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.
I agree with the good samaritan laws not covering when non-medical personnal respond from a page that goes out. It is completely different if you are just driving along and an accident happens, but actually going because your are dispatched. We do sometimes have problems of people goes to calls they are not requested for fire and ems. I think manpower is a greatly needed thing, but nothing wrong with teh FR/EMT responding then calling for additional manpower. I could see problems with non-medically trainined people even lifting patients some including not handling c-spine correctly, not strapping correctly, not working long board or cot correctly. We know that if c-spine isn't done right that can spell disaster.
Now what if we have a non FR/EMT getting contaminated with bodily fluids, becaus ethey don't know the precautions? What if they go and start telling all sorts of details of this awesome call they were at? HIPPA wuoldn't be happy. What if they do something unintentially that caused furtehr harm to a patient, you willing to gice up your license for them?
Jesus; have we run out of NEW discussions? This dead horse is over a year old.
Good Samaritan laws cover private citizens who attempt to help a person. But, they can still be sued. Anyone can sue or be sued in today's litigious society.
Anyone with professional training can only deliver medical care to THAT level. You are covered by insurance. If you deliver care above your scope and something happens, you and your service can be sued and it doesn't matter if you are paged out or not.
The people who look for a reason to sue typically go after the medical health providers, because they have a history of "settling" claims. They are forcing more and more people to drive on, look the other way and hesitating to help for fear of getting sued.
And HIPAA-please note that this is the CORRECT spelling of the ACRONYM-doesn't enter into it unless information is given out that could identify the patient.
Back on topic, firefighters can go on medical calls and not be trained if it is something that requires extrication or lift assist. As long as they do not administer aid to the patient, they are breaking no laws. If they are instructed to maintain C-spine traction, then you have crossed the line. They can go and get bandages; they cannot apply the bandages.
It's not that complicated.
As long as they do not provide any pt care above their training level (like don't let them give an epi pen if all they have is CPR training) there is no risk...sometimes the extra hands are beneficial, someone has to take pt notes, scene clean up, bag carrier, etc....heck there has been more than one time I have been an IV pole! But, being in EMT-B class at the time I took the opportunity to observe and learn in the field.