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  1. #1
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    Default Good samaritan law

    I had a question/scenario concerning the good samaritan law.

    The city that I live in has full time paid fire/ems department. If there were to be a call next door to me for a heart attack, and it is dispatched over the radio as a full arrest, would it be covered under the law to go and offer to help before the fire department arives even though, I didn't just come upon it, I heard it over the scanner? I currently only hold all of the Red Cross certs. (First Aid, AED, and Adult/Infant/Child CPR), so I would be able to help within these areas. I know from my ride-along experiences as a fire explorer, that there are lots of bogus calls, but 3-4 minutes makes a difference.

    I was just curious what your thoughts on this are? It hasn't happened to me but I'm sure something similar has happened to somebody that may come across this post. And by this question I don't mean that I would be running medicals calls aroung town in my car trying to beat the ambulance (though it would be tempting but within a house or two.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Nothing against you or anything..But that aggrevates the hell out me personally..When I get on a scene be it medical or grass fire or whatever..And someone who heard it on the scanner is on the scene...Now if your neighbour comes and asks you for help..Sure..but otherwise I'd have to say no....Sure your qualified to do it and all...Anyways I got this off a site dealing with Missouri...(First Link I Came Across) but i'd say its pretty much the same wherever

    "This legislation applies to physicians, surgeons, registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, and licensed mobile emergency medical technicians in situations when aid is given in an emergency or accident and occur outside of a health care setting.

    When any of the above health care providers render, in good faith, emergency care or assistance at the scene of an emergency or accident, no liability may be imposed for any civil damages arising from acts or omissions in rendering such emergency care. There is no protection, however, for gross negligence or willful or wanton acts or omissions. Thus, it should be noted that this legislation is only applicable if the care is rendered without compensation.

    This law further protects the rendering of emergency care or assistance to any minor involved in any accident, injured in competitive sports, or affected by any other emergency at the scene of an accident without first obtaining the consent of a parent or guardian. Again, there is no protection from civil liability for gross negligence or willful or wanton acts or omissions."

    So I dont know if hearing it on the scanner and responding classifies as being under that
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  3. #3
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ndvfdff33
    Nothing against you or anything..But that aggrevates the hell out me personally..When I get on a scene be it medical or grass fire or whatever..And someone who heard it on the scanner is on the scene...Now if your neighbour comes and asks you for help..Sure..but otherwise I'd have to say no....
    I will saying that listening to the scanner and then jumping calls makes outoffocus sound a bit like a wacker... Yet, I'm guessing that his intentions are good. He's anxious to help people.

    So, ndvfdff33, why does it matter how he finds out about the call? Let's use the example of a code. The earlier CPR gets started, the better the patient's potential outcome is. Would you rather you be the one to start CPR -- 3/4 minutes later -- just because you're arriving with lights and sirens?

    I agree that having scanner wackers showing up on scene just out of curiosity is annoying. But if someone is able to help out because of it, I don't really have a beef.

  4. #4
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Sure hes qualified to help...I think if his neighbour comes and says can you help....Why not....I listen to my scanner all the time but I don't go runnin off on every medical call I hear cuz I'm qualified...Is he a member of a fire dept..NO....So why would he go to a fire depts call if hes not a member?????
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  5. #5
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    I must say that if he can walk to the scene faster than the fd or ems can get there then heck let him start the cpr. If he was your moms nieghbor and he heard the cod eover the scanner wouldnt you want him to help. My guess is yes. It is one thing to help a nieghbor and another thing to race across town and try to beat the fd to a scene. I dont think you read the post very well.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

  6. #6
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Sure..If he want to do that by all means...I know I'd stay away from it personally just because of the fact that people here would more than likely blame me if something went wrong..Plus i'd rather not be known in my neighbourhood as the scanner chaser who runs to every house on the block when there is a call....In my case if the ambulance comes my dept goes...But if it wasn't the case I'd choose against..Unless they came and asked me too...Of course if they did they'd be dumb to come see me because other neighbour is a paramedic..lol..Just my own personal preferences...By all means do what you want..I'm just giving it from my perspective on things..
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    I dont know how I would feel about it .........I would bet that unless you knew the person, for all you know when you get there that they werent already there ? so I say if I dont know I dont care ! plus it is good for the person lying there.
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  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber ftfdverbenec770's Avatar
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    i have to agree with a few of the other guys on this one. just cause you have the certs to do stuff and help out doesnt mean that you have the right to " respond to calls." it would be something if you just happened to be passing by, or some one that lived next door, but as far as responding, thats just out of the question. if u want to help out that bad, try to get on the dept. they are the ones that are paid to do the work, so the should be the ones doin the work. we have a few older guys that fall in to the "scanner buff" group that will goto a call, no matter what it is and just sit there and watch us. they dont get in the way or interfer with stuff, they just go to the scene and keep there distance and watch us.

  9. #9
    expvol
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    For calls that I have heard on a scanner I dont do anything, maybe call the BC and see if he needs any help with rehab.

    For calls that I happen to run into (fires and mva's)I will call it in, and if emergency vechs are a long way out I will:
    MVA
    I will call it in and notify them that a first responder is on scene.
    I will possition my vech to protect cars from traffic, do as much traffic direction that I can untill emergency vechs arrive.
    I will check all occupants and check that they are breathing and are alert.
    I will check vechs for leaking gas and fires.
    I will call in any additional

    FIRES
    I will call it in and notify them that a first responder is on scene.
    I willl make sure all occupants are out and do a 360 and call any additional info in to dispatch.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the responses. I agree with everybody on the point of not responding to fire department calls. I know better than to go running to fire calls or really EMS calls for that matter, I was just curious about the immediate vicinity to my house, but I understand your point of being seen as a complete weirdo for going to ambulance calls too, so unless there is somebody laying out in the street or I am asked, I'll make sure just to listen and learn from the scanner.

