Abandonment Scenario

Status
Not open for further replies.

Wambulance

Forum Probie
18
2
3
You're an off-duty AEMT on your way to run errands when you happen upon a car fire with an injured driver and a fire engine just pulling up. Your state's Good Samaritan laws have a "Duty to Act" clause, but you also just want to help, because it's a rural area and there are only two firefighters on the truck and no ambulance in sight.

You and another driver (a civilian who stopped to help) assist the firefighter in pulling the patient away from the burning car. You know the firefighter: in fact, he is your colleague. The car accident happened in your agency's service area.

The FF/EMT is with the patient but doesn't know anything about whether any higher-level care is en route and doesn't have a radio. The patient has facial burns and indications of smoke inhalation; his tongue is dark-colored and appears swollen; you are worried about airway maintenance, but you don't have any medical equipment, and there's none on the engine. You think a paramedic intercept and possibly med-flight might be necessary on account of the severity of the airway compromise (it's a rural area a fair distance from definitive care), but you have no way to communicate, so you leave the patient with the on-duty EMT, who also can't do anything, and jog about three yards over to the other FF, who has assumed incident command and start to ask him about who's en route and if you should get on a radio and contact dispatch. He tells you he's busy and you need to "f*** off."

Just then an ambulance pulls up and you jog back to the patient and help load him; an AEMT from the ambulance assumes care at that point.

You're pretty steamed about the IC yelling at you for no good reason, but chalk it up to stress-*******ry and go home and have a nice weekend.

On Monday, your boss sends you an e-mail saying you don't need to come into work that week because you are now on unpaid leave pending an investigation of negligence and patient abandonment because you were the higher-level provider and left the patient. Oh and also the IC thinks you have an attitude problem because you were "demanding" and questioned his authority on scene. (Which you didn't; you were calm and professional and just trying to help)

Does your boss have a case?
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
11,794
6,492
113
If this is you, get a lawyer.

in the case of the scenario, if you are are an off duty AEMT and the respondIng unit was an AEMT, zero liability.

Tell your boss to F off and get a lawyer.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
1,429
614
113
I know you didn't ask this, but just to add to the discussion, if you'd stayed with the patient and sent the first FF to speak with the second, there'd be no accusation of abandonment and no complaint from the IC. I think it's cool that you stopped, though.
 

Carlos Danger

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
4,343
3,049
113
I would be very surprised to learn that briefly moving three yards away from a patient in order to communicate about issues critical to the management of that patient constitutes "abandonment" in any jurisdiction. Especially when you weren't providing any intervention that couldn't be maintained by other trained personnel who remained with the patient.
 

GMCmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
1,618
1,022
113
Your boss should be fired. He/she is clearly unqualified to be in a leadership position. Get a lawyer and some job applications.


Also, Duty to Act laws are ridiculous.
 
Last edited:

CCCSD

Forum Deputy Chief
1,206
747
113
OP, if these things happened to you, you have issues. This is the second time you’ve posted about ICS problems leading to complaints against you.

I’m siding with your Boss.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,544
2,498
113
OP, if these things happened to you, you have issues. This is the second time you’ve posted about ICS problems leading to complaints against you.

I’m siding with your Boss.
uh, based on what? Your sweet investigative skills?
 
OP
W

Wambulance

Forum Probie
18
2
3
OP, if these things happened to you, you have issues. This is the second time you’ve posted about ICS problems leading to complaints against you.

I’m siding with your Boss.
Fair enough. My first post didn't have anything to do with me, though; I was just wondering if off-site command was standard practice. I work in a very, very rural area in the midwest, and I'm relatively new to EMS and very new to firefighting. Nobody in my family or circle of friends works in the field. I thought this might be a good place to get perspective from people with more experience/in more high-volume services.

I'm not always sure what's standard practice and what is unique to my fairly isolated area/service. That's why I'm asking.

Sometimes it's good to hear "nope, you're the a-hole" or "Hmm, that's not really standard practice." So I'm 100% willing to admit to being the a-hole. I'm just trying to find my way in a new career with not much guidance or experience. Knowing I'm wrong means I know to change. So I appreciate the feedback.
 
OP
W

Wambulance

Forum Probie
18
2
3
three sides to every story...your's, their's and the truth....
There are as many sides to a story as there are people involved. Everyone has a perspective, and I'm the first to admit that I don't remember every detail because it was a hectic and fast-paced scene. Does that mean that the truth is inaccessible? If there's no objective truth, then how do we learn and improve? (Who is the "they" in "their" perspective, btw, and why assume that all perspectives in opposition to each other?)

