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Home>Topics>>Self-Defense for EMTs and Firefighters, Part 1B

Self-Defense for EMTs and Firefighters, Part 1B

Wed, 28 Jul 2010|

This free full-length training program from the Firefighters Support Foundation suggests tactics, taking only a couple seconds, that when added to your routine on each call, greatly reduce the chance of an assault.



As you're entering the scene. And looking at the people also make sure you look for potential weapons are present and it's not just the obvious things -- -- gunfire around and I fly around. Lots of things can be used against you as weapons. There's lots of things for -- abuse -- Books chairs and beer bottles and hockey sticks you know lots of things we picked up and used to -- you. Very severely so just be aware of them as -- doing -- -- both when you first -- scene and when you're working on the patient looking around. Taking in the scene as -- changes. In addition there are lots of common items when -- -- the next few slides that have been picked the can be modified. As weapons. Things can be made -- -- -- even zip guns. Now we're gonna show you some of these in the next couple slides. But your local police department. Should have a collection of these they've taken off of people over the years if -- -- amuse yourself. -- there's some time -- have them come down into Google presentation about their interest in weapons are taken for people. Here you see -- pen knives. You've probably seen these on the Internet but by the -- always -- -- talking about can be bought easily these days. Over the Internet and just that's a lot stores and regular accounts. Pen knives. Hair brushes that have been modified as -- conceal a dagger. Lipstick containers. Have been modified or ninth. Lighters cigarette like to look like ordinary cigarette lighters for their work but when you press the button get a little stiletto blade shooting up. Lots of things can be used as brass knuckles anything that we put over the knuckles and used to hurt somebody with -- somebody went. Can make a very affordable weapon particularly if they are spiked as as you see here. -- have been modified to include little nine. -- key chain knives you have to probably seen these. But these are two pretty badly. Point -- Lot of -- use these for for -- in the packaging business. Rob bell buckle and you make -- -- and these are widely sold these days. -- a little push -- -- yielding common items. Even the old sort -- an umbrella -- Is it these things are pretty easy to find on the Internet if you wanna buy one it's it's not that hard. We're now getting to boot to -- -- magnate little flashlight and modified as a zip gun. Awfully small caliber guns. And you -- in the slide can be concealed just about anywhere. And you wouldn't necessarily notice them if you're -- a quick scan but just be aware that just -- you don't he had gone around. Could easily be gone around. People there are weapons in your environment. Far to a far greater degree than he -- soon as you looking around just be aware. That things may not be what they seem and discuss you don't see a weapon doesn't mean there are weapons are weapons -- weapons -- -- Bottom line here's the thing to remember is lots of people go around armed deliberately there are lots of weapons of people and armed themselves with in your environment. The chances if you encountering somebody -- -- the patient. Or bystanders is pretty high. In one to one weapon we didn't mention earlier is pepper spray and it's not -- really quick too bad habits disable you considerably you don't wanna be pepper spray on the job so. Be aware. That many of the people you encounter every day. -- people you're working on -- to people around the people walking on our armed. If you suspect someone's -- we have you know -- armed. The thing to keep in mind is that in order to use that weapon they have to access to respect their armed make sure you watch -- hands on access the weapon. If if you've just made decision to stay there. Most people -- right handed most people access their weapon with the dominant hand. And the way to tell what someone's dominant hand is is that most people wearing a watch on their non dominant. If you suspect someone is armed and like me he's right handed you can tell that but watch my left hand. But just watch my right hand if you're not sure what to do but you've made its decision to stay there anyway. As you doing you scan of the people present. To to quickly see if they might be carrying a weapon or not -- you wanna look in the places where weapons are most normally carried. For most people away span going to be the place -- -- carry a weapon to have gone -- kneipher or bludgeoned. Pants pocket or coat pockets are probably the second most likely place so check -- for borders quickly pay attention if they're -- that. Those pocket or have their hands and pockets. It's kind of unlikely that a bad guys going to be carrying a gun on the ankle but they do it's probably on the non -- ankle probably means the left ankle for most people. Most bad guys don't carry holsters. If they haven't gone because they wanna be able