Escaping Violent Encounter for EMS and Fire

EMS/Public Safety
Four people from various industries

There is a widely recognized but little acknowledged problem threatening fire and emergency medical service personnel: injury through assault. The frequency of assault on our Fire and EMS providers is alarming. Many EMS/Fire providers have anecdotal stories of how they were attacked by a violent patient, an angry bystander or upset family member. While most attacks are not life threatening, the risk of serious injury is evident and unpredictable. EMS providers need an effective and reasonable plan on how to avoid an attack, and also know how to defend themselves once attacked. Your emergency medical services staff requires a reasonable, liability-conscious, effective means of preventing and avoiding assault by patients, their family or bystanders.

Real-World Application

Our E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire courses give the EMS provider the options needed to recognize a developing threat of assault, deflect it if possible, escape if practicable, and to defend if necessary. This non-violent system of prevention and avoidance takes a realistic approach to the subject, eschewing “idealistic” training concepts and methods providing your practitioner with concepts that work in the classroom with cooperative subjects following a script. While “easy-to-sell, feel-good” classes may appeal to many, these systems fail conclusively in the real-world where crisis creates rage, diabetic reaction overcomes reason, the mentally disabled act upon their delusions, those under the influence act with superhuman strength, and the career criminal lashes out at first responders and ER personnel even as they are engaged in life-saving efforts. The inevitable failures of the non-realistic, idealistic training system puts careers at risk and creates liability when your employee attempts the trained-for methods but founders, leaving no alternative other than to go “primitive” in a bid to survive uninjured. The common advice to many EMTs in the back of an ambulance to “hit ‘em with the O2 bottle” is something that this training will help to prevent.

  • E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire is a potent, effective, and ultimately practical combination of many different disciplines brought into one comprehensive training course. The curriculum is applicable in every medical setting, from the back of an ambulance speeding at 60 mph, down a dark, dank hallway in the inner city, or in a state of the art E.R. Rather than take a “multi-member team approach”
  • E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire provides training in individual skills that every EMS provider should know to personally avoid assault–especially when that paramedic or EMT is working in a remote location with only his or her partner present.. This course provides training where oral and physical deflection skills are simple and easy to remember and apply. Why?
  • E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire is Practical. Our system of assault avoidance and response is designed to be relevant to every member of your staff–big or small, strong or less so, male or female, trained in defense skills or not. We not only avoid fancy techniques that are forgotten before they leave the class, we just don’t teach them at all. Instead, we teach your personnel, who are some of the finest “problem-solvers” in our society, to problem-solve the situation confronting them through universal concepts of conflict resolution, deflection and recognition, and physical avoidance and escape that are available to everyone.
  • E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire is Defensible. Your personnel face the daily prospect of assault and injury. Without training, they WILL resort to improvised methods of defense and restraint. Their improvisation may later be found to be unreasonable, and sometimes even have criminal liability. Additionally, as their employer, your agency or company may be subject to huge civil liability exposure as a result of their actions. E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire™ provides “Assault Response Guidelines” for those instances when prevention and avoidance are just not enough.
  • E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire is Designed to be Liability Conscious. Beyond receiving training in the limits to force and restraint by EMS personnel, participants are trained in articulation and documentation skills that will hold up to any scrutiny in any legal or ethical venue. Sound decisions in the face of a dangerous assault by a patient, and the articulation skills to prove the reasonableness of those responses will reduce the liability exposure in any situation.

E.V.E.-4-EMS/Fire is an 16-hour course covering the basic skills required by any EMS responder or provider when facing possible, or even imminent assault. The course content consists of:

  • Recognizing criminal assault is not “part of the job”.
  • Understanding how good customer service can be an excellent scene safety tactic.
  • Responding to Excited Delirium
  • Differentiating between self-defense, fighting and police style control tactics/techniques
  • Recognizing the need for a culture change regarding safety in emergency medicine.
  • Dispatch-to-scene indicators (Pre- Arrival)
  • Verbal skills to diffuse potentially violent encounters.
  • Arrival-scene indicators (Safe ambulance parking, entrance/exit plan)
  • Pre-assault indicators (crowd, body language, scene survey)
  • The 6 D’s (Drugged, Domestic, Diabetic, Deranged, Drunk, Desperate) What to look for in each
  • Various aspects of reasonable self-defense
  • Various aspects/issues of patient restraint
  • Mental Preparation (Survival Mindset, Understanding stress and it’s effects)
  • Documentation Skills (Using the DT4EMS Assault Response Form)
  • Courtroom Demeanor
  • Good Customer Service
  • Patient vs. Attacker Recognition
  • Assault Response Guidelines (levels of force)
  • Assault Response Problem-Solving
  • Physical Fitness in EMS (Exercise, Rest and Diet tips)
  • Escapes from standing, ground and unusual positions
  • Easy to learn and retain “drills” to reinforce reaction timing