lionman - 12:09 am
Here's my question: What sort of liability is there for having people carry around a device that produces 50,000+ volts in an environment where we're supposed to turn off our cell-phones for fear of life-threatening interference?
It seems to be this illustrates the danger of proximity to other individuals when this sort of voltage is in use. What would have happened if the target had grabbed someone recovering from heart surgery? Stumbled into a patient room, or oxygen-rich environment?
It just seems like a non-leathal weapon that has lots of leathal potential in that environment. Again, just my opinion.
First of all, and pardon my French, FUCK LIABILITY. When you are playing with questions of life and death, and hospital security certainly is, you are playing for keeps. In Texas, that means armed. That means intermediate defensive weapons and appropriate training in their employment. Unarmed hospital security had better be backed up by a quick response from local police.
Taser is the gold standard for less lethal force. Taser was intended as a firearms alternative. Not as a no-thought compliance tool in place of effective assertion and other non-violent skills for obtaining compliance. Tasing someone holding a baby sinks to new lows of officer stupidity.
I know whereof I speak. In addition to teaching tactical skills at work, I have been Tased myself. While it sucks, it is infinitely preferable to being shot, which is supposed to be the alternative. For five seconds (your mileage may vary during "drive stun" mode), the subject is out of play and can be taken into custody, disarmed, handcuffed, etc.
Gunfire significantly disrupts the hospital environment, poses significant risks with any round that misses, damages people's hearing, and is nowhere near a guaranteed manstopper. Plus the odds of fatal injuries to target and others, and the risks of gun takeaways. All issues that can be addressed (and are) in competent police and security training.
Cell phones do not threaten people's lives by interfering with medical equipment, except possibly in an ICU or cardiac unit where there is a lot of wireless telemetry going on. They disrupt the hospital care environment and therefore need to not be used. This also frees doctors from the "you must answer your cell phone" phenomena, which is non trivial.
According to Taser International's clinical research study, the Taser is estimated to be one tenth the voltage necessary to theoretically affect the heart's natural pacemaker. Not stop, affect. Yes, you can get shocked by grabbing someone else. There's a tiny chance (on the OB ward!) that it could be a heart patient. If it has to happen, the middle of a hospital with crash carts and cardiologists around seems like the best possible place.
As for oxygen rich environment, there's no data to suggest that Tasing someone on medical oxygen or in a enriched O2 environment will start a fire. Not so with flammable liquids -- you can set someone on fire with a Taser if they thoughtfully soak themselves in alcohol or gasoline first.
As far as I know, there's been no studies on a Taser disrupting either navigational instruments in flight or medical instruments in a hospital. It'd be interesting to see what a heart monitor shows when someone is being Tased. Have to look that one up.
Stumble into a patient room? To be effective, the target needs to get hit with both darts. The odds of missing with both darts, and hitting a patient with both darts, are fairly low. If given the choice, I'd rather have someone Tased than shot regardless of their health condition.
> It just seems like a non-leathal weapon that has lots of leathal potential in that environment. Again, just my opinion
And a perfect example of what the Force Science Center calls "politician thinking."
The Taser is a lifesaving device. It is sad that certain police agencies are over-using it and will ultimately keep it out of the hands of people who can use it to save lives, including their own.