1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Haughton, LA
    Posts
    214

    Default Man down, stop or not?

    I was driving by my local DMV in williamsburg and saw a man lying on his back on the concrete near a bus stop. So I thought hey, he's just resting for a second (it was hot yesterday) but I just realized he wasn't moving, so I just drove around the block and came back around and I stopped my car and asked him if he was okay, guess what: no response.
    So I being to notice it looked like his sunglasses were knocked off, you know how you turn over on the couch with you sunglasses on and try to go to sleep but the arms hurt your face, so I pull in the driveway of DMV and call 911.
    My medkit (just basic 1st responder stuff) is in my trunk, it hasn't been used so it's begging to see sunlight, but when I call 911 dispatch, they tell me not to get out! So this guy could be dead or on his way, but I was told not to get out because I could get involved in a court lawsuit if he was dead or something. So I just sit there watching the guy, stuned as heck, and decided I was going to get my EMT ASAP and start volunteering again (i am in between departments)!!!!
    Anyways another person walking the sidewalks finally saw him and began shouting to see if he was ok, he began to call 911 when they pulled up, finally I see the guy moving. I don't know if the guy had a heatstroke or what, but he was out.
    So the reason for this posting is: Is it right to fear a "lawsuit" or court case instead of getting out and conducting our skills that we were taught to use in this situation?
    Last edited by 6Duron1; 06-02-2011 at 09:37 AM.
    Unit 71 - Probationary Firefighter / First Responder
    Bossier Parish Fire District #1

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3,895

    Default

    You have to love some 911 call takers

    If it was thier loved one they would be going nuts for someone to help them

    Yes you can be sued ask mcdonalds about thier hot coffee

    Check good samaritan laws in your state and check with a local ems chief

  3. #3
    105
    105 is offline
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Check good samaritan laws in your state
    This. Here in NS, you cannot be sued for rendering help unless it it grossly outside of your abilities. For example, if you checked his pulse, noted he had none and began CPR (which you have been qualified to perform) but cracked a few ribs you cannot be sued. However, if you checked his airway, noted he was choking, then decided to break out your trusty pocket knife and perform a tracheotomy... well, you better hope to god you do it right and that the individual recovers 100%, because you can be sued into the ground and criminally charged for attempting medical procedures that you are obviously utterly incapable of performing - regardless of how many episodes of ER you've watched.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,242

    Default

    Virginia's Good Samaritan Law:



    http://www.arlingtonva.us/Department...m00.vaoems.pdf




    Be govern accordingly
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    EastKyFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    3,088

    Default

    Ask these guys if doing nothing is a good option.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Haughton, LA
    Posts
    214

    Default

    Yeah this happened last night after I read about this at work, less than 2 hours later. not good. Yeah I knew VA had some kind of good samiritan laws just didn't know the specifics. I am just glad he started moving around.
    Unit 71 - Probationary Firefighter / First Responder
    Bossier Parish Fire District #1

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,686

    Default

    but when I call 911 dispatch, they tell me not to get out! So this guy could be dead or on his way, but I was told not to get out because I could get involved in a court lawsuit if he was dead or something.
    Really? 911 dispatch telling you not to help as you may be involved in a lawsuit?

    You just gave that guy and/or his family reason to start a lawsuit against the 911 service.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  8. #8
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,317

    Default

    I'm not surprised about the response from the call taker. So many agencies across the US have had to adopt policies like this based on their perceived threat of liability....after consultation with their attorney of course. It's a shame that it's come down to rules like this at some PSAP's.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,604

    Default

    There are states where a civilian does not have legal protections, such as New York, where only EMT and above is protected by Good Samaritan legislation.

    I always will stop for a possible EMS situation, though in LA, there is no legal requirement to stop, even if trained and EMS certified, unless you are on-duty, which under the law specifies you are being paid. My department requires we stop out of district if we are in a department vehicle or in a department t-shirt visable to the public.

    One thing to remember is to carefully scan the situation and surroundings before rendering aid as you may be stepping into a dangerous situation.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Haughton, LA
    Posts
    214

    Default

    yeah I looked at it, it was at one of the bus stops, and tahats why I drove up to him before even thinking about getting out of my car. He legs were on the street and he was laying in the grass. Now that I think about it, his arms were bent toward his body.
    Unit 71 - Probationary Firefighter / First Responder
    Bossier Parish Fire District #1

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,604

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 6Duron1 View Post
    yeah I looked at it, it was at one of the bus stops, and tahats why I drove up to him before even thinking about getting out of my car. He legs were on the street and he was laying in the grass. Now that I think about it, his arms were bent toward his body.
    One thing to remember is that unless you have recieved a card in that state, you are still only certified to operate in LA. You have no rights in the state of VA to operate in that state at the level you operated here.

    So technically, you are not certified to render aid. Keep that in mind.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Haughton, LA
    Posts
    214

    Default

    I wasn't going to do First responder stuff, I was getting ready for CPR!
    Unit 71 - Probationary Firefighter / First Responder
    Bossier Parish Fire District #1

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,604

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 6Duron1 View Post
    I wasn't going to do First responder stuff, I was getting ready for CPR!
    All I'm saying is be careful about what you do because you are now living in state where you are not certified.

    Just think before you act.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-02-2011 at 10:26 PM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    LVFD301's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,965

    Default

    I can understand the 911 call taker possibly stating that the caller should not get involved - as a matter of protecting the caller from possible harm if the situation became ugly - as it could do.

    They call taker knew help was on the way, it was in an area that should enjoy a fairly rapid response (bus stops are usually in areas that are not that rural) and the call taker has no real idea about the caller or their capabilities.

