Every DT4EMS presentation has a WIFM.   I would like to use this as a medium for you to not only be able to understand the WIFM in each presentation, but to be able to deliver it in YOUR way. Doing so, will remove current or future instructors from “trying to be Kip”.



At the end of our program, we want people to leave with only two things- A solid understanding of “reasonable” and the physical skill “The Parry”. That is triaging self-defense in medicine.  We focus on safety tactics, NOT techniques. If they get the tactics, they will rarely need the techniques.



“What’s In It For Me?”


Every DT4EMS presentation has a WIFM.   I would like to use this as a medium for you to not only be able to understand the WIFM in each presentation, but to be able to deliver it in YOUR way. Doing so, will remove current or future instructors from “trying to be Kip”.

Legend on PowerPoints:

Look for the following to recognize the emotion you are trying to elicit




They will be subtle cues for you to recognize as your hint to perform in a certain way and keep trying until you observe the class buy-in on the WIFM.


Immediately at the start of class, have the students introduce themselves one by one. Lead them by asking  them to:

  • Tell us your name
  • A little about you and your family
  • Hobbies
  • Why you got into (EMS/Fire/Nursing etc)

This line of questioning will be important immediately as well as later. It will help you learn your audience and begin to pick out who may be your allies and who may be the ones you will really have to convince throughout the program. It will also become important when you are able to say “not one of you stated you got into this to fight, beat people up” etc







The opening presentation is designed to not only be the “build the need” but the groundwork of definitions,  and the basis of reasonable and what happens if staff are not trained. If you get them to buy-in (WIFM) early they will trust you the rest of the class.

Build the need- The essential WIFM.  If a person has had 6 months of field experience, regardless of pre-hospital or in-hospital we are having to de-train the whole “it’s part of the job” and the “whack ’em with the O2 bottle” mentality.  It is either too much or too little use of force.

We build the need by starting off slow. Gradually showing them studies (fast paced but emotionally building) to bring them to a point to where you get to start yelling about 20 years worth of studies and no sweeping change. You are looking for them to start to get almost the mob mentality. Like sharks in a feeding frenzy. The emotion is you are angry FOR them not at them. This is when they begin to change and feel you are on their side. WIFM2 during news reports, you are getting them to understand 1) Assaults on staff happen but they never make national news 2) People ARE being arrested and convicted for assaulting medical staff (this begins to strip away the “it’s part of the job” mentality)

Officers in Weapon Retention Situation:  WIMF1 is officers are not trained to have two cops hold a weapon in its holster. They reduced to their lowest level of weapon retention training (officers are taught in a grappling situation the weapon must stay in the holster) Here since the cops were attacked by surprise their RACE was spinning (they won’t know RACE yet). WIFM2 will the bad guy differentiate between uniforms if he gets the weapon out? WIFM3 Were the providers able to STAGE for this unsafe scene?

We NEVER make fun or light of any officers or medics in videos or pictures. We are doing what LEO and military have done for years… learn from the actions of others.

ARG- WIFM- During the opening presentation, toward the end, there will be the first time many are introduced to our Assault Response Guidelines. Do a brief explanation of each level (less than 5 mins total) then bring up the largest male and the smallest female if possible.

Have them stand off to the side of the screen in such a way the class can see them and still be able to view the ARG on the screen. Have the large male SIMULATE a grab to the throat of the small female and have say female is medic and male is drunk attacker. Ask the class “Which level is reasonable?” There will be a debate. Do not tell them anything. Reverse the roles.

Immediately you will hear a majority of the class answer correctly. Some will argue with each other. This is a GREAT THING. You then point out what was reasonable and ask the class “why” a majority said what they said. They will point out size, sex, age etc. Ta-da! WIFM! You now have taught them to fish instead of giving them a fish.

This segways into a video of staff using excessive force. All you have to do is ask “were they reasonable”. Again, teaching them to fish.







The Six Steps PowerPoint:

The  WIFM is we know under stress people process information differently. We don’t want them to think of 50 things at once. We want them only to have to process one-step-at-a-time. To get off of the unsafe scene (that they should not have been on to begin with). Ask the group “Do you stage for unsafe scenes? Wait for the response. Then:

Use the phrase “If 52% of staff are assaulted at a rate 22X that of other private sector industries… and they are following their agency policy for staging for unsafe scenes…where then are they being assaulted?