to ditch their firearm in -- -- and not have any Trace on the that they were Karen country it's probably illegal for them to be carried on an apartment there felon. So posters are gonna be a real giveaway. Four for bad people with firearms but boulders -- locations we mentioned could be. If someone is carrying a weapon. They're probably gonna be constantly. Touching or doing something to allergic -- the fact that it's there. They could be reflexively touching it just make sure it's still in place and you see people aren't used to carrying weapons touching -- all the time just to confirm that it's there. He could be doing reputed adjustments on it -- uncomfortable particularly if they're on a stretcher. Not used to having gone anyways -- lying down only got a patient that's doing that. Take note and see if -- have a -- there. They might have their arm held closely. On the weapons side -- to seal the fact there's a gun here or port begun in place. When they're confronted it when the challenger when you go to Khartoum they might turn the -- -- away. And that that kind of turn away coupled with one of those other behavioral cues might. -- reasonably that their carrying a weapon. And if they're running if they're active. The public holding onto their weapon because as we mentioned on guys don't use holsters so they have to venture to conduct part of -- waste -- -- the pocket ornament. We're gonna carrying it when they're running all those behavioral indicators -- let you know that a weapon might be -- But just because there's some people don't exhibit these behaviors obviously doesn't mean -- -- You could you can be aren't doing very well. And also just because you see something like intrusion in the -- -- which. Could indicate a -- also indicate a self foreign MP3 player I guess some people these -- so -- -- A shirt baggy short one outside the pants and a lot of people do that these days but clearly. That's a dress it's gonna conceal a weapon better than something -- it's a little more firmly. A jacket that swings on naturally is a sign something heavy in the pocket so you've got a little more attention. And -- when -- -- give -- a little more attention what we mean is just just tripped save yourself that person might be arming ought to give that person just a little more. A -- -- -- much time or my attention I would normally when I get my head up on looking around a pain potentially particular attention to what -- guy doing. As opposed to. You know the -- grandmother over here it was obviously concerned about -- child. Even if you know your way around firearms. It's not a good idea to try to do anything more if you have -- Favre -- one and -- simply grasp it. Very safely. The bottom part of the grip. Remove it. Don't try to -- -- do anything else to it as simply put it into a lockbox just the way it is. And a new policy takes over from there of course equipment content please point to but don't try to manipulate this -- even -- think you know what you doing. Even a few facts you know what you're doing just take it out put in a lock box and let the police team with a nine point. So what do you do if you suspect someone has a weapon. Well if if they aren't ambulatory or animated on paper that is or not they're not -- -- -- -- something. But you -- -- assess the situation and -- does your concern about them how to weapon. Bring the situation on to a level where you concerned that the whole situation might be dangerous. Mean remember good guys have weapons -- the good guys or around aren't as well as bad guys so it's not necessarily effective weapon it's the weapon in the context of what you're viewing. So you may decide at this point. If you decide it's a dangerous situation. Enough concern about it to disengage to retreat and two to wait for the seem to be secured. And if you do that you want to call the police obviously get them there they're not already there if they're there but not immediately present in your area. Get them which -- area -- about your concerns coming even stopped working on his patient. Until the scene is secure. Or you could possibly. Ask them to slowly remove the weapon. Or asked him if they are carrying weapons of seven -- could counts carry weapons still. If if the whole scene doesn't mean dangerous temperature sees someone. That's exhibiting signs maybe Karen and arguments -- sir you aren't. And they might you know -- yeah -- apartment unharmed. And if if the -- doesn't get any more games after that then you could you know you're good you're good to go sacred people are allowed to carry weapons -- country. If you have an -- and on animated victim that is maybe somebody on a stretcher well and suspect they have -- gone on them or some other kind of dangerous weapon -- what -- -- -- he says you're allowed to do at this point are you allowed to remove it. -- -- keep -- in place. What are the criteria for doing one or the other. On so you need to look at your policy see what it says. Rationality check reality check your policy against what makes sense fuel it's safe on the scene. One important note here which is if you see if matter if if somebody has a firearm on them. You