Global & Disaster Medicine

NYC program sends unarmed firefighters and EMTs into ‘active shooter’ situations

NY Post


“…..But the program has fueled concern among the unarmed first responders, who could be exposed to mass murderers or terrorists using assault weapons or explosives.

“It’s a f–king disaster,” a worried firefighter said. “We’re relying on these cops to give us the all-clear to head in and administer aid. What happens if there’s more than one shooter? We’re not ready for this.”

Another FDNY member dubbed it “the sitting ducks squad.”

Teams consisting of three firefighters, two EMTs and an EMS officer will wear bullet-resistant vests and helmets. Four cops specially trained for emergencies will guard them — two in the front and two in the rear.

It’s a drastic change from past practices. Usually, cops pull out victims, and medics wait in safe areas to give first aid.

Under the new plan, FDNY members would not go into a “hot zone” where a shooter or terrorist is still active. But they could enter a “warm zone”–with no imminent danger but still under threat — if escorted by the NYPD.

The only medical treatment given victims on the spot would be to stop heavy bleeding with a clotting agent or a tourniquet, or to clear the airways. The injured would be put on tarps and dragged out to safety as quickly as possible…..”

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