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.
Good Samaritan laws cover civilians that don't have a duty to respond.
They're not typically written to cover emergency response agencies that have that duty.
Why is it that we can respond 20 firefighters to a house fire and not get in each other's way, but 6 of us get in each other's way on a medical call? The answer to that one is "Riding Assignments" and an officer that stands back and runs the response without getting in the way of hands-on medical care or carrying the patient to the ambulance.
Where I work on the EMS unit as a Paramedic , my station is in a very rural part of the county-far from any other county unit assistance. I appreciate the volunteer FF's that respond to assist us . I haven't had a problem with them being there . They don't all try to Pile into the residence ,but instead "stand by" outside, and assist "as needed" with manpower . I am always relieved to know that in a CPR-in-progress call or other critical care call my EMT partner and I will have an extra pair of hands who is an EMT in the back to help with patient care as well as a fourth person ,who is a FF ,to drive us to the hospital ED which can be in exccess of 20 to 30 miutes .
If you are having problems with multiple FF's crowding into the house ,that needs to be adddressed , mainly from a lack of patient privacy -HIPPA violation potential . But if your problem with the Firefighters is a "Medical turf " problem YOU need to check the attitude-
we all do what we do because we want to help others and to feel we are needed and statistically we aren't running as many fire related calls as we used to . I suggest you help PROMOTE the firefighters getting medically trained to at least the first responder level to avoid any potential malpractice potential .
I see a typical turf war here.
If the firefighters are medical first responders, then by some agreement with the ambulance service, they assist on medical calls and would be under the purview of the ambulance's medical director.
If the firefighters have no formal medical training, then the ambulance has to decide if they want assistance for such things as driving and lifting.
This is based on the premise that the fire department and the ambulance service are separate.
Both agencies serve a purpose; separate or together.
You have to decide which of that is.
I do feel your pain on this one, we also run as first responders. I have told everyone that if we have a medical call and you only here one person responding then its okay to show up, and thats just because i would rather have two people on any scene than just one its that whole C Y A thing. The guys that are not medically trained will help out when we ask but other than that they are to stand in the corner and keep there mouths shut. This is only if we have one emt in town that can respond if there is two of us they are to keep their butts at home and if they do show up they are told to stay outside by the truck so that we do not crowd the scene. Most of this comes from our Chief and he is not medical. So maybe its something you should bring up to the officers of your dept.
As long as they stay back out of the way, or only provide lifting asst. or cpr which I hope to god every ff has, then I don't see any legal issue. It may very well be annoying but illegal I just don't see it.
The firefighters that are coming out are volunteering so use the help, you do not need a license in any state to have a firefigfhter carry the stair chair or strecther. Don't start questioning why volunteers come out they are to precious to every organization. Maybe have a commanding officer take the time to figure out who is trained to do what and utilize everyone to the best of there ability on a scene. It sounds like the firefightes just are not being led properly.
I could be wrong, but I believe that as long as the Firefighters are not acting beyond their scope of practice it is OK. I understand and agree with you about the importance of the issue. Fortunately, for us it is a non issue because we are all Firefighter/Paramedics exept a few older guys who are Firefighter/EMT's. We deliver ALS care from all of our apparatus if and when needed.
As long as someone who doesn't have experience isn't doing patient care....
We have a lot of bariatric (that's the PC term for obese) residents and manpower is always welcome for lifting and moving, regardless of medical training.
Your department should have SOP/SOG's for firefighters who respond to medical calls but are not medically trained. They can deal with by-standers, family, carry equipment, take notes for the PCR. You can use non-EMS for some things like head stablization as long as there is EMS giving direction. Anyone can do chest compressions in a pinch.
Around 85-90% of our calls are EMS year to year and almost half of our department has at least some form of EMS training, even if it's just CPR. When seconds count, you don't chase away firefighters that don't know how to take blood pressures or perform medical assessments.
If anyone under a dept is performing any type of pt treatment w/o any cert. or lisence, your dept can be liable for a lawsuit if someone tries to sue. My dept. usually has a few that dont have a cert or has lapsed. They usually respond to our medicals, and sometimes treat, but they shouldnt. I even had one say hes been doing this for a long time so its "OK". im like yea, untill you get a summons to court. On the positive side, they do help with things when needed, im not gonna say dont let them run, but if they are treating, then that can cause trouble. If you dept dosent stop it, they may get had bad taste if something happens. But usually it take something bad to happen before someone stops it. all i can say is just Cover your A*%.
On our Dept its not as common, for if we ever get called for medical it is usualy a public assist, or an mva and that most likely would be for extrication or to help in the lifting of a patient. We are all at least cpr and basic first aid trained. I my self took a first responder course to run on the Q.R.U. a few years back when lived in Oregon. I failed my finnals for not useing the mouth peice durring cpr, and for not useing proper gloves, and since my job is a truck driver, have had a hard time retaking the class, some day hope to.
As far as your situation I have to agree with most of the others here, if you feel its a prob or could be liability issues, then go to your heads and talk to them, or better yet get everyone trained. The extra training never hurts and you never know when it will come in handy. My self have had to use my training on many accidents since on the road, and the first person there. I cant say I know it all or will I ever, but if I can further my training and knowlege to help others then you bet. I have been on accidents where I just dident know what to do but, stop the bleeding and keep the patient warm and calm.
Some times just a smileing face and a person, talken to ya, tellen ya it will be allright can go a long ways expecialy with little kids. I always keep extra blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and a large first aid kit in my truck, just in case. So dose the liability issue cross my mind yes, but will not stop me from helpen when I can, for one if I come apon an accident that just happened. I could never just drive on by, and never stop. I have seen vollys like me that stop to help no medical training at all but there to help in anyway they can, for thats what there heart is tellen them to do.
For on the truck, ambulance, or pov we dedicated our lives to help others, but we should never do anything that hurts the ones we are there to help, and if you dont know, dont do!!!! and ask for help or what to do when dont know, as well as training, training and training.