Paramedics and Pepper Spray: Staff Carrying OC on an Ambulance? Watch This First.

I would like to preface this little non-scientific experiment letting you know I HATE pepper spray for its effect on me, but LOVE it for its use on bad guys. This clip is not about how to use, or when to use, or even if you should use pepper spray/gel/foam while on duty. As a police officer I received several opportunities for “personal exposure” both in training and on the street. While I appreciate some of you would hope I would spray myself for the sake of a video, sorry to disappoint. I simply wanted to test cross-contamination in an enclosed space to better determine if any form of pepper spray (OC) should be considered for carry in EMS/Fire or ED setting.

Since so many ask about carrying pepper spray on duty in emergency medicine, and a friend of mine recently told me about pepper gel, I purchased the two different types and tried them out, on BOB, in my garage. My garage is a two-car size plus an attached workshop. So the area is about the size of 5-6 ambulance boxes as far as square footage.

During the span of my 17 years as a police officer, I unfortunately had times where I was forced to use pepper spray to take custody of a person suspected of a crime. As a general rule, although the person was OC’d outside of my patrol car, the cross contamination still made me travel with the windows down while transporting the suspect for booking. With what I found through today’s test, I wish I would have known about pepper gel back then.

This is not meant to be scientific. But my opinion is this, DT4EMS will never recommend pepper SPRAY for carrying on the ambulance. I have also heard horror stories of pepper foam being thrown back onto police officers and security guards. I think pepper gel may in fact be a tool for consideration in the emergency medical fields.

*Sorry about Siri talking to me…


Part 2 clarifies pepper gel has less cross-contamination PLUS, this stuff is HOT!