Violent Suspect Training Increasing For Tulsa Firefighters
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa firefighters corralled a violent suspect after responding to a non-emergency call to assist an EMSA crew treating two patients.
It started pretty tame, but, everything changed when the suspect who assaulted those patients returned to the scene in a fighting mood.
Firefighters aren't trained to fight like police officers and don't carry pepper spray or Tasers, but in this case, it didn't matter as one of the firefighters is an Mixed Martial Arts champion and the other has a black belt in Karate.
Firefighters are trained to deal with all kinds of danger, but recently a medical call turned out to be dangerous in a way they aren't typically trained for.
A couple in their 70s was beaten up; they said their son did it.
"Their noses were broken, eyes swollen, blood all over their faces, faces swollen, both were in C collars because they were laying in the floor when they were found," said Clay Marrs with the Tulsa Fire Department.
Marrs said the son, Kevin Rash returned, emotional, and demanding to see his parents. He blocked the stretcher with his vehicle and ignored the three firefighters when they blocked him from getting to the ambulance.
"That's when he turned on me, hands up and said ‘you want to fight right now?' He's within two feet of me. I got my hands up, ready for a fight, cause I thought, it's gonna go down and I told him to his face, looked him in the eye and said, ‘you don't want to fight me,'" said Marrs.
Marrs is a former champion MMA fighter. He has a number of victories under his belt and now trains others. Plus, his captain at the scene, Tim Holt, is a black belt in karate.
While Marrs got ready to fight, the third man on the team, Tyler Broughton, got behind Rash and all three kept him from hurting anyone else until an officer arrived.
"It was the perfect scenario where we didn't have to lay a finger on him, but we were prepared if we had to," Holt said.
Firefighters are encountering violent bystanders, family members and even patients, more often. It's so bad, Marrs got permission to start teaching firefighters how to subdue and restrain people until officers arrive.
"Our crews on the Tulsa Fire Department deal with this all the time," said Marrs.
He said 80 percent of all firefighters are assaulted at some point in their career and he hopes the classes will teach firefighters how to protect themselves and others.
Rash, is in jail for assault and battery and driving drunk.