Dear Mr. xxx,
As the Manager for the Regulation and Compliance Division for the Office of Emergency Medical Services, Mr. Brown has asked that I reply to your inquiry. Your question concerns the ability for EMS providers to be able to carry weapons during the course of their duties, especially while on an ambulance or responding to a request for assistance.
When the current version of the EMS Regulations were being promulgated (January 15, 2003), there was indeed a proposed regulation disallowing the carrying of weapons by EMS personnel on an ambulance. There was a mounted campaign against such a proposal and indeed the proposed regulation was withdrawn. Unfortunately, in another section of the regulations, specifically, 12 VAC 5-31- 700 EMS Safety (6) in part states, "Possession of a firearm, weapon, or explosive or incendiary device on any EMS vehicle is prohibited, excepts This was to have been removed during the revision process and simply was an oversight. We have administratively directed our field staff to not enforce this specific provision of the regulations.
I hope this answers your questions and addresses your concerns. Please feel free to call on me should we be of any additional assistance.
Michael D. Berg
Manager, Regulation and Compliance
Virginia Office of EMS
109 Governor Street, Suite UB-55
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(800)523-6019 (Virginia only)