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    One thing you need to think about it times like this is your own safety. If you hear a call at a neighbors do you know what is really going on. A lot of times we do not and a lot of us here can tell you that what we get dispatched on is not really what we find.

    Myself I would just stay home it if were me unless I came across it or was summoned by the neighbor or family of the neighbor. I had a friend of mine that stopped to help a woman change a tire along the road and he was robbed at gun point by a man in the car when he was done. Not the same as the question but I think you understand what I am getting at.

    Just my thoughts
    Les Hartford
    Assistant Chief
    LMR Fire Dept.

    The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

    IACOJ Member

  12. #12
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Gee, and I thought we all got into this TO HELP PEOPLE.
    "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?

  13. #13
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Ok Bones if you read it...You'd know he lives in a place with a career fire dept...He's not on it....So techically he's not IN IT..yet..He just listens to the scanner...That was his question..
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  14. #14
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I did read it. He/she is trained and their next door neighbor needs help. I also read some posts on here from people that ARE IN IT and it appears they would not help. I'm not saying run all around town, but it is the next door neighbor.
    "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?

  15. #15
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Bones, as usual, got it right ...

    All I have to say is, if I have "the big one" right next door to someone who is fully trained to potentially save my life, and they know what is going on, and they don't come to help me out ... I'm gonna be pretty ****ed while I'm dyin' waitin' the extra few minutes for the FD/EMS to arrive.

    Stay Safe

  16. #16
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    I know he's trained and all....But is he on the fire dept...No...If he wants to be known as the neighbourhood scanner chaser who jumps up to every call on his block thats his choice...But personally I'd stay away and let the people of his city who are paid to do this do it....

    If he's asked by his neighbour to assist or comes across it while outside..Thats fine and dandy..But hearing it on the scanner and going just because your trained is a whole other bag to me..

    Like I said..If he wants to go thats his own choice....But if something goes wrong down the road and he gets the blame for it I dunno how much he'd like that idea then...To me the good samaritan law comes in if you come across the scene or are asked..Not hearing it on the scanner

    And Bones..Yes i'm in this to help..But going as a firefighter and as a scanner chaser are quite different.If the ambulance is dispatched to my neighbours for one thing I'd be going regardless because my dept goes on every call the ambulances go on...If it wasn't the case I'd stay the hell away just because of the fact its none of my buisness to be there...And tell me this..When you get on a scene and someone who has no buisness there is there does it not tick you off
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 04-26-2004 at 11:22 AM.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  17. #17
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    When you get on a scene and someone who has no buisness there is there does it not tick you off
    Attention, Red Cross - please stop teaching the general public CPR. Please remove all AED's from public places as they might get used before we arrive. No one should help before we arrive.

    I'm not that possessive that someone trying to help another person before I arrive ****es me off. There are bigger problems/concerns in life than who gets there first. It's not about us being heroes, it's about the person who needs help getting the help.

    I am not an active riding member of my first aid squad anymore. I keep up my training but do not have the time available to stay active with them. They (like most volunteer agencies) are having manpower shortages and are not able to run 2 ambulances at once. If I see a police car a few houses down from me, you can damn well bet your @$$ I will walk down the street to see if I can help. I've done it a few times and I can tell you this, my neighbors are happy to know that someone came and helped them and did not worry about "stepping on people's toes."
    "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?

  18. #18
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ndvfdff33
    I know he's trained and all....But is he on the fire dept...No...If he wants to be known as the neighbourhood scanner chaser who jumps up to every call on his block thats his choice...But personally I'd stay away and let the people of his city who are paid to do this do it....
    Even if he ran to every call on his block, I doubt that he would be labeled anything. I live in an apartment complex with some 300 units. Although I'm not here 24/7, I can count on one hand the times I've seen fire or ambulance respond to this address in the last year.

    Originally posted by ndvfdff33
    But going as a firefighter and as a scanner chaser are quite different.If the ambulance is dispatched to my neighbours for one thing I'd be going regardless because my dept goes on every call the ambulances go on...If it wasn't the case I'd stay the hell away just because of the fact its none of my buisness to be there...And tell me this..When you get on a scene and someone who has no buisness there is there does it not tick you off
    The people who clog up my scenes just to be curious bug me. Folks with legitimate training who are helping are usually a welcome sight.

    I don't understand why you differentiate between the ways you can help. Like your theory that it's okay to help if your neighbor calls you but not if you hear it on the scanner. Help is help, eh? Rendering aid can save lives regardless of how the person finds out about the emergency, right?

  19. #19
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    And tell me this..When you get on a scene and someone who has no buisness there is there does it not tick you off
    1. He does have business being there. He is properly trained TO HELP PEOPLE.

    2. If I got ticked off every time someone was on scene who had no business being there (note that I do NOT include in this category someone who is trained to help), I'd be ticked off pretty much all the time.

    3. Finally, for just one second, open your eyes and look at it from the victim's standpoint.

    Stay Safe

  20. #20
    Forum Member RoryEl's Avatar
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    To answer your question you'll have to look at the specifics in your states Good Samaritan law. Generally, a person who renders aide in good faith and is not grossly negligent is protected provided you were not there in a professinal capacity or being paid for your services. Additionally, AED use may or may not be covered. Again look at the enabling text.

    Now as to jumping calls, not a good idea, but if you just happen to be next door and they need a BLS airway... go for it.
    Last edited by RoryEl; 04-26-2004 at 01:31 PM.

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