Should firefighters and paramedics be armed?
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) —
The Las Vegas shooting stirred up an important question: should firefighters and paramedics be armed while in the field for their own protection?
KBOI 2News asked several first responders in the Treasure Valley their thoughts on this topic and they all shared a similar message; Firefighters, paramedics, and police officers are a cohesive team that works best when each member is focusing on their respective roles.
Police officers focus on stopping the killing while paramedics and firefighters focus on stopping the dying.
"When we show up to someone's house we are there to help them and be comforting," said Chris Shandera, Paramedic with Ada County Paramedics. "I think the visual if they see a medic with a gun [would] confuse in their mind what we are there to do."
"Our job is to treat patients or put out a fire," said Kirk Carpenter, Deputy Chief for the Nampa Fire Department. "Us focusing on a bad guy with a gun. we'd be unable to focus on what we were sent to do."
"We want officers coming in and securing the scene [first]," said Sergeant Jason Cantrell with the Nampa Police Department. "Then medics [can] respond and save lives and do things they're experts at."
In the end, they all have a common goal: keep the community safe.
These agencies say they communicate daily and train together at least monthly so they are prepared to work together under any circumstance.
They also say they are constantly preparing several steps ahead for events throughout the Treasure Valley and how to best protect and serve our community.