EMS educators have gathered on the Missouri Southern campus this week for a class designed to help them guide students through situations in which they may need to protect themselves and their patients.

Instructors from California, Minnesota, Arkansas and Missouri are participating in the Escaping Violent Encounters instructor course, which is geared toward those teaching in the emergency medical field.

EMS instructors practice skills they learned in the Escaping Violent Encounters class.

EMS instructors practice skills they learned in the Escaping Violent Encounters class.

“There are several studies out there that show 52 percent of EMTs report being assaulted on the job,” said Brett Peine, director of the EMS education department at Missouri Southern. “The number is actually much higher because not all of them report it. Health care workers are about 22 times more likely to be assaulted than a police officer or a prison guard.

“We’re one of only three schools in the country who have made this training mandatory in our initial education courses so that we’re not being assaulted, but also so we don’t inadvertently assault a patient.”

Peine said the training focuses not only on hands-on skills, but also the legal aspects of self-defense, the media and other real-world situations that may apply.

Kip Teitsort, founder of Defensive Tactics for EMS (DT4EMS), is attending the training sessions. A former paramedic and police officer, he created the program as a way for emergency medical professionals to learn recognition, avoidance, prevention and escape techniques where use of force is the last resort.

Since 1997, DT4EMS has trained thousands of EMTs, paramedics, nurses and firefighters across the country.