know somebody that can't move somebody -- severely injured. Only remove that firearm if you know how you really know what you're doing and your policy allows it. Because unlike a knife -- like a bludgeon of some kind of by removing that you're unlikely to -- your victim farther. If you remove a firearm -- you don't know what you're doing it's possible you could accidentally. On. Pull the trigger on the gun go off in which case might just be your victim which can further -- -- might be you. So only remove a gun if you know what you're doing. If the situation gets to the point where someone attacks you. What you always -- our legal and moral right to defend yourself regardless of what -- policy says you always have a legal right to defend so. And a level of force you can use when you defend yourself is what's called reasonable force. Now -- a regional force it may sound like we're saying something completely obvious. But in fact the term reasonable force is a legal concept and actually -- something explained that -- Which you want to do for sure though is check your policy and see what it says about your ability to defend yourself but even address this issue at all. If it doesn't. The rules when we made up after the fact after you've -- to defend yourself and who knows what the political situation where the ministry of situations going to be at that point. So check your policy make sure it says you're allowed to use reasonable force to defend yourself to your policy doesn't say it it doesn't exist. And who knows what will happen. If you in -- have to fight. On -- call. Not only should your policy allow you to defend yourself using reasonable force. But your employer should again -- you against. Any claims as a result of your reasonable actions that is. If if I'm on the job in a patient attacked me and I use. Legal and appropriate reasonable force to defend myself. I don't want to be personally liable for any claims that this patient is gonna. You want to employ it when -- if you against those -- So. -- -- And players insurance policy -- gonna argue for use of force that's reasonable. And picture your employer's policy has any writers necessary. Two to bring indemnity into place speaking from experience here. If your policy. Doesn't allow you to defend yourself or your employer doesn't condemn the -- For actions -- used reasonable force a good chance you gonna be held. Personally responsible. For any claims against you that's a very bad situation to be in for doing nothing more than -- Not just legally but morally allowed to do that -- should do you shouldn't have to simply like to be attacked. Remember that isn't a policy it doesn't exist so go check. What your employer has for insurance for -- Remember we said. That the reasonable. Idea of reasonable force. It's a legal concept I mean something. Well what it means is that you're allowed to use the force you're allowed to do what he reasonable person in your shoes would have done. You're allowed to use of force they -- used. And in your shows what that means is that for that that person would have had to have known what you knew about the situation. And what she knew about the people present there. And this is called a reasonable man standard and that is your actions will be charged after the fact by the reasonable man standard. Now it may sound like this whole idea of what's reasonable is pretty -- And it is only to an extent but there's really some genius to -- through this common law concept -- of the reasonable -- standard. And -- -- -- to it because it allows your -- to be judged by the standards of the community at the time. And what was your read -- reason LaMont a forced to use a certain situation in the old west back in the 1960s. Isn't going to be a reason LaMont -- forced to use in urban environment today. And that -- that common sense -- kind of appeals to all of these days. Or give a regional -- standard. Art can work to your benefit. In that appeals to the common sense. Of the DA whom maybe a position to charge you're non. And or jury if god forbid your -- weren't going to trial. So it's the reasonable -- standard what are reasonable person would've done in your place. That is a standard to be judged by wanna re and the amount of force that a reasonable person would do when your place -- which are allowed to use to defend yourself. If you're under attack. What defines a reasonable amount of force. Is tied to the concept that you're forced must be proportionate before she used to defend yourself must be proportionate to the injury you're in fear of receiving. