I was wondering what your thoughts are on this subject.

Local FF/EMT's have been been going to work (EMT on local ambulance), or just driving doing errands in town when the call goes out for a MVA. They are only a few blocks away and respond (non-emergency) to the scene to help. Everything has been fine till lately. The Fire Dept. that does protection of the biggest town and responds to all MVA's has decided (with-out telling anyone) that you must drive on. Or, if you dare, you may park "a few blocks away" and wait till the ambulance arrives" then approach. The local EMS is small and often needs more than just the EMT's they have on the rig and those on the Fire Dept.

What does your Department ask you to do? Do you think those that stop to "help" are in the wrong? Granted, if they respond and "take-over" the scene, there is a problem. But what about just stopping to "help" those hurt and in need of EMS care? Are we crazy? Thanks for your input.

Michael
FF/EMT-B

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Hi Mike, First off I would think you could not drive by and not stop for ethical reasons, second of all for legal reasons if you are going by the accident. I don't know if you are just in the area and originally were not headed that direction if I would go there unless it sounded like severe injuries that someones life is in danger then yes I would go there if I was near by. I know sometimes it's hard to resist but if the local fire department is afraid your going to steal their glory then better stay away. To bad some people have to be so childish, we all are trying to protect the public, but some people can't see past their own little world.
Keep the Faith Brother! Have A Great Day! STAY SAFE!
We aren't EMT's, that belongs to the Ambulance Service here, but if we are in a BRT and come accross an MVA we are obliged to stop and render whatever assistance we can. (Mind you, under our laws so is any passing motorist - but the red and blue lights on our vehicles make it mandatory.) This is whether we are in our own 'patch' or not. To self respond to any sort of incident in some other area for us is frowned upon, it shouldn't be done. If that FD in your town have specifically stated you are to stay away, I don't think there's anything else you can do; except perhaps not listen to their radio channel?

You say that 'everything has been fine till (sic) lately'. Perhaps the FD doesn't think so? Perhaps incidents have occurred that you know nothing of? Incidents that have triggered this policy change from the FD?
Yes, some people have been showing up again, to "help" until the FD and EMS arrive. They arrive before them and the FD is starting to not like it. However, the ambulance director has said to "respond non-emergency unless the ambulance has already left the scene." I understand that completely.

The laws that are about this subject does seem to make it fairly clear about stopping. I have been yelled and even cussed on scene by a captain for responding. (I had my EMS bag, ID, vest, and gloves on) I was told that EMS was not needed (even though I can see blood and he is holding in-line!) Other FR & EMT's have been told to "leave the scene" by the FD. Even though they have arrived prior to the FD and have started proper help to the patients.

Thanks for your input guys. I'm glad to know we're not all crazy for tryin' to help. :)
First, speaking as a Chief Officer, I would welcome your assistance, provided you "played by the rules". Now, as to the "why" the change in that particular municipality? I would agree with the previous comment. Something must have happened that triggered this that you are not aware of. One or two individuals who overstepped their authority and argued with the Fire Department. Perhaps someone tried to take command who had no business doing so. Its hard to determine why the change.
I think the problem is that everyone is forgetting about the main reason we are all here...The Patient. Should it really matter who it is that helps? As long as the care is provided in a timely and professional manner, and the appropriate respect is given to the home squad once they arrive on scene, why does it matter? Everyone has gone That nuts about call volume that they now have to stub toes by telling other agencies to stay away from "Their" calls?? Everyone needs to loose the ego trip and remember why we are here, to help people, and if you ask me, there is no better high than to work together as a team to provide that help, regardless of the agency name on the back of the coat.

I welcome all help from everyone, especially in life threatening instances when they are right near the scene, if you are in my area and there is a call 2 minutes from you I will take offense if you do NOT respond to help. We do it here all the time and there is never any bickering about it. Help the patient.
I don't see a problem with it. I have even done it and the responding fire dept. thanked me for the help. Once they arrived I told them what they had, stepped back and directed traffic for them. They kept me on scene untill they were ready to leave.
I've done the same in thing in the past Capt ENG and it seemed to all work out fine.
Our Dept's do not have a specific policy on this. I personally have responded to a few calls where that were in other jurisdictions and was welcomed with open arms and usually a pack or such. Up where we are you never turn down man power. While it would prove to much is say a whole Dept. showed up. But if a couple people show up that is not cause for concern. As a matter of fact we have a standing unspoken agreement with nearby Dept's. that because we are actually closer to a lot of there area than they are we will send someone on scene and at the least give them a scene size up. And if called for after that we send our trucks.
I believe it would be crazy not to stop. Further more if you are an EMT or a first responder, it is your duty to stop and help. I have been in the Fire/Rescue/EMS service for 10 years and even if I am totally out of my coverage area or in a different state for that matter, I have stopped to help. Time is of the essence in many MVC's. On a personal note. I once witnessed a crash, the victim was ejected, gargling and choking on his tongue in the middle of the road, If it was not for my fellow FF and I first on scene within seconds to create an airway for this victim they could have died. An initial report is also important for emergency vehicles responding. So as you can see I am strongly against this decision of "driving-on"............ It can save someones life if you stop.
I always stop and ask if assisstance is needed after I identify myself and my level of training....I sometimes get asked to help and other times I get a polite" thanks but we have it under control"...either way my ego never gets in the way.......and I can sleep at night knowing that I had at the very least offered assisstance.....Paul
I second that. I have stopped multiple times out of state because I travel for work. I feel it is my duty to myself if nothing else to stop. What goes around comes around.
The only way I would see a problem with this is if you are scanner chasing and going to the calls that are close to you because you are bored and need some action. I have gone a couple of blocks out of my way when I hear tones drop for the city dept. just to nib. But I will not get in the way and I will not drive crazy to get there. But I will not leave home to go to a call that somebody else has "just to help."

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