Kip is the creator and head instructor of DT4EMS. During Kip’s career, he has had the opportunity to be a paramedic, a police officer, and an instructor for both. Kip is also a husband, father, and life-long student of multiple martial arts.
Read about Kip’s Journey from physical to philosophical and the reasons behind why he trains staff the way he does here.
My career in EMS started in 1990 in Florida, and I later moved to Missouri to become a police officer, and finally settled in Georgia.
I have been personally touched by violence perpetrated upon EMS and Healthcare providers and my desire to do something about it as impassioned me to take on the enormous task of changing the culture in healthcare that being assaulted “is just part of the job.”
At first, people I worked with (in EMS), knowing I was a police officer and involved in martial arts, would ask me what to do if they were in a given situation to protect them. I started giving informal advice, mostly centered on actual physical self-defense. After doing this several times, I noticed healthcare providers being attacked was a largely unspoken and ignored part of the job. But the same was not true of police officers. Everyone has heard of the fall out of attacking a law enforcement officer. It became obvious that if anything was going to change for healthcare, I would have to be the one to do it.
As I pondered how to go about changing the culture of “just part of the job” I began to carry out research on the topic of violence against healthcare providers. This expanded into not only physical acts, but the legality of how people who were expected to act in dangerous situations could act in self-defense.
So with my background as a guy in the trench with healthcare and law enforcement, as well as being an instructor for both, I put together the DT4EMS course, which is even accepted as continuing education credit for EMS providers. When I started, I could not imagine just what I had gotten into. I began traveling the country teaching the course, and hearing the same stories everywhere I went. The demand for the course grew to the point I had to train instructors coast to coast and now possibly internationally as violence against healthcare providers increases around the world.
From being just a friend and coworker wanting to help, I have become the expert on the subject matter. My goal is to help providers create a culture of safety. I hope to teach them how to position themselves to avoid a dangerous situation. Educate everyone on the difference between a patient and an attacker, to understand the legal implications of their actions, and have simple, easy to remember techniques, which anyone, regardless of size or training, can use to escape a violent encounter to go home safe to their friends and family at the end of the day.