WOW! I Can Barely Contain Myself! This is from an Agency’s In-House Newsletter

I can barely contain myself! Below is what was posted to an in-hose newsletter for MCHD in Texas. It is exactly as I received in with the exception of me removing specific numbers represented by “[Numbers Removed]”

I will never get over the feeling I get meeting the amazing people I do, and the fact they allow me to share the DT4EMS message. I am honored beyond words because if they only knew how much I look up to them. – Kip





Customer service is very important in EMS. A little compassion, caring and empathy goes a long way for the patient and their family. The patient and family are already having a bad day of their own, we should not make it worse with poor customer service. So you ask, what’s in it for me? How does providing good customer service help the EMS provider?

Statistics show that 52% of reported prehospital personnel injuries are by assaults from the patient, their family or bystanders. This is more than back injuries, shoulder injuries or any other OTJI. And since we stage on violent scenes until LE deems it safe and clears us in, these assaults are happening on “safe scenes”, both medical and trauma. In 2014, MCHD field staff reported [Numbers Removed] injuries that were caused by an “uncooperative” patient (almost [Numbers Removed] of our reported injuries) and those injuries have cost MCHD over [Numbers Removed] not to mention the cost to the injured employees. So far in 2015, uncooperative patients have caused[Numbers Removed] reported injuries (about [Numbers Removed] of our reported injuries) and cost MCHD [Numbers Removed] and counting, plus the strain it puts on our medics.

On Monday and Tuesday of last week, Scott Pelczar, Sarah Cottar, Olivia Kaufman, Josh Horning, Jason Gutierrez, Troy Mansell, CJ Johnson and myself attended a 16 hour DT4EMS class presented by the founder, Kip Teitsort. DT4EMS, Defensive Tactics 4 (protects 4 – mind, street, media and courts) Escaping Mitigating Surviving, presents a class specifically designed for EMS and Fire personnel called Escaping Violent Encounters (EVE). EVE begins with stressing the need for good customer service (it’s hard to assault someone who is nice to you) to prevent yourself from being in that situation and continues through learning techniques of defending yourself against aggressive attacks (punches, kicks, choke holds, etc).

The 8 of us stayed for three more days to become instructors. MCHD bought floor mats, pads, body shields and even a FIST suit for training. Command Staff wants to have classes throughout the year. More details on that will come out later. Here is what some of the participants said about the class:

“On my first shift back on the street following DT4EMS, my partner and I were dispatched to assist on a psychiatric emergency. Law enforcement was attempting to persuade the patient to accept help, but he was extremely paranoid and was walking away. He walked up to several homes in the neighborhood, yelling about how he was terrified of all of us because he thought we would kill him. Finally, they detained him for safety purposes, but he was extremely agitated, making random aggressive motions towards us. Using tactics I learned during DT4EMS, I was able to talk him into letting us transport him. We kept at a safe distance, and I was aware of my body language. I listened to my gut, and asked for a deputy to ride with me in the ambulance. We all arrived at the hospital safely, and the patient ended up thanking us for respecting and protecting him.” – Olivia Kaufman

 “Truly a class everyone in public service needs to take. To see nothing but fact after fact showing EMS, fire, and ED staff are being attacked on a daily basis. This class proves that good customers service skills are paramount when it comes to staying safe on the job, but when those skills fail it shows you basic techniques that could mean the difference of going home at the end of your shift or going to the hospital. Truly an eye opening class. To see what we as healthcare providers have come to accept as “just part of the job” is sickening.” -Jason Gutierrez


“DT4EMS reduces risks across the board for all aspects of an EMS agency. It gives the tools to reduce risks of employee injury and time off. It reduces the risks of employees being in a position to be attacked, reduces the risk of injury in the event an employee is assaulted and reduces the risk of criminal and civil liability in the event an employee is forced to defend themselves.” –Josh Horning


“We have needed a course like this for a long time.  So often we are sent into scenes that we “think” might be safe and it turns out that we are walking into domestic fights, depression, or angry people.  Learning that we should be taught how to change our relationship from patient to aggressor will allow us to stay safe and healthy.  A lot of the focus from this class was customer service and treating people with care and compassion.  I for one am VERY excited that we are starting to make head-way to staff safe and become more aware of unsafe scenes.” –Scott Pelczar   


“Providing good customer service can de-escalate a tense situation/scene while poor customer service can invoke a violent scene. EVE explains that the 6 D’s – Drunk, Drugged, Diabetic, Deranged, Domestic and Desperate – can have aggressive patients. While you would handle a diabetic differently than a deranged person, EVE teaches safe (for the patient and the provider) defensive tactics that can be used to get out of potentially violent situations. There are different levels of responses based on how the patient/aggressor is acting and/or threatening you. It’s a fast paced, skill based class that is also a lot of fun.” –David Artificavitch