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Jackson, MS City Councilman Kenneth Stokes…

… is an idiot.

Councilman Stokes is criticizing American Medical Response for not rushing into a shooting scene last Friday without police backup. The victim, Lee Joseph Martin, waited nearly 21 minutes before police arrived to secure the scene before AMR medics could enter.

Here’s a quote from Councilman Stokes on the subject:

“You have got to take the risk. You can’t let citizens die. Because if you are wounded, you say I’m not safe. Now if you can’t assume the risk then give it to the person who can assume the risk.”

Councilman, please try not to let your mind wander. It’s much too small and frail to be out on its own. I have worked for AMR, and believe me, there are plenty of AMR policies ripe for criticism.

But this ain’t one of them.

Instead of grandstanding for your constituents and holding press conferences where you can shoot your mouth off about things you know nothing about, why not use your position to push for something that might have made a difference in this case – like more cops on the streets?

Because you know, if I were one of your constituents, I’d be monumentally pissed that it took twenty-three freakin’ minutes to get a cop to a shooting scene.

Carry your guns, Jacksonians. Remember, when seconds count, the cops are only 23 minutes away!

I wonder, Councilman Stokes, if you got your way and the city opened bids for an EMS service to replace AMR, how are you going to advertise it?

Wanted, energetic young paramedics willing to sacrifice their own personal safety on a daily basis, and able to provide expert medical care under fire. Previous combat medic experience a plus, but not required. Must be willing to work under fire for up to half an hour without police backup. Physical requirements include running, lifting, and ducking a lot. Bravery is desired, but recklessness and stupidity are better. Benefits include free funeral services, salary starts at $15/hour, body armor not included.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Comments - Add Yours

  • Smackerman1907

    Rediculous, absolutely rediculous. This just shows that intellignece, common sense, and intiative to do research, hell, just LISTENING to your advisors is absolutely absent in politics. I wished that this type of ignorance was only found in larger state and federal politics, but its obviously not, and is spreading with increasing speed and fervor.

    Not to mention that most, if not all, police agencies have POLICIES, RULES, AND REGULATIONS, often times created by the city/town/county/state in which they preside in, specifically detailing EMS and fire to NOT get involved until the scene is secured by THEM.

    If this councilmen really wants this, then the ONLY effective system of fulfilling his wants is too establish a standing army in every place serviced by fire and EMS…..Yea, good luck with that one. The only way to do that is you’ll HAVE to institute a system of soldiers living within peoples home. Quick history lesson: Anyone know who did that last and what happened?

    Oh, Oh, I do, its called the conditions of the colonies immediately prior to the AMERICAN REVOLUTION. And I know that this was a random rant on the subject and taking things a bit extreme, but then again, when someone hears THIS crap, and immediately thinks that, it’s not good. For the standing Government at the time I mean.


  • Anonymous

    Idiot is to kind of word.
    23 minutes for police response.
    That is worrisome.
    But not uncommmon.
    Would he have rushed in?
    Possibly, and then two victims?

  • Greg Clopp

    I’d really like to go off on a tirade, but Smackerman took care of it for me.
    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! to Councilman Stokes.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t even have to guess what ethnicity he is… If I were the AMR leadership, I’d be pushing back asking why it was a 23 minute response, when they were there in X minutes… Active shooter is NOT the time to try to wade into the middle of the gunfight, you become the target then; remember the Liberty City riots in Miami?

    • Sandro Rettinger

      Stupid is an ethnicity? I’m confused.

  • Sewmouse

    Calling Councilman Stokes an idiot is an insult to idiots everywhere.

    It is my understanding that POLICE are supposed to risk their lives against criminals, FIREFIGHTERS are supposed to risk their lives against fires (duh) and kitteh’s stuck in trees, and AMBULANCEMEN/WOMEN are supposed to patch up everybody’s happy ass if someone gets hurt/sick. Except the kitteh.

    • Sandro Rettinger

      I’ll even patch up the kitteh.

      “Pt is a 7 year old male weighing ~3 kilos. Pt states ‘Meow, meow meow, mew’. Pt claims no allergies, no current medications. Past medical Hx includes healed lac to left ear. Last oral intake appears to have been a mouse.”

    • Sandro Rettinger

      I’ll even patch up the kitteh.

      “Pt is a 7 year old male weighing ~3 kilos. Pt states ‘Meow, meow meow, mew’. Pt claims no allergies, no current medications. Past medical Hx includes healed lac to left ear. Last oral intake appears to have been a mouse.”

