Got your attention? Good. I witnessed something we all do our best to avoid and need to pass it along.
It is said that police officers should not wear neck ties so that if a suspect gets rough they don’t automatically have something to grab onto. Makes perfect sense to me. We don’t wear ties day to day so I never gave it much thought until today.
When encountering a person having an undisclosed medical complaint got disagreeable, we did our best to stay at safe distance, then make sure the person didn’t hurt themselves. When that plan didn’t work we did our best to control the erratic movements using our brute strength.
Again, not working. When we made the last ditch decision to use force to protect the person and ourselves, not to mention the growing crowd not listening to our commands to step back, we had a plan and stuck to it.
The next thing I know we have one arm down, the hips more or less still, the legs are rough but under control and one of the persons in charge of the other arm is fumbling with his coat.
We all have the neat radio mics that have fancy, easy to grab cables running from the radio to the mic. Many folks even go so far as to put it on their epaulettes. I clip mine to the inside of my collar so I can hear it. Clipping it to my shoulder or to my chest as some new shirts are doing doesn’t help me hear the radio, but it sure makes it easy for a combative person to grab. And this person has his radio mic.
It’s keyed open and the whole Department is listening to our struggle when she finally lets go of the mic. only to grab onto something else.
This image is a perfect representation of the item she grabbed onto. The item is great to pull the mic to your mouth to speak but still doesn’t solve the problem of the speaker being nowhere near your ear when you need to hear it.
The person’s hand is wrapped tightly around the clip that is attached to the retractable cord. They pull it out, then swing. It is now a weapon. Not just the fist, but now this narrow cable flying through our treatment area.
I thought maybe this was just fire folks that this may happen to, but if you wear those kinds of radios with the mics on a rope, it needs to be behind your back, not infront.
It took 3 people to break the person’s grip on this equipment, there was too much tension to get it off his coat.
In the end, it is still a neat piece of equipment. Not one I’ll use on the fireground, but sure as heck want one for my SCUBA gear.
Just a reminder to be mindful of what is on your person and how it may be grabbed if things get crazy.