“Medic One respond to 7291 Miles Street. Report of 34 year old male not feeling well. Time out 1954.” On medic one’s arrival we find a male lying on the couch. His wife is in the kitchen washing dishes.
As I approached the patient I could smell the odor of alcohol on him. As I knelt down to evaluate him, he pulled a gun from under the pillow. He pointed it in my face and said, “Get the f*@^_ out of here and leave me alone”. I complied with his request and retreated to the medic unit. The sheriff’s department was call. They eventually took the man into custody.
One of the first things an EMS student is taught is scene safety. Always make sure the scene is safe before entering. In this incident there were no signs of danger. It appeared to be a safe environment with no indication that it would be threatening.
Unfortunately I do not believe every scene should be viewed as safe even if there are no immediate signs of danger. In today’s society every scene has the potential of becoming lethal. We must rely on good situational awareness and be ready to take action as needed. In recent years we have seen EMS personnel ambushed, assaulted and murdered for no reason.
In the past firefighters and EMS were seen as the good guys. Men and women who are here to help make the emergency situations better. Instead many see us as an extension of the government and resent first responders. This makes the job much more difficult. In some cases it takes the focus off the patient evaluation and places it on scene evaluation.
It is important for all first responders to change their view on scene safety. Being ready for the unexpected will go a long way in keeping first responders safe.
Be alert at all times.