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New Fla. Bill Allows Medics to Be Armed in High-Risk Scenarios

Sun Sentinel

Paramedics can now be armed when responding to mass shootings or hostage standoffs.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday championed by Broward law enforcement agencies that authorizes trained paramedics and physicians attached to a SWAT team to carry a firearm during high-risk operations.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office, along with the Broward County Chiefs of Police Association, supported the bill. Supporters said medics shouldn’t be left defenseless.

Medics would be armed only during high-risk operations for defensive purposes only, law enforcement groups said.

The bill expressly authorizes agencies to have armed medics for hostage incidents, narcotics raids, hazardous surveillance, sniper incidents, armed suicidal persons, barricaded suspects, high-risk felony warrant service, fugitives refusing to surrender, and active shooter incidents.

The bill takes effect July 1.

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