AlexTheChamberlain

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So a few coworkers of mine have been attacked by a small group of frequent flyers, who usually have no valid medical complaint, and are just looking for a ride, or sometimes they point blank say "I was just bored" when they get to the hospital. Just recently, a good friend of mine and former partner, was attacked while transporting one of these patients, resulting in her getting a broken hand. The person who did this, has threatened me and my current partner before, stating he'd "spray us with mace". He's been arrested for assault and battery on EMS multiple times, but is always out the next day, with nothing coming of it. We've pressed charges a number of times, but it's not like you can just show up and see who it is, and say "go to hell" and leave.

If you were running on someone who has attacked you, and your coworkers many times before, how would you guys handle it?
What are your policies when you fear attack from someone who is requesting you treat them?
Would you transport someone, who has attacked you in the past, and will undoubtedly do it again?

As far as it stands for us, anyone requesting treatment or transport, we are required to take. Despite behavior, past actions, or threats.
This brings up another question. At what point does fleeing an assailant turn into abandonment?
Would you kick them out of your ambulance?
Would you just flat out refuse care and transport?
Could you refuse care and transport without repercussion?

Legal actions and actions by management haven't gone anywhere, so I just want to hear what you guys think, what you would do, and your policies in such a situation?

Thanks for listening.
 

DesertMedic66

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Get on scene and see it is a person with a known history of violence towards EMS = me leaving the scene and waiting for law enforcement. I would request law enforcement to ride in with me.
 
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AlexTheChamberlain

AlexTheChamberlain

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Get on scene and see it is a person with a known history of violence towards EMS = me leaving the scene and waiting for law enforcement. I would request law enforcement to ride in with me.

I'd agree with that, but there are instances where some of these people like to involve bystanders, having them call 911 for them, or asking them to watch and even record our interactions. If we show up, see who it is, and leave waiting for sheriffs, could that be construed as making patient contact, and abandoning said patient based on past behavior, when they're acting normally and cooperative at the moment?
I just wonder, if let's say one of these individuals is acting, laying on the ground, with a bystander recording, and we walk up and suddenly realize who it is and leave them there, how that would look on us, if they try to use that against us.

Don't get me wrong, I fully agree with you, but that's just something I could see happening.
 

PotatoMedic

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Get on scene and see it is a person with a known history of violence towards EMS = me leaving the scene and waiting for law enforcement. I would request law enforcement to ride in with me.
What he said.
 

DesertMedic66

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I'd agree with that, but there are instances where some of these people like to involve bystanders, having them call 911 for them, or asking them to watch and even record our interactions. If we show up, see who it is, and leave waiting for sheriffs, could that be construed as making patient contact, and abandoning said patient based on past behavior, when they're acting normally and cooperative at the moment?
I just wonder, if let's say one of these individuals is acting, laying on the ground, with a bystander recording, and we walk up and suddenly realize who it is and leave them there, how that would look on us, if they try to use that against us.

Don't get me wrong, I fully agree with you, but that's just something I could see happening.
“Why did you leave the scene?”
“This patient has a known history of violence towards EMS, has had many charges filed against him, and has injured providers in the past. I do not feel safe treating him or even being around him without the presence of law enforcement”
“Thank you. You may return back to your shift”
 

CCCSD

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“This subject, (not patient yet), has attacked OUR EMS crews and has threatened me and my partner with violence in the past. Here are the case numbers. I will not make contact unless LE is present and involved.”

Have a meeting with LE about these mutts so they have a heads up. There is NOTHING anywhere that requires you to be attacked or threatened and not seek safety. Let EMS or your employer try to sanction you. Then open the yellow pages and find an attorney.
 

DrParasite

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1) while in the view of the public, anyone can record you. There is nothing wrong with that.
2) You CAN leave the scene, and advise anyone who asks that you will return once law enforcement has secured the violent subject, who has a history of assaulting EMS providers in the past. If your system allows, you can, with the assistance of LEOs, restrain the patient for everyone's safety.

As others have said, let your administration handle the inquiry. "Mr. paramedic, you are accused of abandoning this patient. What happened?" Well Mr. administrator, last time I transported this patient, he used me as a punching bag, and I was out of work for 2 weeks, following his unprovoked assault. Assault charges were filed, and I wasn't going to be used as a punching bag again. We advised dispatch that we would return once LEO was on scene." "Thank you Mr. Paramedic. We will inform anyone who asks that our crews are not to be used as punching bags, and you acted appropriately."

BTW, if I had a patient who threatened to spray me with mace, I am going to step out of the truck with my partner, and call PD. We will wait on the side of the road if needed. If you attack me, take a swing at me, or attack my partner, I am no longer going to be Mr nice ambulance worker, I am going to restrain you to be best of my ability, call for assistance from another EMS unit and/or PD, and I'm going to tell my boss if we ever get dispatched to your location, I am not going to even respond until I get confirmation that there is a unit on scene who is going to be transporting us to the hospital.

