Violent Encounters – Scene Safety

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Violent Encounters – Scene Safety


Gordon Graham
Category: Fire

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol and Today’s Tip talks about firefighters responding to emergencies with a potentially violent person or situation.

For firefighters, medical emergencies can become too “routine” and complacency can cause you to fail to recognize the danger signs of a violent encounter with a person or group.

Today fire personnel respond to medical emergencies more frequently than any other type of emergency and that number is expected to increase. 

We talk a lot about complacency in law enforcement and in the custody realm. For firefighters, medical emergencies can become too routine” and complacency can cause you to fail to recognize the danger signs of a violent encounter with a person or groupHere are a few pointers to help firefighters avoid a dangerous encounter.

In medical training, firefighters are taught ask the question “is the scene safe.”  This practice can allow your crew the opportunity to identify an unsafe scene, evacuate the area, and request assistance from law enforcement before you are involved yourself. Once the scene has been made safe you can enter the scene safely and provide medical care.

Always follow stage away instructions. Let law enforcement secure the scene before you enter even if it appears safe from your view. 

Do not allow hostile or potentially violent people to position themselves between you and your exit.

Look for items that can be used as a weapon against you during your response. 

If you identify a threat remember you always have the ability to leave the scene when your safety is threatened. Evacuate the area and call for assistance to make the scene safe. 

A delay in patient contact and care may be justified when a threat to emergency response personnel exists.

Don’t hesitate to delay your response until the scene is safe and always leave an avenue of escape when you are confronted by a violent person or situation. 

Remember: Complacency Kills!

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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