  • donna

    Someone in Mississippi needs to foward this to the idiot Stokes so he can see just how stupid he is and how stupid his way of thinking is…..what a moroon he is


    This seems to be a PD issue not an EMS issue. None of us were there so we dont know what actually happened. I know where i work in brooklyn NYC, a shooting job is a high priority job and would most often have an ambulance on scene or near-bye within about 4 minutes, depending on the safety of the scene. This politician should look at one of the first chapters of any EMT or Medic textbook and see scene safety superceeds everything else. I dont know what the PD issue was, was the shooting active?, was there a delay in police response?. I will respond to the shooting scene ( vicinity ) and then make contact with a police officer on the perimeter to find out #1 the safety factor, #2 is someone actually shot. If #1 has been satisisfied i will make entry to the area. In most areas a EMS boss will respond to this type of call so i really doubt the crew was skelling.

  • Bob S.

    23 Minutes? Heck, Councilman Stokes should have been called and able to respond in that time. A point for the AMR crews to remember next time….maybe they would see if Mr. Stokes really wants to serve the city or not.

  • Guest

    Went in to a house one time before the SO got there. It was a possible suicide and the persons father was on scene with him. We were told the ETA of the officer was about 15 min. so we made the decision to go in. Not a smart decision really but, under the circumstances at that time we felt it was safe for us to enter. Got a lot of flak for it but under certain circumstances I would do it again but I would NEVER tell anyone else to do it. It was a fruitless effort and a not so smart decision at the time, a lot of things could have happened and we were lucky. Now that was my circumstance. I am sorry there is no other way to say this, that councilman is a freaking idiot. Seems to me like the blame is being passed to AMR to get the heat off the city or himself. Like some other politicians they run their mouth before they know the truth or the facts.

  • Maynardl

    mayb the councilman should go get his medic license. It’s obvious he doesn’t have a family to go home to or small children that need a dad, so Mr. Councilman go ahead go in without a gun and police backup an i will still be around to count the people who show up at your funeral and say what a dumb*** you were!


    A medic who will not go into an unsecured scene!

  • Frozenokiewi

    What an Idiot…as an EMT… NUMBER ONE RULE ABOVE ALL ELSE!!!! Is the scene safe? I would say…NO….guess what? no EMS until law enforcement says its safe…get it? Enter the scene and end up with three patients rather than one. Brilliant! and how did this knob get elected?

  • Chris

    Dear Councilman Stokes,

    I believe, if you have read the post and subsequent comments, you will see that we medics are not to happy with your rhetoric. As a paramedic that has been involved with many shootings, stabbings and other assaults, including one involving a large fish (that’s a story in itself), I have come to learn some very important lessons about life.

    First and foremost in this type of situation, I always feel it necessary to ask, why was this person shot and where is the person that pulled the trigger?

    While there are any number of reasons that you may or may not agree with, I can assure you that, at the time, the individual that pulled the trigger had clarity in their mind that 1. they were feeling threatened or as if they had been somehow wronged by the other, 2. they had thought the process through and convicted the other, pronouncing a sentence of “I’m going to shoot your a$$”, 3. they have the necessary equipment to complete the task, and 4. sentence has been carried out. Often, and I think this is the part you are missing, there is a #5, which is: “I intended for you to die as a result of my actions, if anyone tries to delay or stop that, I will kill them too.”

    Paramedics are not law enforcement officers Mr. Stokes. One of the services I worked for provided one, o-n-e, in-service on self-defense in over ten years, it was two hours long and in the garage. The policies clearly stated “at no time will any employee knowingly place themselves, other employees or any other person at risk of injury” and “prior to arrival at any scene determined to be hostile in nature, appropriate law enforcement personnel must be on scene and in control.” The reasons for these two particular policies are quite clear Mr. Stokes. We, as paramedics (EMT’s, nurses, doctors), cannot provide proper care to our patients if we ourselves have been injured and/or killed. Most responders are not issued bulletproof vests, and even if we were, we would be remiss if we wanted to test its ability to actually work.

    I sympathize with you that an individual was injured or possibly killed as a result of this situation, however, the paramedics did not cause this event to take place. As I have told my peers for many years, 90% of the people we encounter deserve to be in the situation they are in through choices they have made. I would be happy to debate that statement if you wish.

    As for you councilman, I believe if you bear down hard enough, the large sphincter muscle that is around your neck may open enough for you to see daylight again.

    The guy that may one day be called to save your life.

  • njgarrell

    IF they want us to go into unsecure scenes then they should issue us guns to defend ourselves.

  • Sandro Rettinger

    Kinda sounds like fun to me, but I know that’s just the Id speaking. :)

  • Fire Mike

    I’ve been a LEO, a medic and a firefighter and have served as part of a TEMS squad. Even as a tactical medic I would not go in without proper backup (i.e. law enforcement), armed and in body armor. Jackson, Mississippi has a history of serious issues in government and this is simply another.

