Monday, October 4, 2010
Is The Scene Safe?
Ask any EMT just out of school to walk through a scenerio with you and it will always start out the same. Is the scene safe?
This is something that is drilled into EMS personnel from day one. In any emergency situation, we need to make sure that we don't add patients to the problem. Another way of looking at it is if I get injured/killed, who is going to take care of the initial problem? No offense to the general public, but my highest priority is going home at the end of my shift. I think most people would understand this position. Not everyone.
blogging community about the comments made by Kenneth Stokes. Mr Stokes is upset because of the apparent inaction of an ambulance crew in his community. The AMR unit was dispatched to a shooting and were "staging" or waiting until the police officers cleared the scene. Roughly 20 minutes elapsed from the time of the call to the time that the patient was seen. Stokes asserts that the medics had a responsibility to go into harms way to treat the patient.
Read the news story here.
My question to Mr Stokes is this: Why would you send someone into an emergency situation for which they have not been trained or equipped? Medics (there are exceptions to this) are not trained in police tactics. They aren't issued body armour and a gun. No where in their job description does it say that they are expected to perform under gun fire. Do you ask your police officers to go into a hazardous materials release to get a victim? I bet you wouldn't. And you'd be right not to do that. Without the training and equipment you would just be sending in another body for the FD to drag out. And trust me, the cop would come out before the civilian.
Mr Stokes, our job is dangerous. We do it anyways. We deal with the dangers for which we have been trained. We work on streets, freeways, highways, in upside down vehicles, with blood borne diseases, fires (in the case of fire/medics), electrical hazards, HAZMAT situations and do it all as carefully as we can. We know those risks and do what we can to mitigate them. The way we mitigate a potential violent scene is by calling PD and letting them do what they have been trained to do.
If you agree or especially if you disagree, I'd love to hear from you.
Posted by Firefighter/Paramedic at 07:55