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- But if -- recently in fear -- certain level of injury you're allowed to use a certain level of response. To defend yourself. Are -- greater levels. Of reasonably expected injury while you -- greater level force. And note that you what is a reasonable amount of force use -- situation is tied to the injury you can expect to receive as a result of your -- -- actions. Not the particular -- their -- and and the best way to explain this is that a punch. From a four year old kid. It's not the same thing as a punch from killer Kowalski. So it's not the factor being punched that allows you to use a global force. It's the injury -- you recently believe -- sustain as a result of that level of force. We illustrate this -- -- proportionality. Between your reasonably expected injury and a level of force you're allowed to use to defend yourself. On slide 54. You can see that the level of force you're allowed to use. Graduates and and and increases from simple things like pushing somebody away to -- -- -- to pepper -- to punches kicks to impact weapons although -- deadly force which includes. Knives and guns. You're allowed to increase a -- force based on what your hero. -- if -- only in fear of a slight -- I'm probably only allowed. Again generalities here are probably in most situations only allowed to maybe push -- -- when your music -- If on the other hand I -- fear of getting my bones broken. Then I can use a much higher level of force so hard punches and kicks maybe impact weapons and clearly if -- -- fear of being killed or sustain crippling injury. And I'm allowed to use. In most jurisdictions lethal force that is I can use force that I might reasonably expect might result in this person's death. You really curious to know little more detail. -- about what kinds of force. Might be applicable might be allowed in certain kinds of situations. There's a couple of sources available to you. Your local police department's use of force instructor. Would probably be a good resource and also a DA or an 88 Mike would be willing to come and talk to. But these people will be experts on these concepts and because they deal with these with this idea. And he would use of force every day. Whether or not you carry a specific weapon on you whether you're not allowed to do that on your job. There are improvised -- should you -- one in your environment available to you just like they -- -- the Danica. You know we mentioned earlier that legend's legend type weapons are available pretty much for the picking up in most environments. If you're gonna liquid handy maybe a cup of coffee can throw that -- somebody's face and that will buy you a second or two. To maybe do something more formidable or maybe get to a safer spot. And maybe not all maybe not even most but a lot of the -- carry knives these days. And if you are at a level -- attacks were lethal force is justified call for a nice -- very formidable. Lethal force weapons so there are improvised and weapons available to you in your environment just that there are the bad guys need to use them. Go and use. Most EMTs are on armed and so. -- -- gonna have to rely on your empty hand skills to either defeat an attacker or it on the situation it was safe spot empty -- skills are going to be. The foundation. Of what you need. Even if you're carrying some sort of weapon you probably don't need -- and skills or to buy yourself the time or to access that weapon because not many -- If not most attacks are spontaneous nature he can see it coming if someone under attack. We don't have time to access -- even if you would carry -- -- -- goes again going to be necessary even if you are armed. We mentioned the -- earlier lot of yankees carry knives and status as rescue tools. But it's only a lethal forceful. It only is is allowable to be used only justifiable use at a very high level force very high level attack. The minority of tax effect. So it's not all that great to rely on as a weapon because it won't help you out. In most of the kinds of attacks that you gonna calm under mostly intermediate level of tax what people are really trying to kill you. They're just trying to tu -- you or her -- and some line. Even if you had to access this -- it was a lethal force -- Getting to your knife pulling it out opening it takes time just like any weapon does and so. Again you come back to -- hand skills being necessary foundation for all self defense. Very very few EMTs carry firearms and that practice -- highly controversial. Pepper spray however it sometimes recommended as -- T and -- as a weapon that can carry nonlethal weapon doesn't. Her people doesn't injure -- it but it it's certainly very effective weapon. Who -- -- remember however for carrying pepper spray were issued to you. That when you spray somebody particularly in a confined environment you're also gonna get -- you just can't help just. The fact when you discharged pepper spray in a closed environment this and that's gonna come back at you. And you and disable your attacker but you're gonna be temporarily disabled as well. If you carry OC. Extreme delivery device would probably be best that is OC cancer that delivers a pepper spray as a liquid stream rather than an aerosol -- Can we come back to the fact that most of the situations you empty hand skills -- the foundation of what you do. They may be all you have time to do. But they are going to be that your first line of defense in almost all cases. Mean think about training in self defense. You're thinking about training with some kind of weapon. You if you don't think you're thinking about training some kind of weapon. Your -- your -- and your body becomes a weapon training. Now we think about training