DT4EMS/EVE-Instructor Course

DT4EMS Instructor Course
: 40 hours



** NO PREVIOUS Martial Arts, Self-Defense, or Defensive Tactics (DT) training required to attend our instructor course. Although many of our trainers have experience, most do not. All are successful DT4EMS Instructors.

The DT4EMS/ EVE Instructor Course is a “Doctor Approved”, medically directed 40-hour course. It is both physically and mentally demanding. We strongly suggest candidates evaluate their physical limitations prior to attending the course.

The first portion of the course will be discipline specific EVE4HP or EVE4EMS/Fire Course modeled by the EVENT (EVE National Trainers). The 8 or 16 hours modeled, may be a review for those who have attended EVE course in the past. While there is no requirement to have attended an EVE course in the past, instructor candidates must attend the entire 40 hour offering.

After a modeling of the course, the participants will be presented with DT4EMS’ unique  “how- to” teaching style of our Escaping Violent Encounters (E.V.E.). Lastly, participants are given homework assignments for student teaching. After each presentation by the instructor-candidates, feedback is provided by instructors and peers.

In our experience this gives the instructor candidate the tools necessary to prepare for teaching E.V.E. at their agency.

Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, all candidates are considered Tier 3 and allowed to teach at their agency only.

What we mean by teaching “at their agency” is we don’t want someone to take our class and then be teaching it in their garage. We generally evaluate an instructors performance after they have taught some “in-house” classes at their agency before we allow them to travel and teach somewhere other than their agency.

When teaching a class at their agency, they are welcome to have anyone from any other ED, Fire or EMS service attend.

It is all about “quality control”. We have introduced a high-liability subject into medicine/Fire in a well researched and practiced way. With that in mind we keep a pretty tight reign on “how” the material is presented. One wrong instruction and we could lose an entire area.
Upon successful completion of the DT4EMS Instructor Course the candidate will be able to teach at his/her agency. The candidate is not an employee of DT4EMS L.L.C.
So there is no confusion please understand that all courses must be approved by DT4EMS L.L.C. Each participant in an approved course must have individual course materials. DT4EMS L.L.C. does not set the fee an agency charges for any of the courses. The cost of materials (Key code, e-Workbook and e-Certificate is $14.99). All course materials including Certificates (electronically completed) may only be obtained from DT4EMS L.L.C.

Our E.V.E. is approved for 16 CEU’s in several states.

It is strongly recommended the candidate review material on the DT4EMS website and forums. There are several articles/videos pertaining to Use of Force Laws, Force Levels, Elbow Control and scene safety. Having a basic understanding will help the candidate with their presentations. 

There is homework involved. A laptop (with USB Drive and PowerPoint) is truly essential for the class.

If it sounds as though the requirements are tough, well, they are. DT4EMS’ Escaping Violent Encounters Course is designed to help an Fire/EMS or healthcare provider in four main areas. It is preparing the participant for mental, physical, legal and media battles when having to use force in defending themselves. The comments like THESE are what are expected from your participants. We get those because the class is about them, not the instructor.EarnDT4EMS

After successful completion, you would coordinate and train EMS/Fire and health care providers how to escape violent encounters they face in the medical field (while maintaining a professional image).
We don’t want bullies or tough guys. We are looking for people to train staff how important their safety truly is. We must change the culture.

Staff uses of force (mistakes) are real. In our Assault on Staff Log in the forums you will see news reports of assaults on EMS/Fire and healthcare providers from all over the world. We have articles and videos there as well. Again, It is strongly suggested you become familiar with the info located on the DT4EMS homepage as well as the forums. 

The DT4EMS Instructor course is a 40-hour, discipline specific course consisting of the following:

•   Setting up the proper learning environmentsafe
•   Basic lecture skills
•   Teaching the skills of DT4EMS’ EVE
•   Recognizing and teaching different types of students
•   Safety concerns/practices
•   Practical evaluation skills
•   PowerPoint Presentation Skills that won’t cause death
•   Use of A/V Aids
•   History of DT4EMS
•   Understanding the need for culture change
•   Teaching reasonable levels of force
•   Documentation training
•   Teaching Mental Prep for the Violent Encounter
•   Setting up and conducting scenario based training
•   Proficiency training in the drills and skills taught in the EVE Courses.
and much, much more.



