Certainly enjoyed this informative Podcast! It raises issues that just 10 or even fewer years back wouldn't have aroused curiosity to many of us. Remember when we used to fill residential swimming pools ?
A few years ago, I recall being dispatched to a residence where EMS was already on scene. The EMT and Paramedic were trying to maneuver a gurney with patient out an entry that was obstructed by large shrubbery and low tree limbs. I chopped a clearing just enough to allow passage of the elderly patient, the gurney and crew. The next day, on my own time, I returned to that location and trimmed all the shrubbery and tree limbs around the house, loaded the debris in my pickup and hauled it away. At the time, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I was never reprimanded, suspended, or sued for my actions, but then again, until now, no-one ever knew about it. The specific situation the podcast dwells on is a Fire Dept. being called by a "private" ambulance company to assist them in loading a 700 pound patient into the private ambulance. Gosh, what about that ? Most metro Department dispatchers probably have specific procedures or policy to follow. Usually a Battalion Chief is notified before any dispatch is made, and the Battalion Chief decides what policy to follow or ignore. The podcast mentions legal aspects and suggests that a whole can of worms pertaining to insurance-and other yadda- yadda details. Such, yadda-yadda needs to be addressed-particuarly if this is an emergent or non emergent situation. Did you ever have a 700 lb. patient to load ? My opinion is that a private ambulance in the business of regular transports of medi-care patients and such other non-emergent transfers should address and compile specific patient imformation long before the scheduled transport...but
what if they fail to do so then drop the 700 pounder on the sidewalk and then call 911 for your help and your department refuses to provide assistance?? Remember the swimming pool I mentioned earlier ? Seems like one of those shark- like lawyers you see on the tv commercials could have a our butts as chum if we don't start addressing and considering similar scenarios before final policy is made about non-emergent calls. If you get the chance, turn off the tv for a few minutes and listen to this Fire Engineering Podcast. It will provide information that will cause you to think out of the proverbial box. Thanks Chip, John, Brad and Curt ! You guys bring more to think about in this great and ever changing fire service.