I have a question for all. Are there any legal ramification by having a paramedic rocker on a fire helmet? We are small department that does fire rescue and every once and a while a ambulance assistance call. It has come into question if we are false advertising because we don't carry paramedic supplies but we do have 2 medics and several EMT's.
As for "legal ramification" for false advertisement, tough to say, I doubt it. However, what does matter is the EMS level at which the actual department carries. If the dept runs ALS, then there would be no issue. However, if the dept is only certified to that of EMT-Basic or even First Responder, then you are limited to providing only that level of care, regardless of what your own, personal certification level may be.
So if you are licensed as a paramedic with another service, you operate under that services licensure when working for them. If you happen to volunteer with a fire dept that is certified to the First Responder level, then you are limited to only that certification level, since you acting in that dept's capacity. There can be legal ramifications if you are performing medical skills that are beyond the scope of practice for the service, even if you are licensed higher elsewhere.
Don't do any "advertising" unless your department has the certifications proving that you can practice as a paramedic or EMT. It's perfectly fine if you have the ambulances stocked and ready with everything your state requires, but if you don't, don't put the "advertisement" on your gear or helmet. I would say don't put anything with your license level on it. Its not illegal, but if you are questioning it your best bet is to not do the "advertising" and leave it off. From personal experience, my department is stocked, equipped and certified to the National Registry BLS, EMT-B and EMR levels, the two paramedics we have on our department can only practice to the EMT-B level, even though they are paramedics to our jurisdiction they are just EMT-Bs. Most of us just do the Star of life, who are EMT-B or EMR certified on the side of the helmet if they are the turtle dome metro style or for the three of us with traditional style helmets we have the star of life tetrahedrons towards the back of our helmets.
I have to agree that it's okay to put what your level of certification is on your lid, but if you can't provide that level of care you're putting yourself out on a ledge. Best to be more than honest - be accurate.
Wear what ever you want. Just because your on a BLS piece doesn't mean your skills has a medic fall out of your head. That would mean that if a Dr. pulls up on a scene while driving home with just a stethascope, then he isn't a Dr.
If someone ask just tell them you are a medic but your on a BLS Engine or sqd etc.
Myself I don't have anything on my helmet or uniform that says I am a medic. I know I am a medic, the guys on my Engine know I am a medic, when I pull out the ALS equepment the people know I am a medic. I was thinking about putting a Pastry Chef sticker on my helmet. No!, Wait......." This Space For Rent." Holy Sheep Sh**! I can make a fortune!!
Disclaimer: My Class B uniform Does have a patch that shows I am a medic. We hardly ever wear them.
I wanted to put DILIGAF on my helmet. For some reason, the department kinda frowned on the idea.
We don't allow anything on our helmets other than the tetrahedrons. We run MICU ambulances, and routinely have pumper assistance. Most people including the media thinks that all firefighters are Paramedics anyway.
While it may not be "false advertising", having such rockers on a helmet could cause the department to come under scrutiny if someone sees a paramedic not providing paramedic skills when on scene before the ambulance arrives.
I was thinking earlier about what 55 Truck wrote and I realized many guys put paramedic stickers on their personal vehicles. They are stating that they are certified to that level but are most likely not carrying an ALS kit with them. I guess there's not much difference. We discussed the issue years ago about the possibility of running into a situation in public in which your sticker on your POV is seen by someone but you're not providing any care. I haven't had a sticker on my personal vehicle in years. One of our guys recently used the only tools he had that day, his hands, to do chest compressions on an unresponsive, pulseless patient he happened upon while off duty. He saved the guy. We are proud of him!
We discussed the issue years ago about the possibility of running into a situation in public in which your sticker on your POV is seen by someone but you're not providing any care
Just because one may have EMT, paramedic, or even FF "advertised" in some way shape or form on their POV, it doesn't mean they are required to stop and render care, etc. For one there is the possibility the person driving the vehicle is another family member or a person not trained to the level of "advertisement". There is the fact the person may have had a couple drinks and while perhaps below the legal limit for a DUI, shouldn't be rendering care.
The other aspect is the coverage and licensure parameters. If one is certified to a certain medical licensure, they are covered only if under work conditions. If they are outside of work, then they are not operating in the capacity of their licensure. For instance, as a paramedic, I can only do medic skills while I'm on duty at work. If I were to come across a scene and decide to stop and render aid (my personal choice, no requirement involved) then I'm limited to practicing in the role of essentially First Aid/CPR and would fall under Good Samaritan. If however, I am rendering aid at a scene and it is my dept that is responding, I would back off and let my co-workers take over. If they needed me as an extra person at THAT point, I would be ordered in to work and thus fall under the licensure of the service. (I would also now be getting OT).
In the realm of a volunteer dept, essentially it is the same thing. If one is responding in their POV to a call, for their affiliated service, then they are covered by the service and operating within that services licensure. If they happen to come across a scene and decide to render aid, they fall under Good Samaritan and they only time they can perform to their skill level is if they are in the jursidiction of their service and are put on the call.
Bottom line is that when it comes to a POV, a T-shirt, or what have you, there is no requirement that says one HAS to provide care if coming across a scene. If they do decide to, then they are acting in the capacity of a Good Samaritan and would be covered as long as they don't try to perfrom skills outside basic First Aid/CPR. If they decide to keep on moving past the scene, then that is their right and can't be held responsible for not stopping.
In South Africa you my only wear or dress in uniform that show your qualification. The public expect the service of the qualification you wearing. In South Africa you could be jailed for impersonating somebody you not.
My fire department does not do any EMS calls. That being said those of us that have some type of EMS cert do have a star of life on one of the rear tetrahedron of our helmet. The only reason for that is in case one of our guys gets hurt any of the officers can see who would be the best person is to send that person to. We do carry a small BLS bag for our minor injuries so that the ambulance (if any) on the call can stay available.
Personally the only time I wear something with my cert level on it is when I am working at the EMS job. Its basically a personal choice but there isnt a blue light, bumper sticker or license plate on my vehicle that says Im a firefighter or emt.
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