearm, nor do I particularly want to shoot anyone, thats why I didn't become a cop.

    just my opinion.. we all know how opinions are in the firehouse

  23. #23
    Brian Humphrey
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Originally posted by spo0k:
    I thought I remembered hearing that certain LAFD and Chicago companies already carried firearms in their rigs. But we all know how rumors are in the firehouse.
    Question asked and answered. Indeed a Rumor. It's laughable that anyone would believe such a falsehood.

    The men and women of the LAFD assigned to the Bureau of Emergency Services have never carried firearms for defense purposes.

    On the other hand, the LAFD's 18 plain-clothes Firefighter/Arson Investigators all must be small arms qualified, and are permitted to wear and use firearms while on active duty (not in a typical LAFD uniform).

    Stay Safe!


  24. #24
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Interesting that you mentioned arson investigators.. Our next door neighbor Columbus Fire (OH) allows investigators to carry a side-arm, although to my knowledge they have arrest powers.

    And as for that rumor, I had already placed it in the same category as the rumor that FDNY firefighters are allowed 1 beer per shift

    FF. Mike Burnes
    Whitehall Fire Division

  25. #25
    Firehouse.com Guest


    To start I must say that I agree with Cherryvale1 and N2DFire.
    Here in Maine, yes it is normally pretty quiet here in the woods, some places are carrying pepper spray on thier trucks. To my knowledge they have used it, however only on a dog so far. Self defense classes sound like a good start. Working just outside of Portland my dept. does around 8,000 fire-ems calls a year, the pd does around 15,000 calls a year. Our pd is required on ALL of our calls if available. They are NOT required to be first in except on 5 addresses that have been flagged for past problems.
    I also work for the EMS service that covers Lewiston, Auburn area. Here it depends on several things, too many to get into.

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