  • WIFM- Many staff members are attacked by surprise on supposed safe scenes



RACE2REACT– Before the start of the presentation, this is where I use the “hold my arm down to my side” demo. I make a big deal out of how many muscles are involved by the one guy holding my arm and how I can only use what?… right, my deltoids to raise my arm to the side. I then keep repeating  “hold-hold-hold” so I know the person is holding my arm as I try to raise it. Then as I am speaking I tough his forehead with my other hand. This resets his race and lets me move. I then ask the class… What happened? I get someone to say “distracted him”

The driving slide- Don’t mention at work. Get them to think about daily driving. Has anyone ever almost been in an accident? Make a big deal about if they had to think R-A-C-E ( foot off accelerator, apply brake etc) or did it go “Whoosh” OMG! Dang that was close!? They will all admit it happened lightning fast. Ask WHY? Someone will reply “reflex” or instinct etc. Ask “How did it become reflex or instinct? Someone will say “we drive all the time” or “practice” etc. Ta-da… you just got your buy in.

  • WIFM1 with practice they don’t have t mentally process a skill
  • WIFM2 a distraction will reset an attackers RACE

Potentially Violent Calls (6D’s)

Get initial buy in by asking “name any call that you can think of that has a potential for violence. Get 6-10 quickly. Then click to the slide that shows the 6 D’s and say…. every call you just named can be funneled into one of the 6D’s.

WIFM- Graham V Conner – by telling the story and getting them to feel like they are watching a robbery… Ask them “Where the officers right or wrong?” Did Graham win his suit when he sued the officers? Your class will be divided. Let them argue a bit. This is a great thing. Then drop the bomb… The officers were not right but they were… (pause and see if someone will pipe up) “Reasonable” So a landmark use of force case taught in police academies all over shows we just need to be reasonable



General Management/Teaching Tips:

  • Safety is priority one. No horseplay. If they observe you do it, they will too.
  • The more you ask “can a confused patient grab me like this?” then immediately ask “can a drunk or drugged attacker grab me like this?” gets a buy in as to “WHY” we have to teach skills the way we do.
  • Remind them “I am sorry, no other person/profession has to decide in a split second patient or an aggressor like we do in medicine”. This helps with not only critical thinking skills but it helps defeat the “my martial arts technique would be better”.
  • Escape is our goal
  • Winning in a fight is different than winning in self-defense
  • Review Six Steps/RACE/ARG at various times during skills
  • People will stop moving when you are assisting others. Make sure you move quickly from pair to pair.
  • Careful your message is never about beating someone up.
  • Never think you are tougher than anyone in the class. Be humble. I gain acceptance of the material by getting buy-in from those tougher or more skilled. Others in the class will know right away who is tough/trained in your class. You need to learn who they are early. You can usually get a feel for it when you asked them to introduce themselves
  • People will migrate to who they feel comfortable with. Keep changing up partners on them.
  • Remind them not to get frustrated with the pace of skills. They will not be proficient in 16 hours. This is why they are getting a disc to practice the skills.
  • TV/Movies give them a mistaken understanding of what self-defense is. They think they should be able to destroy any opponent. You have to slowly get them to our side. Our goal is escape, getting off the unsafe scene/situation. We got into this profession to care for others (not fight- comes from their introduction of themselves)
  • If they use tactics, they will rarely need the techniques
  • If you have a resident martial artist in your class, one of the ways you can diffuse it is to make a big deal out of how we may be helping them understand when it may be reasonable to use their skills while on the job. Also mention people can talk to him/her after class about furthering their own training. This will show you are wanting to give people the opportunity to make informed decisions about their own personal training.


  • First skill they learn.
  • Place them in row(s)
  • Tell them to stand and watch you first.
  • Demo with hands behind your back, feet side by side, shoulder width apart.
  • They will immediately wrestle with how you are standing so TELL THEM “You would never defend with your feet side by side with your hands behind their back” but “we are just wanting you to focus on your feet for now.”
  • Turn and face a side wall. Take a baby step forward with one foot. Then do it facing them. It gives them the visual of where they end, with their feet shoulder width apart.
  • Have them turn and face a side wall (usually the right first) Ask them to take a baby step with their right foot. Tell them to try and pick their right foot off the ground and put it back down. This is how they learn to distribute weight on their back foot. Tell them to look at their feet and notice the position.
  • Face front again. Now start your side step practice. Remind them their foot should be where it was (slightly in front of the other, shoulder width apart)
  • WIFM comes later. The sidestep is used in EVERY takedown we teach. (ECT, One-Hand Choke escape, plus it is how they obtain power with a slap).