*Video* Effortless Self-Defense Tactic for Medical Staff

This clip explains how great customer service can be used as a self-defense tactic in emergency medicine. When I was a kid, growing up in South Florida, we had this sign on our fence. It had importance then, and it has even more now. Watch the video to see what I mean.- Kip


I am sure you’re wondering what does the sign next to a swimming pool have to do with DT4EMS’ EVE programs?

The truth is, everything… when we were discussing self-defense in emergency medicine.

The 4 in DT4EMS represents the 4 separate yet equally important areas to train to survive when using force on the job in emergency medicineool_sign.  They are the Mind-Street -Media-and Courts.  This article will show how remembering this sign can help a provider survive in the media (mainstream and social) and in the courts (legal and court of public opinion).

When I was a kid growing up in South Florida we had this sign hung on the fence by our pool. It was there as a friendly reminder to not foul-up our swimming pool but urinating in it. Everyone knows it is nasty to pee in a pool, but some still do it anyway.

Imagine you are dispatched to a report of a child with a broken arm. Upon your arrival you observe the classic silver-fork fracture. The kid is crying and the parents are hysterical. So out of control they don’t even realize the entrance to the emergency department is directly across the street.

On this particular day you are working with the medic who hacks-off everyone he comes in contact with on the job. You know, the guy who comes on a scene (that you had completely calm) and escalates it out of control…

Not with the words he speaks, but in the WAY he says the words. His body language is condescending as he points out the entrance of the ED as he asks “Would you like us to take your son to the hospital?”

Now if this were the only time that family had contact with EMS providers, what do you think their perception is of ALL providers? Yup. Arrogant jerks.

Back to the sign. When a provider is rude to someone it is essentially like peeing in the pool. A person’s perception is affected by a their interaction with that individual. You see the pool we are talking about is the jury pool. Every person you come in contact with in your service area is a potential member of a jury pool.

So let’s say for instance, a couple days after this call, you used self-defense on the job. What you did (physically and verbally) was reasonable, but you failed to report it like we ask you to.( In every DT4EMS related program we state that if a provider ever has to use force in self-defense they notify their supervisor and law enforcement). Since there was a failure to report this incident, no criminal charge was filed when you used your self-defense. Again, your actions were totally reasonable, you just failed to report it.

A few months down the road you get a subpoena. You are being sued in civil court because the person you defended yourself against claims you caused permanent damage to his shoulder.

When the jury is selected guess who is picked to be on the jury. Yes, you guessed it that person that it been treated rude in the past by an EMS provider.

So your claim of self-defense will automatically be met with the perception by that person ( who can influence the jury) that you , like all providers, were probably rude and were more than likely the one who instigated the incident.

So the soapbox moment that I get to use across the country is not to P in the pool. The reason for this is everybody’s action affects us all.