TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Paramedics can now be armed when responding to mass shootings or hostage standoffs.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially signed the controversial legislation into law, authorizing trained paramedics nad 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. They said that medics should not be left defenseless. They will only be armed during high-risk operations for defensive purposes.
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, fugitive refusing to surrender, and active shooter incidents.
The bill takes effect on July 1st.
This story was written in Orlando, Florida.