Firemen Going to Medical Calls that are not Medically Trained!

On my department a lot of our calls are medical calls and we've got 15-20 fireman that are medical trained for this reason and the ambulance will call use when they need assistance. But we get quite a few fireman that show up that are not trained at all, they might have cpr but thats it. Nobody seems to care about this that we've got untrained people trying to help out at medical calls. My question is, is this even legal and what would happen if it would ever go to court and what can be done to try to stop it. I just dont want a lawsuit and the other fireman are like it'll never happen, maybe I'm over reacting here I dont know.

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I agree with all of the excellent points presented here but I must add that if there firefighters are responding with the knowledge of their limitations and qualifacations it isn't a crime to have a few extra bodies aroung when I weighty patent needs extra muscles for lifting,loading or helping with attached equipment to the patient.As well as the luxury of having a driver availible if the squad is short handed.
As well,these ff'ers know its a priority 2(non emergency) response.unless upgraded.
The key is....Know your limitations!
Are these juniors getting involved with patient care?
I don't believe you have to be EMS trained to use the "Jaws of Life". That being said, I think you should at least be trained in vehicle extrication.
Good samaritan laws do not cover those individuals who are EMS trained. They are meant to protect the average (non medicaly trained) citizen who might injure someone while trying to help them.
"I am not a Hazmat Specialist but I am the Incident Commander at Haz Mat Incidents" - FETC

Are you at least certified as a HAZMAT Incident Commander?
I also think that untrained ff going to medical spefic calls is a huge liability, as far as I knew anyone less then a first responder were not able to go to calls that were strickly medical. This was actually the understanding of quite a few people and didn't have a problem until 1 specific person starting responding to every call no matter work and only recently had CPR. A bunch of us brought it up in a meeting and ended up being overruled and unfortunately the result came to be a new sop stating that non-first responders/emts are able to go to medical only calls if stage back a ways until emt arrives. Although I don't agree with it, a sop is a sop and needs to be followed.

Some of my concerned were these ff unaware of some very vital information, such as; the HIPPA law for one. The ones we have that want to go to these calls are basically doing it because they want to have some action, I don't think some will know to keep there mouth shut when discussing details. Another would be they are not trained in awareness of bodily fulids and protective themselves or others. When fetching equiptment do they keep what needs to be sterile, sterile, do they know what they are getting? Do they know what they should and should not say around patient, family, bystanders, news etc? When getting there before emt and faily yelling to do something, family isn't going to be happy will person just stands there or worse, renders care that they don't know how to do? Is insurance going to cover when something goes wrong by an untrained ff? Now there isn't incentive to get medical training since they can go anyways. There are many other I could rabble off, but that is just my opinion.

I can see where help is needed during medical calls, but that just might end up a huge liability. Sorry so long, it just happen to be so recent for me.
So, why would it be so tough to simply draft a membership rule that says, unless requested and lawfully dispatched, you WILL NOT respond to medical calls.
In our part of the country, you can sign up for the ambulance as a 1) Driver, 2) First Responder and 3) EMT-D.
If you aren't any of the three, you are a SPECTATOR. Please leave the scene NOW before the nice officer gives you a ticket.
I really don't know what the great debate is.
TCSS.
Art
That would be nice to draft a rule stating you may respond to medical calls once you have completed a minimum of a first responder course. That is what some of us were hoping for, but Chief has the last say.
I wish it was that easy Art and maybe it would be if I was Chief, but I'm not and still nothing being done.............................. oh well.
Here is a question for all of you out there medically trained or not. If you are at home and you hear a medical call at one of you neighbors home that you may or may not know. Do you go? I'm not medicallly trained beyond first aid or cpr. But if I'm traveling on a rd and I see an accident or someone in distress I'm going to stop. I know my limitaions and will not provide any medical care other then basic. As a firefighter I belonged to a truck company and my main focus was to that apparatus. If we got a call for an mva my first concern was to standby with the truck in case of another call. If the mva was on my way to the firehouse I would stop and again provide any assistance I could. As an officer I would control the scene until a higher ranking officer or ems were on the scene. At that point you move along either to the firehouse or home no need to hang out. As far as firefighters responding to calls they have no business being at if it's in the neighborhood is it such a bad thing if they know what they can and cannot provide. Maybe all your firefighters need to be required to take a basic first aid or first responder medical course as part of their firefighter training. Either way your dept needs to be aware of the individuals that shouldn't be there and they need to be warned, that is a liability to your dept your ems and the all persons that may be on the scene even the ones that didn't stop the individuals from doing anything.
There is 2 different senarios, one is responded to an actual page or just happened to come about a problem. If you are just there when something happens then I would say do what you are trained in CPR, at that point you are covered under the good samaritan law. But if you go to a medical call from getting the fd page, you are no longer covered under the good samaritan law and the fd is now responsible. Everyone knows how bad lawsuits can get and they will go after everyone they can in the event something went wrong. Things do go wrong from time to time, trained or untrained...but having untrained personnel there just give the 'plaintiff' more amminition in a case. I know everyone wants to help out and that is why we all do what we do, but take a fr or emt course and that would greatly help. I have just recently taken the emt class a little over a year ago and am state certified and nationally registered, I actually have coe to learn the the ambulance is what I prefer (I love the pumper) but I am still able to help out on medical because I have the knowledge and understanding that goes along with medical calls.
THAT is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I have been a certified EMT for almost 7 years and have been around long enough to know that Nobody should be operating outside their scope of practice. If they are only cpr aed certified. That's it. They don't go any further.

And a word to your command staff
If you are willing to allow for this to take place, You are just as guilty and should be listed as an accessory to medical negligence should a lawsuit arise in which it will more than likely.

Erin

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