A person who becomes a certified DT4EMS instructor teaches more than just a few “techniques” to their students. The instructor has a difficult task of teaching culture changing tactics, not just techniques. Ultimately preparing a student for, not making the student paranoid of, violence on the job.

We have had to find a way to compress 40 hours worth of training material into the initial 16-hour EVE Course. No class less than 16 hours for pre-hospital, or 8 for in-hospital will suffice. The reason for the minimum  hours is the provider must be exposed to the understanding of the extremely unique environment they are in when training a high-liability subject, such as the use of force, for self-defense on the job.Prepared

Simply teaching a few “moves” does not give a provider the much needed critical thinking skills for the situational dynamics that are involved during human conflict (verbal or physical). The provider must receive training that seamlessly weaves mental, physical, media and courtroom preparation. Anything less is equivalent to placing a band-aid on an open femur fracture.

The instructor also has to take a humble yet professionally firm role during instruction. The students must feel the program was beneficial to them and for them, not be left with “how cool and tough” the instructor was. The Alpha-Male style training works well for military and law enforcement courses, but has no place in civilian medicine. The tough-guy, win at all cost training that has found its way into emergency medicine has led to some serious complications when actually employed on the street or in an ED. Some of this training was not purposeful; it was learned via osmosis so to speak.

Over the years providers have witnessed law enforcement perform a skill to “control” someone during a use of force incident. Now the provider, without knowing the legal (reasonable) reasons “why” an officer does what he/she does, nor the understanding of “when” a specific “technique” can be used, and what happens when that empty hand skill fails, providers either get injured themselves or injure someone else trying a skill they have no in-depth understanding of.Fight_self_defense2



*NOTE*  This is a physically and mentally challenging course. Any person with physical limitations or pre-existing injuries is strongly cautioned.

This IS NOT a “full-contact” course.

Some hard contact may be required during the course including possible defense (against simulated patient who may possibly become an attacker) in a FIST suit.


What to expect in a class according to Jeff McMullen

As most of us are aware, violence directed towards EMS and in-house healthcare workers is on the rise. It has long been recognized as a risk among the line providers in both urban and rural systems. Sadly, we also are aware that most of us are woefully under trained in both awareness and how to respond when it comes to this problem. More frustrating is the fact that it is rarely recognized at all by those who hold sway over the decision to prepare for it. Even those who do recognize the problem often seem to be hesitant when it comes to the need to prepare for the eventuality of dealing with hostility or being assaulted while on thejob. As a medic in a high volume urban 911 system I have been afforded the privilege of being assaulted more than once during the last 17 years. Although I have always tried to exercise the greatest caution when dealing with potential violence or dangerous scenes, you can never have enough tools when it comes tokeeping your hide intact, and when someone comes along with superior tools to do so, you should give those tools (and that person) some serious consideration.

I have recently returned from the 40 DT4EMS Initial/Instructor course in West Virginia and think the experience merits some appreciation. The class was broken down into two parts. The first two days (16 hours) were the Escaping Violent Encounters (E.V.E) Initial, this amounts to what is basically your entry level “provider” course. The following three days were the 24 hour Instructor Candidate course. This allows those who have successfully completed the 24 hours to teach the program at their facility or agency under the close supervision of DT4EMS (more on this later). The class was scheduled for 40 straight hours, 0800-1700. We got out early a couple of days though, 1657 or so instead of the scheduled 1700. It was, without a doubt, a very busy and labor intensive week. 

Days 1-2
E.V.E Initial
From the moment class begins you are left with no reservation whatsoever that Kip Teitsort  (pronounced tea-sort) is passionate about keeping me, you and everyone else on the job safe. The responses to attacks he teaches are simple, yet effective, and I feel they would be very helpful if you ever get on the wrong side of bad and find yourself in need of them. Some other “products” that are marketed for use by EMS are terrific in that if you are sued secondary to using them in good faith the international corporation behind them will gladly defend you in court (good luck even finding their website after years of use of said product though). One of the multitudes of great things about DT4EMS is this; the only way you can use the techniques is in good faith. There is no submission, joint lock, pressure point, blows to the lateral neck or anything of that nature that is used to control a patient or attacker. Nothing taught can be used punitively, even if you wanted to. All responses to attack are just that, responses to attack.

