By News Staff
A measure making its way through the Florida Legislature would arm paramedics that would then join law-enforcement officers during “high-risk” operations.
SB 722, sponsored by Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, would allow paramedics and other EMS personnel to be armed before entering situations like hostage incidents, narcotics raids, sniper incidents and active shooter incidents, reports WWSB.
Hooper cites recent deadly active shooter incidents such as the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the mass shooting at a Fort Lauderdale airport as the reason for the proposal.
He refers to the EMS personnel who would be armed as “SWAT medics.” He notes that medics are right behind officers in high-risk situations “with every drug that can keep you alive if they survive, without having anything to defend themselves.”
The bill would require paramedics to obtain a concealed-weapons license and to complete LE-established training and deployment practices.
SB 722 has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee but must successfully clear two more committees.