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  1. #1
    Forum Member Explorer343's Avatar
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    Default Do emergency personnel mind if an Explorer renders medical aid to accident victim?

    I was just wondering if firefighters, police, and EMS mind if an Explorer pulls over to render medical aid to an accident victim(s) outside of the city/town that your dept. is located even if he/she as a medical certification? What kind of care would you give them? Could you use tools that you have to gain entrance into the car on a first responder cert. or would that be considered a "breech of duty"?

    Just handy to know when I'm traveling.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    An Explorer per se has no duty to act unless it's inherent in an emergency medical certification that they might hold. (i.e unrelated to being an Explorer) Duty to Act based on EMS certs varies from state to state -- most don't have it unless they are on-duty for an EMS agency or similar.

    So as far as an Explorer coming onto the scene of an accident is concerned, they're typically going to be treated no differently than any other civilian responder.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343 View Post
    Could you use tools that you have to gain entrance into the car
    Why do I have the mental image of a 1994 Toyota Corolla with a Hurst tool in the back seat?

    While you may not have duty to act, there is a moral responsibility to help your fellow man. Some feel this duty more so than others. That being said, your first responsibility is to protect yourself. Stopping for a minor MVA on a residential street is a whole different situation than on a limited access highway.

    Acting within the levels of your training and certification is OK, but understand you will most likely be on your own for any injuries that may occur while assisting.

    When I have a civilian assisting when I arrive at an MVA, I get his or her information, what they did, and ask them if they saw the accident occur. If yes refer to PD, and if not, clear them from the scene.
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 10-06-2007 at 02:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenNFD1219 View Post
    Why do I have the mental image of a 1994 Toyota Corolla with a Hurst tool in the back seat?

    While you may not have duty to act, there is a moral responsibility to help your fellow man. Some feel this duty more so than others. That being said, your first responsibility is to protect yourself. Stopping for a minor MVA on a residential street is a whole different situation than on a limited access highway.

    Acting within the levels of your training and certification is OK, but understand you will most likely be on your own for any injuries that may occur while assisting.

    When I have a civilian assisting when I arrive at an MVA, I get his or her information, what they did, and ask them if they saw the accident occur. If yes refer to PD, and if not, clear them from the scene.
    Good points. But i also want to add, if you invovled in an MVA, or you witness one,you are required to stop and render aid within your level of care. Ex. If you are CPR and First Aid certified, you can assist within you training. If you are not CPR certified, and give CPR to someone, you could end up getting sued by the dead persons family, because you weren't doing something you were trained professionally to do.

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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpha4 View Post
    Good points. But i also want to add, if you invovled in an MVA, or you witness one,you are required to stop and render aid within your level of care.
    Please be clear that is not the case everywhere. "Duty to Act" varies from state to state. For instance, here in CT, you only have a legal duty to act if you are legitimately on-duty with an agency tasked with emergecny medical response and then only to the level associated with that agency.

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha4 View Post
    If you are not CPR certified, and give CPR to someone, you could end up getting sued by the dead persons family, because you weren't doing something you were trained professionally to do.
    Once again, this will vary from state to state. In most cases, any aid you provide as a private person without specific certification training will fall under some sort of Good Samaritan coverage as long as it is reasonable and appropriate to the emergency.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  6. #6
    Forum Member KnightnPBIArmor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343 View Post
    Could you use tools that you have to gain entrance into the car on a first responder cert. or would that be considered a "breech of duty"?

    .
    If I roll up and some kid (or adult for that matter) that I don't know is prying and jerking on a car where I have patients that have potential spinal injuries than that individual is going to be introduced to our local law enforcement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alpha4 View Post
    Good points. But i also want to add, if you invovled in an MVA, or you witness one,you are required to stop and render aid within your level of care. Ex. If you are CPR and First Aid certified, you can assist within you training.
    Are you sure about this? That isn't what I've been taught. I'd have to stop at a lot of accidents if this were true.

    EDIT: question was pretty much answered above while I typed.
    Last edited by scrapper; 10-06-2007 at 03:31 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member KnightnPBIArmor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpha4 View Post
    . But i also want to add, if you invovled in an MVA, or you witness one,you are required to stop and render aid within your level of care. Ex. If you are CPR and First Aid certified, you can assist within you training. .
    I can't speak for everywhere but here you are not REQUIRED to stop, simply for the fact that the average person, off duty medics included, don't carry the universal precautions that are the standard for protection against infectious diseases. Yes, I know some do, but it is not a general enough practice to REQUIRE everyone to stop.

