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    Default What can you do?

    Had this happen to us last week. Tapped out for an MVA (car hit a parked car). Roll up on scene, and PD is there. I'm not sure how much of the details I can tell before I cross that fine line, so I'll leave it simple. PD refuses to let us check out or talk to the people involved, or even get near the vehicles involved. It looked to be a minor accident but ya never know. What do you do if you want to check out the people involved but PD insists that you don't. I'll try to answer any "Q's" on this without crossing the line.

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    Cool What ya could do.......

    One thing you could try is to ask the Officer if all medical releases have been signed........ they probably won't truly understand and that may give you an in...... if they answer no, it's simple then advise 'em that they need to be signed and unless P.D. wants to take financial and medical responsibility for all the possible pts. then so be it....... that usually works in the past when I have had run ins with the Po-Po. Usually, as soon as I flip over my medical paperwork and ask the Officer to sign for each pt. we get an escort and the tune changes.

    Another thing you could try is to ask for the Supervisors to respond to the scene and then your Supervisor and their Supervisor can "verbal judo" it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfpd109
    PD refuses to let us check out or talk to the people involved, or even get near the vehicles involved. It looked to be a minor accident but ya never know. What do you do if you want to check out the people involved but PD insists that you don't. I'll try to answer any "Q's" on this without crossing the line.
    I think I can give you an easy answer: Are the people involved hurt? if not, then you really don't need to be there, right?

    allow me to elaborate. Most departments that I know of don't respond to every single fender bender in their area. In fact, we only respond to MVCs with resports of injuries, as well as major TCs (rollovers, car vs motorcycle/pedestrian/building/etc). So if there is a minor MVC, and there are no injuries, then I don't get dispatched. If it is a rollover, and I'm dispatched as a precaution, and there are no injuries, you know what happens? I get cancelled by the PD.

    now, there is a difference between no injuries and injuries that don't want to be treated and/or transported. if you are hurt, then I need to do a run sheet. if you aren't hurt, then I wasn't called for you (I am only called to help the hurt people), and the police officer will document that you were unhurt, so I don't need to do a run sheet. and if everyone is unhurt, then I don't need any paperwork, and the officer cancels the responding units.

    any questions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfpd109
    Had this happen to us last week. Tapped out for an MVA (car hit a parked car). Roll up on scene, and PD is there. I'm not sure how much of the details I can tell before I cross that fine line, so I'll leave it simple. PD refuses to let us check out or talk to the people involved, or even get near the vehicles involved. It looked to be a minor accident but ya never know. What do you do if you want to check out the people involved but PD insists that you don't. I'll try to answer any "Q's" on this without crossing the line.
    Around here we are the medical authority and we determine if there are or aren't patients. If you get the run YOU must determine the well being of those involved. If you end up in court "The police officer told me so..." isn't going to get you that far.

    I know of incidents where patients under trains were written off as dead by PD an even EMS(on rare occasion) until firemen actually examined the patient and found they were infact alive.

    They have their job and you have yours...be respectful so as not to cause a scene but also be forceful and be sure that no one needs treatment...until EMS arrival we are the medical authority not the cops.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    I think I can give you an easy answer: Are the people involved hurt? if not, then you really don't need to be there, right?

    allow me to elaborate. Most departments that I know of don't respond to every single fender bender in their area. In fact, we only respond to MVCs with resports of injuries, as well as major TCs (rollovers, car vs motorcycle/pedestrian/building/etc). So if there is a minor MVC, and there are no injuries, then I don't get dispatched. If it is a rollover, and I'm dispatched as a precaution, and there are no injuries, you know what happens? I get cancelled by the PD.

    now, there is a difference between no injuries and injuries that don't want to be treated and/or transported. if you are hurt, then I need to do a run sheet. if you aren't hurt, then I wasn't called for you (I am only called to help the hurt people), and the police officer will document that you were unhurt, so I don't need to do a run sheet. and if everyone is unhurt, then I don't need any paperwork, and the officer cancels the responding units.

    any questions?
    We ran a shooting not too long ago where the Cops came out before we went in to the house and stated the patient was dead.

    At this point Dr., do you leave???That is what I get from your post.
    We went in, and in fact the pt was breathing with a pulse. Now what?

