In my area we have volenteer fire depts. and volenteer e.m.s. depts. I know that medical training is becoming more and more meshed with fire training. Should they stay seperate? Should e.m.s. handle all med. calls and fire only fire calls?
I f you have the manpower that might be a consideration...But, Here in the rural setting it isn't...we need one another and it is best if they both have an understanding of the other....I like it if EMS (Which I am also heavily involved) allows Fire to handle extrication and they handle the patient.....we work with the tools a lot and sometimes get frustrated watching them toil with it.....But I like the idea of Firefighters having EMS training as they may need to respond at a fire scene for one of their own until EMS gets there (if not standing by)...Just my look at it.....Stay safe all....remember....Keep the faith.......Paul
Our Fire Dept. responds to life threatening EMS calls and we usually arrive before the ambulance which gives us the opportunity to save and helps more lives that are in danger.
Also during extrication our fire medics care for patient while extrication is being conducted. After the patient has been extricated the care is turned over to the ambulance service.
As far as the liability issue goes, those laws are being shot down left and right. Just the other day it was ruled by the courts a bystander was liable for spinal injuries when he pulled a coworker fom a car he thought was going to catch fire. I don't know about every state (including yours) but if you are "on duty" you do not have the same protection. "You should know better", meaning you are trained on incidents you respond to, sort of like an ER doctor.
Many States are now covered under the Good Smaritan Law...It will protect you as long as you aren't negligent in your care...If there was a fire hazard (impending) I would not hesitate to pull someone free...I would be negligent if I didn't....and not to mention not much of a person....Used to work Burn Intensive Care...it is not a pretty sight.....We need to work together and to compliment each other to accomplish the goal....Excellant patient care.....Stay safe all.........Paul
Good Samaritan Law doesn't protect anyone who has a Duty to Act.
If you respond to a call as a member of a Fire-Rescue or EMS department, you have a Duty to Act, regardless of whether you're paid or volunteer.
Good Samaritan Law is designed to protect people who stop to assist others on their own, as long as they're following the legal "Reasonable Person" principle. That means if you stop to aid on your own, as long as you do what a reasonable and prudent person with your background, training, and licensure would be expected to do, you're probably going to be on solid legal ground. Stay within your training and abilities, and you should be fine.
Gross negligence can void Good Samaritan protection if you do something that exceeds your training, certification, or abilities.