"The policy that *uniformed* EMS is not allowed on the scene until "released" by the police is a recipe for ongoing loss of life at every big scene."
True. Dead medics help no one, however, and trained medics and their ambulances are vital to saving lives in the aftermath of an incident. Worse than that: a downed emergency services worker will usually tie up more medics, resources, etc. than a downed civilian.
>> .. to allow and train the *uniformed* EMS people to work in the middle of a high risk scene . . .
This is Tactical EMS, the idea that we should train and equip medics to work in the hot zone. These medics wear black uniforms and heavy body armor, carry handguns, and operate as part of SWAT and under the direction of the SWAT team commander / Incident Command to provide immediate EMS support to downed SWAT officers first, hostages second, and downed shooters a distant fourth. They are then indistinguishable from police, both in mission and in operational control.
Another post-Columbine innovation, I might add.
>> . . .from the Geneva rules of war:
Neither active shooters nor terrorists follow Geneva protocols. Otherwise they would not be murdering unarmed people and planting bombs.
>> 1. EMS uniforms .. Bright orange/yellow/white with red cross markers on all sides.
The EMS people have a sigil, the Star of Life, which is prominently displayed on everything. (Red Cross whines when you use their copyrighted icon off the battlefield.) Typical is blue jumpsuits with reflectorized markings and a large label on the back "EMT" "PARAMEDIC" etc. Some areas use badges to show an EMT's authority and immunity from interference and assault -- as with firefighters not in turnout gear, this can cause confusion with police.
>> 2. Police/army is banned from disguising themselves as EMS personel, hiding in ambulances etc., thus assuring the enemy that they can trust the EMS people not to fight them.
Due to the close cooperation between police, fire and EMS, few people on the street really believe this to be true. There is considerable ignorance on the difference, especially among the poor and the criminal population. Mandatory reporting laws which make fire and medics the tools of law enforcement, especially in domestic violence situations, also increase the risks for EMS providers.
Army hiding in ambulances IS a violation of the laws of war justifying reprisal. I am not aware of any undercover operations by police which have used EMS as a cover; this sort of false-flagging is ethically sketchy and a one trick pony at best.
>> 3. EMS personnel is obliged to help the bad guys on equal terms with any other wounded person
No. Simply not going to happen. If a wounded bad guy wants to be treated, he can throw down arms and surrender peacefully without incident. He is not a privileged combatant, he is a criminal and therefore enemy of society.
Even on the battlefield, where there is a formal expectation that EPWs and your own soldiers will be treated in lifesaving order, the EPW must lay down arms to gain this protection or clearly be hors de combat and therefore helpless.
A downed shooter must be controlled before EMS can approach to treat. Even then, the priority is lifesaving as above: 1st, 2nd, 4th. A downed shooter may be carrying grenades, IEDs or a concealed firearm or knife to take one last person down with them.
>> increasing the survival rate of gunshot victims in Bad-on-Bad shootouts.
Ordinary criminals would never, ever shoot at firefighters or EMS personnel. A junkie might break into an ambulance to steal drugs, or a really motivated angry crowd might try to flip over a fire truck during a riot, but that's about it.
For one thing, the criminals are vaguely aware that the medics will try to save their lives too -- in fact, there's a feeling of entitlement which is amazing to see in action. Second, injuring a firefighter or medic is a really great way to get the *@&!$# beaten out of you in a brightly lit alley with dozens of cops and firefighters and medics watching who will say nothing, then or later. It's not right or legal, it's just how things are done.
Active shooters are not criminals in the strictest sense. They're severely mentally ill and few of them survive to capture, many killing themselves to avoid this.
A meta-point: evil exists, and there are deranged people out there in every walk of life who will hurt people and break things for personal gain, or merely because they can. The security profession is about trying to prevent and mitigate these losses. The emergency services are about maintaining and restoring order in society -- while they can save lives, and do, their function is not strictly lifesaving but public order.