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Clark County EMS Department Allowed To Conceal And Carry

After completing training, some Emergency Medical Services personnel in Clark County are carrying concealed guns for self-defense, but not all law local law enforcement is behind the idea.

Bethel Township EMS crew were granted permission by township trustees to carry concealed weapons nearly one year ago, citing increasing violence against firefighters and EMS first-responders around the country.

Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly says that armed EMS personnel just puts more guns into potentially dangerous situations.

"There is not a shift hardly that goes by where we don't have reports of shots fired.  And the paramedics are going out on these same calls and they're dealing with people who are emotional, many times intoxicated, under the influence. I think this is going to be a big challenge for us," Kelly said.

Kelly says that his deputies will always make sure an emergency scene is secure before allowing EMS crews to start working. And he doesn't see any scenario that would involve paramedics or firefighters engaging an armed person.

"In most cases where we have a situation where the person is armed and threatening suicide or something like the incident there in Yellow Springs, we would have paramedics staged. They would not be actively engaged in any kind of a gun battle or anything like that," Kelly said.

Bethel Township's policy states that any weapons carried by EMS personnel must be concealed and those EMS personnel must be licensed and get approval from trustees to carry a gun.

EMS in Bethel Township are not required to carry a weapon, and can work with a crew that is gun free.