What does your management recommend? I might say just whoop his ***, but unless your management agrees with my recommendation, it's likely not a good idea. What does your management say you should do, when you encounter this situation?
 

johnrsemt

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Problem is; you can't refuse to respond to a 'location' because usually in cases like this it would be a street or a corner. Today would be a homeless person, tomorrow could be the mayor's wife who sprained her ankle stepping off the curb at the same corner.
You can ask for the police to respond with you, but depending where it is you may not get them.
Where I work now FT, we have the police on every one and PT almost every run. It is nice to be spoiled for a change
 

ZombieEMT

Chief Medical Zombie
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Problem is; you can't refuse to respond to a 'location' because usually in cases like this it would be a street or a corner. Today would be a homeless person, tomorrow could be the mayor's wife who sprained her ankle stepping off the curb at the same corner.
You can ask for the police to respond with you, but depending where it is you may not get them.
Where I work now FT, we have the police on every one and PT almost every run. It is nice to be spoiled for a change

When you arrive on location and discover the patient is a danger to yourself, your partner, or the public then you can back up. Some times you will be in the dark until you arrive. Unfortunately there is some risk.
 

Bullets

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What do we attribute all these assaults to? I feel like i see a lot of articles regarding this and they seem to come from commonwealth countries. Perhaps edia makes it seem more common, but ive been in EMS for ten year and worked in some pretty rough cities and have never been assaulted. I know of only a few occasions where coworkers have been assaulted as well. Is it more common over there?
 

CCCSD

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This is common in the US. I don’t know where you’re getting only EU countries. OP is in CA.
 

DrParasite

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What do we attribute all these assaults to? I feel like i see a lot of articles regarding this and they seem to come from commonwealth countries. Perhaps edia makes it seem more common, but ive been in EMS for ten year and worked in some pretty rough cities and have never been assaulted. I know of only a few occasions where coworkers have been assaulted as well. Is it more common over there?
You apparently haven't worked in rough enough areas.... i know of coworkers who were assaulted (usually by people under the influence or EDPs), some severely (IE, were unable to complete their shift afterwards, and were out of work for several days), and my partner was assaulted (albeit minorly) in the suburbs.

It happens more than you think (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=paramedic+assaulted&iar=news&ia=news).

As for why it happens? EMS is a known soft target, many laws don't protect EMS personnel (or if they do exist, they aren't enforced), and quite honestly, all too often, there are little to no consequences to pushing around the ambulance people, so people do what they can with without consequence . Although based on news reports the problem of lack of consequences for assaulting EMS is worse outside of the US
 

johnrsemt

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Bad thing is while working EMS the longest jail time anyone that assaulted me was ever given by a judge was 19 hours; 'time served for felony assault'.
When I worked retail the longest time someone was given for assault was 15 years.

Problem them somewhere
 

DrParasite

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You’re lucky. Hit a cop, you get cited and released...
I call Bull on that statement.

Hit a cop, and you're getting slammed on the ground by the cop, cuffed, then put into a cop car...... transported somewhere... then cited and released, or charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, depending on the state and the local prosecutor.

The consequences for assaulting a cop are much worse than for assaulting EMS.
 

CCCSD

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Guess you haven’t seen the Boston DA statement, nor the new guidelines in CA. Unless there is a SIGNIFICANT injury, you are at the most getting booked into jail and released as soon as they can. And you aren’t getting “a beating” either. That dont fly in 2018...

That’s the way things are going.
 

Carlos Danger

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Guess you haven’t seen the Boston DA statement, nor the new guidelines in CA. Unless there is a SIGNIFICANT injury, you are at the most getting booked into jail and released as soon as they can. And you aren’t getting “a beating” either. That dont fly in 2018...

That’s the way things are going.
As it should be. No reason cops should get any special treatment. Or get away with beating someone who hasn't been convicted of a crime.
 

DrParasite

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Sorry, when i said transported somewhere, I didn't mean give the person a beatdown, I mean to wherever processing of charges was handled (PD HQ, local jail, I don't get arrested, so I don't know what happens where) Taking the assailant to a dark alley and kicking the $**t out of him is a generally frowned upon practice.

Although, in the past, when beatdowns from public safety personnel did occur, there were far fewer reports of assaults on said public safety personnel.... coincidence?
As it should be. No reason cops should get any special treatment.
Absolutely they should. Them, FD, and EMS should all get special treatment, because they weren't involved in the original incident, but they are risking their safety to intervene. They didn't cause the problem (either the illness or the injury), nor were they involved in whatever caused the emergency, so yeah, the law should provide extra protection those who are only there to help when the general public couldn't handle the situation. And when the cops are wrong, the punishments should be equally severe.
Or get away with beating someone who hasn't been convicted of a crime.
So beating someone who has been convicted of a crime is ok?
 

VFlutter

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No different than the frequent abuse that occurs in-hospital was well. It is a serious problem in all levels of healthcare. One of our local ERs just likes 1/3 of it's nursing staff over an assault incident in which management and the hospital ignored employee safety. In most hospitals you are more likely to be fired than the patient is to be charged. It is always your fault for not properly utilizing your deescalation training :rolleyes:.

We had a patient break a PCTs arm and then was asked to be a sitter for that patient a few days later. PCT was actually reprimanded when they refused. You can not make up the level of ignorance.
 
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