Almond wants EMTs to be able to defend themselves on potentially dangerous calls

chuck-almondAt Thursday night’s work session of the Elbert County Board of Commissioners, Emergency Services Director Chuck Almond presented a resolution which would authorize him to allow EMTs and paramedics the right to conceal carry weapons while on duty.

While presenting the document, Almond stressed a number of facts about the resolution, including the fact not all personnel would be authorized to carry a weapon, emergency personnel would only be armed when responding to calls which had a possibility of placing an EMT or paramedic in harms way, that anyone authorized by him to carry a weapon would first be required to undergo extensive training (as well as annual follow-up training) and that EMTs and paramedics would only use the weapon defensively to remove themselves and those injured from a dangerous situation.

In presenting the resolution to commissioners, Almond also cited a number of incidents nationally where emergency medical personnel had been attacked in the recent past as well as at least four incidents where Elbert County personnel were put in a position that could have proven dangerous to emergency personnel.

Almond stated a group of EMTs and paramedics had already gone through rigorous training in anticipation to passage of the resolution. Training included three separate classes led by the district attorney’s office as well as training provided by personnel from the Elberton Police Department and Elbert County Sheriff’s Office. The training included both classroom and firing range training.

The ordinance also limits the weapons which would be allowed to 9mm, 40 caliber and .380 caliber handguns. The ordinance also states personnel will only carry weapons they own, but that the department would cover any costs for ammunition for training purposes.

Since commissioners were in a work session, no vote was taken on the measure. Commissioners are expected to take the matter up at Monday night’s regular meeting.

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