    With all that said - what is the reason for the question? Was there a question? Is humanity even alive out there still? You see a man down, you at least perform a cursory check. Hell, hit the airhorn and see if there is a response. (or whatever you are equipped with)

    Hell, even LA says he would stop and render aid. Maybe traffic control while he waited for real responders.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bossier Parish, Benton LA
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Duron you are stupid, you shoulda got out and shown them how we southern boys does it!
    Benton Fire District Four
    Ladder One
    First Due!


    Caddo Parish Fire District 1
    Career Firefighter/Paramedic


    When things get rough, just say:
    Acabo de perder cinco minutos de su vida.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    FF4606's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Seriously, not qualified to render aid? Not qualified to check if a guy is dead or alive, maybe apply pressure to a bleeding wound? You are talking about first responder level stuff here not brain surgery. Almost everyone is capable of rendering first responder level aid.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Ignore anything LA moron tells you. He's the same guy who blatently said he would not help a child out of a burning car outside his own district because workmans comp wouldn't cover him if he got a sunburn. He's probably the dispatcher that told you not to help.

    This is the most asinine thing I've ever heard. Nowhere in any dispatch protocol does it encourage the caller not to help. The whole point is to provide PRE-ARRIVAL HELP.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  18. #18
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Nowhere in any dispatch protocol does it encourage the caller not to help. The whole point is to provide PRE-ARRIVAL HELP.
    I respectfully disagree with this, as a former comm center supervisor and training officer. Many agencies are varying their approach to handling callers who wish to get involved, for fear of being sued by a good samaritan who was "told" by the dispatcher to do something.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,686

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I respectfully disagree with this, as a former comm center supervisor and training officer. Many agencies are varying their approach to handling callers who wish to get involved, for fear of being sued by a good samaritan who was "told" by the dispatcher to do something.
    Extremely huge difference in being "told" to do something and being "told" not to.

    Basic humanity should lead you to do something more than worry about getting sued.

    Society is doomed.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    EastKyFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    3,088

    Default

    Exactly, Bones. The call taker wouldn't have to say anything if he/she wasn't asked by the caller. If the caller does say, "What should I do?" the call taker only needs to say, "I can't advise or order you to do anything. Help is on the way." No liability there, but the caller has not been ORDERED to do or not do anything.

    As emergency personnel, we know a little more than John or Jane Q. Public. For example, most civilians who would bother to help might not think to watch for a weapon when rolling over the patient. So our action might prevent a less qualified person from getting hurt.

    Use your judgment and good sense, but for crying out loud, check on the patient.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Haughton, LA
    Posts
    214

    Default

    Thanks for the advice everyone!
    It's just one of those things I guess.
    Unit 71 - Probationary Firefighter / First Responder
    Bossier Parish Fire District #1

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Schenectady, NY
    Posts
    460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    There are states where a civilian does not have legal protections, such as New York, where only EMT and above is protected by Good Samaritan legislation.

    I always will stop for a possible EMS situation, though in LA, there is no legal requirement to stop, even if trained and EMS certified, unless you are on-duty, which under the law specifies you are being paid. My department requires we stop out of district if we are in a department vehicle or in a department t-shirt visable to the public.

    One thing to remember is to carefully scan the situation and surroundings before rendering aid as you may be stepping into a dangerous situation.
    Its funny in that in all of my 42 yrs in the fire service, ALL in NYS, I have never been told that the Good Samaritan Law only covered EMT's and above. In fact EMT's were still several years off when I started. So either you or I have been given some false information.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

  23. #23
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,604

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    Its funny in that in all of my 42 yrs in the fire service, ALL in NYS, I have never been told that the Good Samaritan Law only covered EMT's and above. In fact EMT's were still several years off when I started. So either you or I have been given some false information.
    I could be wrong as this info comes from when I transferred my VT EMT to NYS EMT back inthe early 80's.

    Tried doing a search but couldn't get any results specific to NYS.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  24. #24
    Forum Member
    EastKyFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    3,088

    Default

    If you're an EMT, you aren't a good samaritan. You are a medical professional, regulated accordingly by your state. The point of a good sam law is to protect the untrained but well-intentioned person who tries to help.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  25. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber
    tree68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Jefferson County, NY USA
    Posts
    2,289

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    If you're an EMT, you aren't a good samaritan. You are a medical professional, regulated accordingly by your state. The point of a good sam law is to protect the untrained but well-intentioned person who tries to help.
    It's my understanding that basic EMTs are indeed covered under the Good Samaritan laws, since they usually don't do any invasive procedures. That is changing with the addition of epi, blood glucose monitoring, and albuterol (in NY, and on a case-by-case basis), but the strictly BLS stuff is covered.

    Heck, a purely BLS EMT can't really do a whole lot more than the CPR/First Aid students I teach, when you get right down to it. EMT's just get a heck of a lot more background training.

    When you get into invasive procedures (IV's, airways other than OP, meds, defib, etc) then, yes, the Good Samaritan laws go right out the window and your malpractice insurance kicks in.

    And that's been my understanding since I first became a NYS EMT better than 25 years ago. I'm a "critical care" (often known as "Level 3" in NY) now, so yes, I do have to work under medical control when the ALS stuff comes out.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. 3 man with safer fund
    By helpwithsafer in forum Federal FIRE ACT Grants & Funding
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-06-2011, 03:00 PM
  2. The real world!
    By coldfront in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 10-09-2007, 03:39 PM
  3. Man Law
    By MalahatTwo7 in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-25-2007, 03:09 PM
  4. Man killed after driving on wrong side of I-95
    By xlonghillfd in forum Florida
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-04-2003, 04:12 PM
  5. Bush Recommends Cutting FIRE Act; Project Impact
    By webteam in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 383
    Last Post: 03-31-2001, 05:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register