    Next, what about the car accident where the patient states they don't feel hurt and don't need to go to the hospital. You say you are not even going to do a report? Correct?
    So what happens when the pt. goes home and dies of a broken neck and you don't have a report stating pt. refusal signed by the pt. and witnessed?

    Law suits. But maybe thats how it's done in your neck of the woods. Sounds like you are just waiting to be served. And if you don't think it can't happen to you......well......

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    Fortunately we have a good working relationship with the sheriff and state police, so we don't have this issue much.

    I agree with mikeyboy, calmly explain to the officer that you have a responsibility and need to complete your paperwork. Ask him to sign for custody / responsibility if he won't let you examine the patient. If that fails, call your chief or other officer and let him speak with the officer. If all else fails, document the incident including the officers name and badge number.

    Most of the time they will understand and cooperate if asked nicely and calmly.

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    Say "thank you" to the police officer, get back on the bus and go home. No patient contact, no abandonment. This work for us as we have a very good working relationship with the street cops and they have been around for the most part to know of any concerns. If they have any doubt at all, they will definately call us. Now as far as dead, they cannot make that determination for the most part and the medics will get involved. For the most part, I mean if there are obviously injuries incompatible with life, such as missing heads, brains seeing the light of day, mutiple body parts, and such, well you really don't need to be a MD for those...
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    If it was me...Your radio transmission should go something like this...

    "Cancelled by police, no service needed, we're available"

    Your run report should reflect the incident details and police officer badge number that cancelled you. They accepted the liability by recalling you.

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    Around here the incident commander is the authority having investigative jurisdiction. That means for traffic collisions, the cops are the authority. They get to tell us where to go and what to do. Now in the general operation of an accident scene with injuries they turf that to us because that's what we do.

    I also agree, not every patient involved in any kind of accident (automotive or otherwise) needs a full evaluation by the fire department. My course of action when I come across a fender bender with the people standing outside exchanging information or talking on their cell phones is to lean out the window and ask if anybody is hurt. Render any assistance to clear the road. If not, move on.

    Birken

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehs7554
    We ran a shooting not too long ago where the Cops came out before we went in to the house and stated the patient was dead.

    At this point Dr., do you leave???That is what I get from your post.
    We went in, and in fact the pt was breathing with a pulse. Now what?
    well, it's a crime scene. that means the cops are in charge. in the example you give, I would say the cops screwed up big time.

    In my neck of the woods, we wait for the paramedics or the medical examiner to pronounce a dead person. this only happens is a patient is found to be asystole in 3 leads, or shows other obvious signs of death. A couple of years ago my squad (BLS) got dispatched for a suicidal hanging. we got there, and PD wouldn't even allow us into the room to examine the patient. they actually stopped us at the door. the paramedics arrived, then let them in, the medics pronounced him, and then the medics left.

    so again, in your example, the cops screwed up by cancelling you. whatever happens as a result of their actions is on their head, not yours.
    Quote Originally Posted by ehs7554
    Next, what about the car accident where the patient states they don't feel hurt and don't need to go to the hospital. You say you are not even going to do a report? Correct?
    So what happens when the pt. goes home and dies of a broken neck and you don't have a report stating pt. refusal signed by the pt. and witnessed?
    correct. in that case, I would usually be cancelled by the police prior to arriving on scene.

    let me ask you a question: do you respond (along with the ambulance) to every motor vehicle accident, including the ones with no injuries? for every little fender bender? if not, what happens if your fender bender victim goes home and dies of a broken neck? it is your responsibility to provide EMS care, by your logic you would be liable for negligence because you didn't adaquately treat the patient (the fact that you weren't dispatched is kind of a mood point).
    Quote Originally Posted by ehs7554
    Law suits. But maybe thats how it's done in your neck of the woods. Sounds like you are just waiting to be served. And if you don't think it can't happen to you......well......
    I don't know how it works down under, but I am there to treat the injured. I don't go to every minor BS MVC. if an injured person doesn't want to go, they sign a refusal. if a person isn't injured (ie, no complaints or signs of obvious injury), then the officer documents it in his report. I don't need to have someone refuse to be treated when they aren't even injured.
    Quote Originally Posted by FFFred
    Around here we are the medical authority and we determine if there are or aren't patients. If you get the run YOU must determine the well being of those involved. If you end up in court "The police officer told me so..." isn't going to get you that far.
    FFFred, in NYC, does FDNY respond to every MVC, including those without injuries? if not, aren't you taking the officer (or caller's) word for it that you aren't needed?
    Quote Originally Posted by FFFred
    I know of incidents where patients under trains were written off as dead by PD an even EMS(on rare occasion) until firemen actually examined the patient and found they were infact alive.
    I would imagine that is more likely to be the rarity than the common occurance. usually EMS would find the person alive, instead of fire or PD, because EMS has other tools at it's disposal, and is better trained in their use. and I would think that after an incident that you describe, there would be both the suspensions and firing of EMS personnel involved, because it shows a gross neglience on the part of the medics.

