Tuesday, December 22, 2009

bits and bobs...

Did you hear about the two NYC paramedics on break in a restaurant not trying to help the 6 month pregnant woman working there who collapsed? Why wouldn't trained professionals try to help some random person they see who is ill?

Liability, boys and girls. Those people probably, under threat of firing, have to comply with company protocol when it comes to rendering aid to people when in uniform and on company time. Did she fill out all the appropriate forms? Who will be responsible for paying for the services of those professionals? Of course, this is all outrageous, but on some level, I don't blame those folks - they were in an impossible situation. Is this the kind of economy where anyone can flout company regulation and "do the right thing?"

Yes, it's inhumane, but as someone told me yesterday at my job: "you have to make a decision: do you want to do everything you can to help the customer, or do you want to keep your job?"

Should dire moments come down to such decisions? No.
Is that the world we live in? Yes.


And for the record, I think Britany Murphy died of pneumonia. That crap will kill ya.


Anonymous said...

Most states have a Good Samaritan law, which allows people to try to help without putting them in legal jeopardy. However, companies don't seem to recognize this law, and the ambulance chasers are poised and waiting.
Such is the world which we have allowed to dominate us. I don't like it, nor do most people, but after all, we aren't doing anything to change it, are we?
It all goes to personal and moral responsibility: after all, Bill Clinton didn't think he was having sex in the White House-MY house-and got off scot free, with an amazing amount of people defending him. Great example he set.

Ambulance Driver said...

Their headquarters were upstairs, so it is possible that the two EMTs (no one is sure of they're paramedics) in question were administrative staff, dispatchers or field crews.

Even so, being in uniform, in public, carries certain expectations, and lunch breaks do not absolve you of a duty to act.

They are both in major hot water, and depending upon on how the investigation shakes out, they may find themselves fired, or even have their EMT certifications pulled.

Not every call comes through the 911 system or the dispatch center. In fact, quite a few don't. You can be sure that FDNY, like every other EMS system in the world, has a procedure for handling such calls, and replying "We're on break," is certainly not part of that procedure.

They'll probably get their lazy asses fired, and rightfully so.

Hey, at The Borg, we don't even get breaks! From the moment your shift starts, to the moment it ends, you are subject to call.

The only exception to that is rest for crew fatigue. If you work a 24 hour shift, and call dispatch for "down time," they are required to direct you to the nearest station so you can sleep, and they take you out of the dispatch rotation for 4 hours.

And even that is subject to strict review. If you abuse the privilege, you'll get disciplined.

TOTWTYTR said...

IF they actually failed to help her as they are charged with, then they violated their agency's policy. They work for the City of New York and when are duty are expected to respond to requests for aid. In this particular case, they were assigned to dispatch, not an ambulance, but the principal still holds.

There are no forms, no questions of liability, this is for all intents and purposes the same as a call to 9-1-1.

Anyone who has been in EMS for any length of time (or police or fire work) has had a meal interrupted by someone who needs help. It comes with the territory.

Again, that's IF everything happened as the media has reported.

Roscoe said...

Mrs. Roscoe has already paid out one malpractice settlement for a cool $1 million despite being cleared by the Florida medical board of any wrongdoing in the case. Lack of tort reform was a serious oversight in the healthcare "reform".

Anonymous said...

To agree w/ AD and TOTWTYTR... I'm an EMT here in Oregon. Not sure about the laws in NY, but here on the Left Coast, if we're on duty, we have a legal obligation to act. To fail to do so is legally defined as dereliction of duty, and WILL get your certification pulled.

TOTWTYTR said...

Roscoe, Lack of tort reform was not an oversight, it was never even on the table for the Democrats. They don't want to reform health care, they want to control it.