When you're a first responder your job is unpredictable. Crime, fires and car accidents are the norm. But what happens when those who respond to us in a time of emergency need help themselves?
Several state lawmakers are backing House Bill 982, which would let all first responders in Texas carry guns.
Lawmakers believe in the less urban areas there’s a high chance that the first responders on the scene will be non-peace officers — such as fire and EMS. However, Austin-Travis County EMS sees things a little differently.
Captain Darren Noak says the bill just isn’t a good fit for the department. He believes carrying a gun would add more work to an already stressful job.
“It would be another level of training for us, it would be another level of responsibility and it also doesn't kind of fit in with our mission,” Noak said.
Austin-Travis County EMS has had its share of safety concerns. People have been stealing ambulances lately. Two in December and one in March
“A lot of us that have been in the industry for a while we never thought that we have to lock our units,” Noak said.
Cadets are required to take a streets-smarts class which trains them on what can happen and how they can protect themselves. Noak says they often diffuse situations before they get dangerous. Plus, depending on the call medics respond to an officer will arrive as well.
The bill is still currently making its way through the legislature.