I think that says two very important things:
1) We need to make sure that patients that need more attention than medics can give get to the hospital, and
2) We do our job within our training.
I am not trained to drive an ambulance, so short of a direct order from a superior, I wouldn't.
I guess that would be EMS's call (I am quite sure ours would not ask us), and an officer's call whether or not to go ahead. I am all for helping people as much as I can; I love it, and I think it is critical to both the personal and public identity of firefighters.
Unfortuntely some people have abused the system, and I really don't feel like having my life thrown around in a liability lawsuit for helping someone outside my training. I know years ago we were in a similar situation, and they took the risk and it payed off, but many things have changed since then (both the EMS system and the public we serve).
I guess at the end of the day you have to decide just how far you are willing to go for a patient that might turn around and sue you for going the extra mile in the first place. It's messed up, but that is reality.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081218/ap_ ... protection
Some friend, eh?
I think that preplanning and education is important, as well as getting to know the people you work with on calls. I haven't followed the whole thread, but, perhaps this sort of thing should be discussed before the need, and could have prevented some friction.
My opinion: Paramedics spend rediculous amounts of time driving an ambulance, and If I'm ever in the back, I'd rather have a FF and a medic in the back, with a highly experienced medic driving.
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