Scene Safety Resources

Effective November 7, 2017, staging will be eliminated for EMS calls in Saratoga County.  Click here for the revised policy on staging.

Research in 2014 showed an estimated 2,600 EMS workers were hospitalized due to injuries sustained from work-related violence, the highest number since the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) started keeping track in 2008. Unfortunately, there is a lack of training in most departments on how first responders can prevent or should handle a violent attack. When training personnel on hazards they may face on a medical call, departments should include a section of training on scene safety, situational awareness, self-defense and use of force. A December 2017 analysis of research on violence against EMS providers confirmed that additional research is needed.

The Firefighters Support Foundation video training “Self-Defense for Firefighters and EMTs” is available for free through The program has a 90-minute video and 70 PowerPoint slides that can be used for group training or individual review.

Another course available through NIOSH was developed for nurses but targets all healthcare workers, teaching communication and teamwork skills to prevent violence, a skill that can be used in EMS settings just as effectively. This is also a free course.

The U.S. Fire Administration discusses the repercussions of this research, including how important proper collection methods are when reporting violence against EMS workers. It is crucial that violence against all first responders is properly reported. There are also passive prevention methods that are effective overseas that are easy to introduce. In June 2017, the USFA released a book on Mitigation of Occupational Violence to Firefighters and EMS Responders.

A training company in New York State that offers courses and workshops on situational awareness and safely addressing violent encounters is Protective Consulting Solutions (PCS). They have conducted courses throughout the U.S., at conferences in N.Y. and for several fire and EMS departments in Saratoga County.