    Not all medics are great medics but each of us serves to save lives and we rarely receive the respect of our politicians (I’ve worked for and with good and bad on both coasts). Most of them are not worth talking with. If you are surrounded by such then find the one or two who get it and work with them to improve your lot and get the word out about what we can…and can’t…do.

    Keep it safe… EGH.

  • Seamist4less

    Greetings Mr. Stokes,
    As a long standing member of the EMS community, I feel as though I may speak for my brothers and sisters when I invite you to pull your bottom lip up over your forehead and SWALLOW. Our profession is FULL of inherent danger without adding anymore by senseless and STUPID acts such as bringing an AMBUBAG and some gauze to an active gunfight. By all means, feel free to “show us the way”. WE will elect another talking head, just like you, in a matter of days. The smart ones will still be here, picking up the pieces of folks just like you, long after the pidgeons have decorated your headstone with the same substance that you spew to the media.
    With All Due Respect,
    The Men and Women who prefer to give to a world that otherwise takes.

  • swimdawg

    I seem to remember… maybe it’s only done in Massachusetts, but at the state practical exam for each of the skill stations, you are required to say ( as in you FAIL if its omitted) SCENE SAFETY…BSI then you proceed with whatever skill they are testing. I’d be ripped about the 23 minute response time as well, but not at the EMS crew.

  • Themarsh60

    All these comments are well and good – liked yours especially, Chris – but these need to be directed to Councilman Stokes himself. Otherwise we have a case of preaching to the choir. Ignorant politicians are a constant threat to our industry, and when egregious errors such as this occur, they need to be corrected at the source.

    So, does the writer of this blog, or anyone at all, have the contact information for Mr. Stokes’s office? Even an email address would do. Letters and comments need to be directed at him, not in response to a blog we all agree with.

  • Tim D

    You forgot to put a line in your advertisement:

    Carrying a firearm while on duty is strictly prohibited.

    -Tim D

  • Tim D

    You forgot to put a line in your advertisement:

    Carrying a firearm while on duty is strictly prohibited.

    -Tim D

  • Ar_Medic

    Dear Mr Stokes,

    I wont even honor you with the position of councilman simply due to the fact that your intellect doesnt deserve it. You seriously wish for the death of an EMS professional due to the cities lack of police personnel? So instead you blame the EMS to cover up you and your council members inadequat ability to effectively manage a city by not having enough police officers on the street. As stated by my colleagues below, we are not paid to run into a highly dangerous and volitile situation. We are about saving lives, not creating more injuries and deaths for our other colleagues to have to put their lives in jeopardy for. We cant save lives when were standing in front of the Almighty. Plain and simple, put more officers on the payroll. If you cant afford it maybe you should drop some of your luxuries to do so. Better yet, next time the situation arises why dont you run into the scene to remove the patient to a safe place for the EMT’s and Paramedics to work on them. Why dont you go sit in on an EMT or Paramedic class and see what they are taught and maybe observe what they do so you can understand what they do so that next time you decide to publicly critisize them you can at least have a 10% idea of what your talking about. As a Paramedic of 10 years and an ex Police Officer of 5 years I know ill never go into an unsafe scene as a Paramedic unless the life of a child is at stake. Other than that, an adult has usually made the choices and decisions in their life to put them in the position they are in and I will do EVERYTHING in my power to save them, but at the end of my shift Im going home. I have that right and priveledge the same as you.

  • Jay G.

    I think you’re looking at this the wrong way, AD. Rather than lambasting Stokes, use this to your own means.

    Militarize EMS! Hey, if the cops can have full-auto rifles and short-barreled shotguns, why not the EMTs? If yutzes like Stokes think that EMTs ought to charge into active shooter scenarios, well then, why not get the same cool SWAT rigs that all the wanna-bes have?

    (Yes, I’m being sarcastic. It’s the only way to deal with window-lickers like Stokes who stand over the bodies of victims and use their blood for their own self-aggrandizement…)

    • Rogue Medic

      Since, only a complete imbecile would suggest going into a shooting scene unarmed. We will arm ourselves. I want hand grenades and air support, but not in that order.

      If we call in some Napalm from the air, lob a few grenades through the door, then enter the scene, there will not be too much of a problem with unnecessary calls for an ambulance. Yeah! That’s the ticket.

  • Emt381

    I somehow get the feeling that had the medics gone in and been killed themselves, Idiot Stokes would be leading the charge in denying their families death benefits for breaking protocol.