There are no bastardized LEO applications that are watered down or abridged for use by EMS. Everything is geared specifically for EMS.  If someone tries to hit you, try not to be there, if you find that you are there, they will show you a thing or two about how not to continue being there. In my humble opinion, and I have some experience with this sort of thing, the techniques are just what we in EMS need, simple, effective methods of protecting ourselves if the wheels come off. Even after all the cool, effective and ridiculously simple responses to attack, that is not the best part of days 1-2. 

If you were to break down acts of physical aggression into 2 parts, the 1st would be recognition or understanding that something is about to happen to you. The 2nd would be the attack itself. They would prefer you never get to step 2 and find yourself in need of a method to avoid a punch that’s already left the gate or someone wrapping their hands around your delicate throat. That’s what step 1 is all about, avoiding the conflict altogether. We all know that it is not always possible to avoid conflict, but given a few tools help recognize where conflict may lie or maybe something you personally can do to avoid sparking conflict goes a long way towards your safety. From pre-arrival things to consider to on scene indicators of potential violence to tips on speaking to people it is all covered. One point that I thought particularly valuable was DT4EMS’ assertion that good customer service goes a long way to keeping yourself out of a drama. There is more to theinitial course that I have not touched on here such as loads of open source material proving there is a need for this training, behavior in the courtroom, mindset during violent encounters, but I am running out of typing steam and don’t wish anyone to be discouraged by the length of this post.

Overall and without a doubt I feel that this course is just about as good as it gets when it comes to preparing EMS personnel for violent encounters. Depending on the organization there are more than enough things we are required to train for that we will likely never encounter and yet those things are mandatory. After all, when was the last time someone was killed in a hospital fire? The last time I, or a co-worker, was assaulted on the street? That I can recall.

Days 3-5
E.V.E. I/C
After days 1-2 you have more than a solid idea what this is all about. You know that assault on EMS is very real. You know what you might keep an eye out for that might clue you in to a bad situation. You know that you need to be prepared for assault, you know how to speak, you know how to stand, where to stand, what is appropriate and what is not, and what to do if the above does not keep you out of the donnybrook. You also know how best to document assault, present yourself in court and loads of other useful stuff. What you may not have noticed during this time is DT4EMS’ exceptional ability to teach you all of these things. I feel a bit red in the face that I did not notice how good he is until I had to put myself in his shoes. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was at no point any doubt about his ability to teach, it’s just that he really turns it up during the last 3 days. I have, or have had, an instructor cert for most things out there, not one of those classes holds a candle to the way DT4EMS conducts the instructor candidate course. Although he was still a bit of a jokester, he was defiantly a different guy. If you were not getting something quite right he explained that to you, and he did it in a way that you felt really good about. On day 3 we got homework. You may have to teach chapter 3 for instance, the rub is you don’t know which part of chapter 3. The next day he finds a spot somewhere in the ppt, calls your name and you get up and teach it. The class is given 5 or 6 points on which to evaluate you and when they have had enough you’re done. First the class is given the chance to discuss what was done well and what could have used some work. Then they give you their ideas on what were done well and what might be improved. It seems that no matter how bad your presentation was or how much you need to work on, the praise always outweighed the criticism. When that bit is said and done he does some more lecture of the same topic explaining all the while what it is he wants to achieve and how best to deliver it. After the lecture portion you get to teach the class 1 or 2 of the techniques you learned during thin initial course. Again, they let you go until you are done or he thinks it’s time to show you how to do it just a little bit better. This goes on for 2 solid days, all the while you are learning more about the tactics/techniques and how better to deliver the course. At the end of the I/C course I, and the fellow I traveled with decided that not only are they  top shelf instructors, but that it was the best instructor course either of us has attended. It is the only one I have been to where you have to prove that you can teach the content while making you more solid in the material all around. 


Jeff McMullen (Denver Health Paramedic Division- Education)