  9. #9
    Forum Member KnightnPBIArmor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpha4 View Post
    . If you are not CPR certified, and give CPR to someone, you could end up getting sued by the dead persons family, because you weren't doing something you were trained professionally to do.
    Sorry for the multiple posts, but I left this one out: If you are not CPR certified, you are covered under the Good Samaritan Act, and you act in good faith and attempt to do CPR, even if it is CPR you saw on TV, then you are covered. If you however pull out your Swiss Army knife and a ball point pen and try to do a trach because you saw that on TV, then you are not covered by that because that would be acting beyond the good faith of a reasonable person. Plus I ask you this: Why would the family sue? If you do CPR wrong even though you were trying to do it right and the patient dies, what would have happened if you wouldhave done nothing? Yep, they would have died just the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightnPBIArmor View Post
    I can't speak for everywhere but here you are not REQUIRED to stop, simply for the fact that the average person, off duty medics included, don't carry the universal precautions that are the standard for protection against infectious diseases. Yes, I know some do, but it is not a general enough practice to REQUIRE everyone to stop.
    Thanks, i meant required to stop if your involved in an MVA, and render aid to those who need. I think this goes for anywhere. Even if your not CPR, first aid certified, etc, you help where you can.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Explorer343's Avatar
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    Let me edit the part about the tools. By tools, I don't mean heavy machinery like a "jaws-of-life" but like small hand tools (e.g. screw driver, hammer, etc.) to gain access to the pt. Even if it's used to break open a window just to get into the back seat to do c-spine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343 View Post
    Let me edit the part about the tools. By tools, I don't mean heavy machinery like a "jaws-of-life" but like small hand tools (e.g. screw driver, hammer, etc.) to gain access to the pt. Even if it's used to break open a window just to get into the back seat to do c-spine.
    Do you carry gloves on you or in your car all the time?

  13. #13
    Forum Member Explorer343's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacklrd View Post
    Do you carry gloves on you or in your car all the time?
    Yes. In my medical bag.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Well here's my thoughts on it.

    1. If the situation is clearly life or death, (i.e. smoking/burning car, deadly bleed, etc.) I won't knock anyone for trying thier best. Also, when you are out in the sticks with extended response times, you have to make do.

    2. If the situation is not so clear, or we are only a few moments away, I don't want anyone in the car until we stabilize it. If you jump in the back seat through a window, you have no protection from rolling, fire, airbags, other hazards, etc...

    If you can assess the ABC's from the drivers side window, and/or reassure the pt, go for it (just keep your head out of range of an airbag). But don't go getting in deep without backup. You'll only increase the chance of complicating the situation with more injuries, and confuse the responders.

    And FYI, If I don't know you and/or your training/cert personally, you WILL be asked to get out of the way to let one of my guys take over. You may have the best intentions in mind, but I've seen a lot of excited bystanders screw things up, even those who claimed "training".

    That just delays and endangers the entire operation.

    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  15. #15
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    There are only two states in the USA that "REQUIRE" people with training to stop. I can't remember the second one, but the first is Vermont.

    Basically, in Vermont, if you have a certification relative to the situation you are required to stop. On duty or off duty, it does not matter.
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  16. #16
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    I will agree with mcadwell with this one. If an Explorer, Jr, volly, career, whatever comes across an accident and renders aid, there is very limited care that one can do. I agree if it is a life threatning situation, I.E. fire, vehicle in water, etc, or the person is PNB, yes get the person out.

    However, if the pt is talking or at least has signs of life and there is no other immediate danger, then don't place yourself into danger either. If you have tools in your car, LEAVE THEM THERE, you will do better for a pt by reassuring them and possibly holding C-spine. Beware of airbags, they are damn scary going off and can absolutely injure or even kill a responder. It may be your best bet that if the pt's window is closed and they are moving around, to place yourself in front of the car (if it isn't moving, or other hazards) and keep eye contact with the pt and tell them not to move their head. This keeps their head straight and prevents them from looking around.

    My whole contention about responders showing up at an accident, certified or not, and they are not part of my dept or I don't know them, I'll thank them for their help and kindly tell them to beat it. I will get, or have someone get, the names and contact info from someone who does render aid, be it holding C-spine or CPR. This gets documented in the pt care report. So for us, if there IS a lawsuit because the pt is paralyzed now and they want to say something about C-spine, for us, we can show that C-spine was done prior to us getting there and it would be difficult to say if it was done properly etc.