  • Kevin F Carey, EMT-P, FF, EMSI

    I’d tell the councilman to go #$%& himself and hire more cops to insure a rapid efficient response by police to secure the scene.

  • JimSelf

    He knows not what he say…he knows not what he say!


    Councilman, I’ve got a suggestion for you. Why don’t you acquire a police radio and when police can’t arrive on scene within a timely manner you can, as a leader of your city, run in and pull the victim(s) to an ambulance waiting a safe distance away… However, we expect you to do this with no body armor, backup or weapon since you seem to think the medics should have done in this case. Truly a shame that someone in your position doesn’t even seem to know proper protocol when it comes to protecting your own community. What more important services than police, fire and EMS does ANY city provide? None. And you don’t even know how they operate. You should be fired, a$$hole!

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  • Indiana_EMT

    That is the dumbest comment I have ever heard. “Lets sell it on ebay.” A friend of mine said this about old wall paper and still this guys comments are dumber. If you gave me a vest and a gun to defend myself, MAYBE I would go treat them but, till then. This is one councilman thats not getting my vote.

  • Mitch

    The person was already down , I plan on going home to my family. I am a Volunteer Fire Fighter / First Responder , if you give us authority to police the situation and arm us with weapons I am with you, but that is not our job. We get called to a scene , if we put ourselves at risk and we get shot ,stabbed ,etc,then they have to send someone for us, I plan on going home home after its over. This is an idiotic subject !!!!!!

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  • Henry Bowman

    Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.
    —Pony Express recruiting advertisement

  • Kfoloughlinsr

    Dear Councilmen Stokes, it is obvious by your comments that have no clue of EMS operates, we are not paid to jeopardize our own safety, that is not just and AMR Policy that is all EMS Responders nationwide, by responding into an unsecure environment you not only have the one patient, but you now have given the shooter the possibility of adding two more victims to their list. I think before you run your mouth you should spend a few days and nights riding along and see the dangers we encounter everyday and why we do stage prior to entering a dangerous scene. May you should be asking yourself why didn’t your fire department enter the scene, or if your officers were so delayed, where was the sheriffs dept or the state troopers. Get clue idiots like you; get people like us killed or hurt. We all place our lives on the line everyday, but I am not going to intentionally go out of my way to place a crewmember or myself in danger to appease an moron like you.

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    Me thinks the councilman’s been inhaling to many toxins that have clouded his mind and left him in a very bad stupor called stupidity. Response time by cops is terrible to a shooting because it’s John Q. citizen, on the other hand if it was a cop needing help they would be thicker than fleas on a dog within just a very few minutes. But, Councilman don’t criticize the EMS for being late when the cops are supposed to SECURE the area, since the cops are ARMED and the EMS aren’t. DUH!

  • Lisa

    well said…:)

  • Burnedoutmedic

    if i write “fuck this stupid asshole,” would it get approved for posting?

  • DR

    This reeks of dirty IAFF politics. I would bet my bottom dollar that Big Union has a little bug in Stokes’ ear.

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  • Mike

    and I thought we had some jerks on our city council.

  • Outraged former medic

    Why isn’t somebody in Jackson leading a recall campaign? This moron is an ELECTED official! Un-elect him folks, he is the worse kind of politician, ignorant and uninformed. Get him outta there before his big mouth and ignorant actions get somebody killed!!!

    • Lhathorn1

      His Ward is full of “voters” who are just as ignorant and entitled and fat as he is. Good luck getting him recalled. They love him because he brangses home the bacons.

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  • The old grouch

    Dear Mr. Stokes,

    You look like a large man in the city website offical photo. Perhaps you might like to provide your services as a human shield for the EMS responders. Let you run in to the still unsecred scene of violent crime and take the first few bullets from the still on scene offender while EMS tends the the citizen that is hurt.
    I’m sure that the police will take over for you as soon as they arrive and secure the offender. And if things go bad for you ………………..Well I’m sure that you will be remembered as a hero!

    Sir, The EMS job is to provide care to the sick and injured, not to run in and become another casualty. With citizens already hurt what good does it do to have the EMS responders also rush in and become more casultys that then have to be cared for. Let EMS do their job safely after the Police officers have done their job and made the area safe for all involved.

    Such coments as wanting EMS to rush in to a unsecured scene are not what I would expect from a man in your position and of your education. As a lawyer educated at one of the finest schools in the country I am suprised that you were never taught critical thinking there.

  • Carolyne Moss

    Dear Mr Stokes, I would love to discuss a matter with you that I think will help the kids of Jackson. I am sure that the information I have will save the lives of thousands of children. You can contact me at