The patient is alive and well, which is the outcome we all worked for. I feel like I did a good job advocating for the patient. If I fell short or missed something, that's why I'm posting here; for feedback. Just saying "everyone's view is subjective" doesn't help me become better at my job. Tell me what I should have done (sent the emt for help, e.g.). Just posting vague shade doesn't help anyone.
 
OP
W

Wambulance

Forum Probie
18
2
3
Hay @CCCSD , you'll be happy to know that I've left field ems entirely. I don't think I did anything wrong, and neither does my state medical director, EMS district chair, union rep, shift leader, town manager, lawyer, or anyone else who investigated the matter at the behest of an idiot chief with ego issues. I would do the same all over again, because it was the right thing to do and the result for the patient was excellent. But as you've demonstrated, one or two snarky a-holes throwing baseless, ignorant, baseless shade can really illuminate that the profession isn't as professional or quality-of-care focused as you'd hoped; that firefighting isn't always a "brotherhood."

New gig, also in emergency medicine, is a revelation. Professional, patient-focused environment. Rigorous training and standards; myriad opportunities for advancement. No knuckle-dragging morons stroking their egos around the day-room table or on internet forums. Good luck with your...issues.
 

CCCSD

Forum Deputy Chief
1,206
747
113
1. Since you had to post a list of people who you say cleared you, it just solidifies you were the problem.

2. I don’t care about you, so feel free to not post anymore drama directed to me.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
1,429
614
113
Hay @CCCSD , you'll be happy to know that I've left field ems entirely. I don't think I did anything wrong, and neither does my state medical director, EMS district chair, union rep, shift leader, town manager, lawyer, or anyone else who investigated the matter at the behest of an idiot chief with ego issues. I would do the same all over again, because it was the right thing to do and the result for the patient was excellent. But as you've demonstrated, one or two snarky a-holes throwing baseless, ignorant, baseless shade can really illuminate that the profession isn't as professional or quality-of-care focused as you'd hoped; that firefighting isn't always a "brotherhood."

New gig, also in emergency medicine, is a revelation. Professional, patient-focused environment. Rigorous training and standards; myriad opportunities for advancement. No knuckle-dragging morons stroking their egos around the day-room table or on internet forums. Good luck with your...issues.
I was with you until I read that.

You started this thread looking for opinions. You didn't like all of them. That's part of the deal. Why come back three weeks later with something like this? It makes me wonder about the whole situation.
 

CCCSD

Forum Deputy Chief
1,206
747
113
You're an off-duty AEMT on your way to run errands when you happen upon a car fire with an injured driver and a fire engine just pulling up. Your state's Good Samaritan laws have a "Duty to Act" clause, but you also just want to help, because it's a rural area and there are only two firefighters on the truck and no ambulance in sight.

You and another driver (a civilian who stopped to help) assist the firefighter in pulling the patient away from the burning car. You know the firefighter: in fact, he is your colleague. The car accident happened in your agency's service area.

The FF/EMT is with the patient but doesn't know anything about whether any higher-level care is en route and doesn't have a radio. The patient has facial burns and indications of smoke inhalation; his tongue is dark-colored and appears swollen; you are worried about airway maintenance, but you don't have any medical equipment, and there's none on the engine. You think a paramedic intercept and possibly med-flight might be necessary on account of the severity of the airway compromise (it's a rural area a fair distance from definitive care), but you have no way to communicate, so you leave the patient with the on-duty EMT, who also can't do anything, and jog about three yards over to the other FF, who has assumed incident command and start to ask him about who's en route and if you should get on a radio and contact dispatch. He tells you he's busy and you need to "f*** off."

Just then an ambulance pulls up and you jog back to the patient and help load him; an AEMT from the ambulance assumes care at that point.

You're pretty steamed about the IC yelling at you for no good reason, but chalk it up to stress-*******ry and go home and have a nice weekend.

On Monday, your boss sends you an e-mail saying you don't need to come into work that week because you are now on unpaid leave pending an investigation of negligence and patient abandonment because you were the higher-level provider and left the patient. Oh and also the IC thinks you have an attitude problem because you were "demanding" and questioned his authority on scene. (Which you didn't; you were calm and professional and just trying to help)

Does your boss have a case?
Saved for the next time.
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
10,473
1,164
113
And that's enough of this one.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top