It is a sunny Tuesday morning when your ambulance is dispatched for a male patient experiencing chest pain. You begin your response with lights and sirens and quickly catch up to the fire engine that was also dispatched. Both fire and your ambulance pull up on scene to an apartment building, where the patient is presumed to live. As you all step out to grab equipment, you suddenly hear gunshots and realize that you are being shot at in an ambush. All the responders scramble to find cover. You radio your dispatch and alert them to a medic in distress and you request police response. Police rapidly respond to your area and the shooter is taken into custody within several minutes of police arrival.
Luckily, no first responders were injured in this event. Was there anything you could have done to prevent this scenario? Could you have done something to increase your safety during this ambush?
This experience is based on a call I responded to while working in Los Angeles County. Sadly, this is not my only experience with weapons being on scene. I have encountered multiple guns, knives, dogs, and other types of hazards like downed electrical lines and HAZMAT chemicals.