    But I'm curious, can you state specific instances where this happened? news articles would be great, because I doubt an instance such as the ones you describe would go unreported by the press.
    Quote Originally Posted by FFFred
    They have their job and you have yours...be respectful so as not to cause a scene but also be forceful and be sure that no one needs treatment...until EMS arrival we are the medical authority not the cops.
    so no FDNY appartus can be cancelled prior to arrival by PD?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610
    If it was me...Your radio transmission should go something like this...

    "Cancelled by police, no service needed, we're available"

    Your run report should reflect the incident details and police officer badge number that cancelled you. They accepted the liability by recalling you.
    Bingo. Around here, PD/SD/CHP can cancel Fire/EMS, Fire can cancel EMS... but once EMS goes on-scene and makes patient contact, their only options are transport or RMCT (Refuse Med. Care/Transport--basically an AMA). PD/Fire may cancel EMS at any time prior to them making patient contact (including as soon as they roll up), but once contact is made, that's it.
    Of course, if PD/Fire cancels EMS, then liability for said cancellation is on PD/Fire, not EMS.

    If PD says cancel, cancel...that's my advice. You're not likely to win an argument with them, and creating unnecessary harsh feelings and resentment isn't in your best interest, either. Just ask for the officer's name and badge number for documentation of who cancellled you...just knowing that liability's on his/her head may change the whole tune entirely.

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    If you are a automatic dispatch to a minor accident and first responders find no injury and no one requesting an ambulance, or a transport, then fine, you are cancelled in route. If the call requested an ambulance, then there should be at a minimum an evaluation and a release signed. Lots of grey area here. Used to be standard for comerical ambulance companies to run on "scanner calls", go to all the MVC's and collect "pt info" and bill everyone for a cancelled call fee. Your situation, kick it up the line to the commanders. Here in Ct state law says the Fire Chief is in control of the scene until he releases it, but we dont rub it in the troopers faces, we work together. Still, CYA, dispatch tapes, etc are very helpful. "On arrival, PD on scene states no services needed, scene left under control of PD.." I dont feel I have to redo everything as long as my *** is covered. Well, there was the time the PD, first on scene, said everyone left prior, and we missed the vic in the woods. Now any unoccupied crash gets a search until we come up with at least an operator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610
    If it was me...Your radio transmission should go something like this...

    "Cancelled by police, no service needed, we're available"

    Your run report should reflect the incident details and police officer badge number that cancelled you. They accepted the liability by recalling you.

    Wouldn't you still run the risk of getting splattered by the same bucket of sh** that Officer Friendly will be getting dumped on him?Or,in another,uglier scenario,what if he writes a report saying that he was begging and pleading with you to treat an injured suspect and you refused and took off?How would you prove that YOUR run sheet was the one telling the truth in court?Maybe he's bright enough to stand near his dashcam and make like he's arguing to get treatment for the suspect with someone portraying you to back him up.
    Not running you down,just trotting out an idea of how badly things can go if someone wants to make it bad.And I sure wouldn't want to be in an area where cop/fire/EMS relations are that bad.

    Having said that,I admit I am new to EMS but all the training I have gotten from the Navy on to the fire service tells me that if I am charged with a responsibility,I am to make every effort to carry out that responsibility and/or verify that it has been transferred to another party that can be held accountable.
    If the law doggies won't let EMS near a patient due to it being a crime scene,he should be told that if there IS a medical problem and he didn't allow a need for treatment to be assessed,he could be the one that let the suspect have another "Get out of Jail Free"card.
    Last edited by doughesson; 09-18-2006 at 11:33 AM.

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    Before he asks....no, our EMS does not roll to every MVA. And no, that is not taking the word of the officer to cancel. There is a difference in not being called at all and getting cancelled by a non-medically trained person. But I'm sure you know that.