with weapons including hands -- -- There is a there is a way to look at it it is really kind of stood the test of time the last bunch of decades. And they called a -- priorities. And it was priorities are named after Saudi you want the best known police instructors in the world. And he has listed the priority of things that will get -- -- of -- situation. Think he's listed the priorities. In which these things are important and they are awareness. Most important things it is awareness of the situation. The second most important thing -- attack to import. The third most important thing is your skill with a particular technique and the fourth most important thing the last. Thing in order party. Is what the particular. Weapon is did you choose to use. Drawing down a little bit into each one of those priorities. The first and most important priority is awareness. We've discussed this before but the valuable where it should be kind of obvious that is you can't defend against that which are not aware. And -- if you're aware of a situation where what's going around you -- going on around you is a good chance units you situation developing. And be able to either shut it down -- get out of there before you even have to use any kind of force -- awareness is number one. -- Also bear in mind I think as we mentioned before that awareness is so much a scale. And -- -- -- go take a classic. It's had a it's -- a to develop just spiked it citing human development. So the old adage that house of awareness of with a -- scale. Really is it's true here and awareness of do nothing else practicing. Awareness making awareness happen. Making yourself aware going condition yellow. Orange and red when necessary on every call is what's gonna save you more times. Any kind of skill you can go. The second most important priority in any kind of hostile situation are the tactics you employed. Attack the tactics you employed. Are things like taking cover. -- safety of global challenges you do -- -- Taking up a defensive position of posture that is rather than being bent over the -- getting up pretty handsome funny you. Maybe getting your your balance after correctly so if you have to fight you can but the tactics you employed. Our second in importance only to awareness there -- more important than the skills that you develop with your hands or any other -- Find yourself having to fight. The skill with which -- executed technique is generally to be more important in the last -- which is the technique itself whether the weapon itself -- employed. You know it's in business they say it as. A mediocre strategy that's executed superbly. Beats a great strategy executed poorly every time. And so it doesn't really much matter whether I'm punching. Or kicking throwing elbow it's much -- -- that technique. It's gonna be more important that particular technique on point. Finally at the bottom of the list is the particular technique or weapon that you -- Now this is the last thing the support. You're -- with any weapon -- technique is far more important that. Tactics more important on your awareness courses is Paramount importance but yet it's at -- lowest level ironically it's at its lowest level the particular thing you're doing. The so much time and energy. Gets eaten up we spent a lot of time -- what should I do they actually -- veteran -- should learn that. This is where different trainers spend time are you -- each other you know this my technique but your technique. In fact from your perspective that is from a user of of these techniques. Just pick the techniques that. Appeal to you the most -- to your body type. And the kind of coordination -- -- and then get good at him because getting good at them is much more important in particular technique that you site to use. A real clear example that illustrates this concept is let's assume you had to fight with a knife well. You can get a lot of nice people talking about one -- is better than another but the fact is it doesn't really no matter what kind of nephew down to two inch knife were forged my eight inch knife. And -- and I if you have. You're skill would that night it's much more important that particular -- record and I think that that's obvious to all of us on viewing this. Same thing applies himself to. American -- this way or this way it doesn't matter if you do you talk like this way -- this way it doesn't matter. The -- who -- equated POU and it could. On the subject of awareness sometimes we're winding our way through some kind of our building and we're not really sure -- run another corner and economy could be when this this gray area where. You know we hope there's nothing bad going on here but we're not really sure but -- -- -- -- to go ahead anyway. There's a way to take corner safely. Or as safely as possible -- that you just don't score on a corner and wind up running into a bad -- intent on hurting. It's. And for just take a look at slide 64. Here you are going merrily along your way and wooden structure and hadn't for your -- and -- this bad guy around the corner waiting for you -- you do some harm. Well how could you see him before he sees you there -- a way to do