Can Fire Department Transport Medical Patients

Luckyluc
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Can Fire Department Transport Medical Patients

Postby Luckyluc » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:58 pm

This question has come up at my work (i ski patrol during winter months) and I am wondering what is the LEGAL standpoint of transporting medical patients as a firefighter. The question is are we allowed transporting in our fire apparatus/trucks, are we able to transport with EMT/Paramedic supervision or MD authorisation, does this apply to specialty equipment/vehicles (snowmobiles, ATVs, Side by side/Gator/Golf cart). What is the law or legal document stating this?
As a ski patroller I have been trained and certified in transporting patients off the hill and or to a ambulance. But in my fire training we have not been formally trained in transporting patient, and thus not certified in doing so.

To be clear I am not trying to see if we do or don't do it, or should or shouldn't. If it’s in the best interest of the patient and you have sufficient medical training to do so safely then it’s your call (and I would).

guitarmedic87
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby guitarmedic87 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:35 am

I have no idea about the legal side of it, but this is how I see it. Can an ambulance physically get to the patient? If not, then the patient requires some sort of "rescue" whether it be via boat from an island, snowmobile or atv from the bush, or pick-up from an icy cottage lane. That falls under our job discription, rescue. If the ambulance can safely get to the patient, then no we should not be transporting as firefighters in any sort of vehicle. Some medics will want to accompany you the the patient and help with the "rescue" while others will not, but its important to communicate with all the allied agencies and develope a plan. I think, if it was considered a rescue, then the law would allow fire to "transport/rescue" the patient to the awaiting ambulance. But I have no documentation to support my views. Just common sense.

Medic9107
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Medic9107 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:09 pm

I don't quite remember all the details of this story, but a few years back I remember hearing about a fire crew that transported their patient to the hospital and got in big trouble for it. At the time I believe there were no available EMS units to respond and the pt was a possible MI.

So with that being said, I don't think they're allowed to on the legal side of things. Patient care would have been greatly delayed if the fire crew had not made that decision so it turns into a debate about doing what's right vs following all the rules.

alice
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby alice » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:10 am

This is useful information for you if you find yourself in the interview seat. Remember that the guys on the other side of the table really don't care about how many rescue and emergency courses you have under your belt, which fire program you took, who your dad is, how much you can bench, how much of an 'asset' you will be to the fire deparment, etc. All they want to know is if you will willingly do what you're told, follow orders, and not cause them any grief(additional cost) over the span of your career.


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