    Back to the original question, IF we were dispatched, PD can advise there are no injuries, but we will still get to the scene and get sign-off's from the people. IF the LEO was not letting us see the patient, it's a simple radio call to PD hdqtrs to get that problem taken care of. That LEO would not make that choice a second time. Everyone has their own job/task to perform.
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    Thank you all. What we did was notified the PD chief and told him what happened. Should not be a problem in the future. We have always had a good working relationship with our local law enforcement agencies, this is one of the very few time I know of that we had a bit of a run in. Thanks Again!!!

    Bobby K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    so no FDNY appartus can be cancelled prior to arrival by PD?
    Nope.



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    It's rare, but we will cancel per the State Police -- it's got to be very minor for them to do it. All Troopers in my state are also First Responder certified.

    They do realize the risk their taking.

    Few years back a Trooper in another area released the FD on arrival...he had a car into the guard rails with no one around, no signs of a victim, no signs of ejection, etc. Several days later the victim's friends found the body a short distance into the brush...whoopsie. CSP now must have a police canine or the local FD with a TIC clear the area when there's no victims found initially.

    Heck, thinking about it they probably call us more often to assist them with support services like the TIC, traffic control, or scene lighting then they cancel us

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    Cops versus Fire Department? Now there is something new! If you are "dispatched", you are obligated to check and fulfill your responsibility (whatever that may be). If the police do not let you have access to the vehicle - patients - whatever, I would make sure to get the full name, badge number and agency for your report, and ensure that it is cc'ed to the proper supervisors, legal division and governing body. If you feel that it is an emergent situation on scene that requires the fire department's immediate involvement, have the police supervisor sent. It's unfortunate if it comes to this, but it happens. I hope that this helps.

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    Car accident, cops shoo you away from motorist?
    From past experience (in both uniforms) sounds like either the motorist was a perp or they were protecting one of their own, either way, stay out of it! no patient contact = no patient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    .FFFred, in NYC, does FDNY respond to every MVC, including those without injuries? if not, aren't you taking the officer (or caller's) word for it that you aren't needed?
    If we receive an alarm we must respond. If we are never notified of said alarm...we aren't taking anyones word on it. Does that make sense?

    I would imagine that is more likely to be the rarity than the common occurance. usually EMS would find the person alive, instead of fire or PD, because EMS has other tools at it's disposal, and is better trained in their use. and I would think that after an incident that you describe, there would be both the suspensions and firing of EMS personnel involved, because it shows a gross neglience on the part of the medics.
    EMS and cops have just simply did not check because they don't want to get under the train with a person missing limbs and such. They just assumed that the injuries were not condusive to life.

    I know of this happening in my former dept as well.

    Usually it take EMS and even PD forever to respond to any run...FD we usually arrive in 4 minutes or less...on occasion they have a bus nearby and beat us in. That is how the situation we are discusing occurs.

    But I'm curious, can you state specific instances where this happened? news articles would be great, because I doubt an instance such as the ones you describe would go unreported by the press.
    There wouldn't be news articles because we don't air dirty laundry with the press...what they don't know doesn't hurt them. I will say one that I'm familiar with occured on the IRT 7th ave line. Not sure why you would think this nonsense would make the papers.

    so no FDNY appartus can be cancelled prior to arrival by PD?
    No, Why would the Police department have any authority to cancel the fire department who are responding to an alarm? What are their credentials to make any judgements in regards to Fire or EMS? Do we have the authority to cancel PD? No we don't either.

    The only time I've ever been cancled by anyone is when our dispatchers either accidentally transmit an alarm by error while working on the system or when they realize that they have the completely incorect box inputted into the CADS. And it is exceedingly rare that even this occurs...perhaps a few times a year.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 10-04-2006 at 11:06 AM.

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    I would have to say that I am glad that I have not had experiences like this as we have a GREAT working relationship with the officers in and around where I work. They would most likely give us the reason why we were not to approach the car. They understand our job and we understand theirs. I can understand your frustration as you were given little to no information but all I can say is that I would simply inform them that they need to sign my paperwork stating that they are not allowing me to assess any patients. This simply takes the liability off you. If the shift supervisor was not there and aware I would make him aware so that he can talk with the appropriate chief officer.

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