this. Well there is a technique you can use for going around corners so that you can see the danger that might be lurking around -- corner as soon as part. This is his technique is called slicing the pot. And the first thing to know about it is that you don't wanna take corners closely as let's say this -- the corner distort yours is -- corn I'm going around. Rather than walk around this corner here like deaths. Where I'm taking the corner very tight but I wanted to was a -- to get as far away they can't from this corner and take it as widely as possible. Second you know about this technique is as -- -- -- around this corner every time I step a little bit. Another little. Piece of the pie opens up from -- -- to -- that's where the term -- -- comes from. As -- go around this corner. I look around every little slice as -- go around. I'm going around faster -- doesn't matter it just as I go around and actively looking into every little slice as a comes into view. And you can see this illustrated. On slide 66. -- but the lines drawn -- and see what part. Of around the corner you can see into as you and structural going around. And here on slide 67 you can see what the bad guy -- -- if he was looking at that corner. He would only say a little bit of your head coming around that corner. On and you could see all of him because your eyes around that corner. He might even -- -- he's not looking closely for someone -- on a corner exactly that moment. The point here is you're only exposing a little -- yourself. And you see all the him in -- gives -- the maximum possible advantage you go around corners. If you're in some kind of environment it's in this gray area -- pretend to be dangerous. But you decided to go to the patient anyway and you -- to take corners as safely as possible. Just take them wide and in your mind slice the -- that is looking to each slice. Of what's around the corner -- -- -- becomes available to you -- receives something bad there stop go to plan B. Probably one of the worst things could happen to you want -- call if you get caught some kind gunfire. -- if you hear gunfire. Obviously you can stop working and you need to get to -- behind something that's safe need to take cover. Important distinction to remember here is cover actually counts both sports will go -- copper. Concealment to shield you from the view of the shooter. So it's important understand the difference between covering concealment. And when you seeking -- to actually get behind some kind of -- Most covered. Is going to be something like masonry from something really solid. If -- tried to cover behind a car or truck makes remember that most parts of a car truck won't stop their mere consumer. The engine block on most cars and trucks -- almost -- talks is not the only thing is -- -- really stop global if -- gunfire thing to do. Get behind -- on some cover get behind. So since typically. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- be looking for cover -- Republican lock on of that car maybe even our own truck to get behind so just bear in mind. That you really want -- try to get behind the engine block even on your own raid -- most parts there aren't gonna stop. Too many -- certainly not what most rifle rounds and even most and -- could probably easily sail right through it. So they're banking on a vehicle some -- -- you cover. For the huge block. As you look for cover from gunfire should you be -- fortunate to have to do that. Also bear in mind the concept of skipped a phenomenon of skipped bullets. No we all learned in high schools -- class the angle of incidence equals angle of reflection. And that works fine rubber balls doesn't work -- bought necessarily. If a bullet hits a solid -- something like masonry at a narrow angle -- the ground at a narrow angle. Instead of bouncing off of it and is instead of bouncing off. What we'll do is a community hit the wall or the ground and then just continue along just inches from it. At a high rate of speed. So if you're hunkered down. On the ground -- behind some kind of solid wall -- a narrow angle to the potential gunfire just realized that you may actually be in the line of fire. Even though you may -- you can't see the shooter -- -- -- and hit the wall underground feature on or behind kind of narrow angle that bullet. Can skip went along and and and -- So you may not have a choice is to a used to cover but it -- do something to be aware. Therefore if -- if gun fire starts to a -- around you. Hitting the dirt may not be the best option and it may be if you don't have anywhere else to go it's -- -- -- -- the ground Providence standing on the open. But be aware that by hitting the dirt he could be susceptible to -- -- so. Are very brief mark time and by that I mean not a second spent quickly looking around for the best genuine -- and it's available. May be time well spent in this kind of situation. -- this concludes. The classroom part of this program. Next we're gonna move into the training -- -- show you some defensive moves that you can use hopefully come in handy for you should you be assaulted on the job.

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