    As for certifications go, again, one may have no clue about your certs when the FD shows up. I can't count how many scenes I have come across as a responder where a bystander was a nurse or doctor, only to find out they have NO CLUE about emergency care. With the dept I'm on, several medics carry a MD notice card. Basically a little card from our medical director stating our scope of practice and the ramifications of a MD taking over pt care.

    An MD taking over pt care is one time that a bystander can be involved in the care of a pt. Most MD's know this and will not interfere. However, if an MD assumes the care of the pt on scene they are also required to ride with the pt to the hospital and also accept all responsibility for the pt. In short, if a MD on scene tells YOU, the responder, to do this or that, you can ask them if they want to take over pt care, if they don't, then you don't have to listen to their instructions or you can contact YOUR medical control as well.

    For me, if I don't know you or your certifications, thank you but leave. This goes for nurses and doctors as well. Not all of them are up with basic things like CPR and many don't have the training for trauma or even ACLS care. In a recent code blue at my part time job, we had a MD tell us to shock the pt, when the pt was not in a shockable rhythm. Same MD questioned why CPR was not being done at a 5:1 ration and why we were doing 30:2. Point is even though they hold many certs of a title, doesn't mean they have been updated on the latest protocol. Even though you are certified, doesn't mean one should be involved.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Explorer343's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    I will agree with mcadwell with this one. If an Explorer, Jr, volly, career, whatever comes across an accident and renders aid, there is very limited care that one can do. I agree if it is a life threatning situation, I.E. fire, vehicle in water, etc, or the person is PNB, yes get the person out.

    However, if the pt is talking or at least has signs of life and there is no other immediate danger, then don't place yourself into danger either. If you have tools in your car, LEAVE THEM THERE, you will do better for a pt by reassuring them and possibly holding C-spine. Beware of airbags, they are damn scary going off and can absolutely injure or even kill a responder. It may be your best bet that if the pt's window is closed and they are moving around, to place yourself in front of the car (if it isn't moving, or other hazards) and keep eye contact with the pt and tell them not to move their head. This keeps their head straight and prevents them from looking around.

    My whole contention about responders showing up at an accident, certified or not, and they are not part of my dept or I don't know them, I'll thank them for their help and kindly tell them to beat it. I will get, or have someone get, the names and contact info from someone who does render aid, be it holding C-spine or CPR. This gets documented in the pt care report. So for us, if there IS a lawsuit because the pt is paralyzed now and they want to say something about C-spine, for us, we can show that C-spine was done prior to us getting there and it would be difficult to say if it was done properly etc.

    As for certifications go, again, one may have no clue about your certs when the FD shows up. I can't count how many scenes I have come across as a responder where a bystander was a nurse or doctor, only to find out they have NO CLUE about emergency care. With the dept I'm on, several medics carry a MD notice card. Basically a little card from our medical director stating our scope of practice and the ramifications of a MD taking over pt care.

    An MD taking over pt care is one time that a bystander can be involved in the care of a pt. Most MD's know this and will not interfere. However, if an MD assumes the care of the pt on scene they are also required to ride with the pt to the hospital and also accept all responsibility for the pt. In short, if a MD on scene tells YOU, the responder, to do this or that, you can ask them if they want to take over pt care, if they don't, then you don't have to listen to their instructions or you can contact YOUR medical control as well.

    For me, if I don't know you or your certifications, thank you but leave. This goes for nurses and doctors as well. Not all of them are up with basic things like CPR and many don't have the training for trauma or even ACLS care. In a recent code blue at my part time job, we had a MD tell us to shock the pt, when the pt was not in a shockable rhythm. Same MD questioned why CPR was not being done at a 5:1 ration and why we were doing 30:2. Point is even though they hold many certs of a title, doesn't mean they have been updated on the latest protocol. Even though you are certified, doesn't mean one should be involved.
    I currently hold a basic FA/CPR/AED and a 3/4 through an Emergency Medical First Responder course (just need some healthcare provider cert.).

  18. #18
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    you should never try an extrication without the proper tools and equipment, because you never know what could go wrong...plus you don't want to harm the victim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorhead90 View Post
    you should never try an extrication without the proper tools and equipment, because you never know what could go wrong...plus you don't want to harm the victim
    What he said.
    So what if you have hammers and screwdrivers. You want to move the car as little as possible. Wait for the fire department to get on scene so they can crib it first. Under few circumstances would I attempt to gain entry on a car that a patient was trapped in (i.e. all the windows rolled up on a very hot day, the patient is visibly dying or having trouble breathing, and maybe a couple other reasons)
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  20. #20
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    All that I was gonna say has been pretty well summed up.
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