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A question for you all
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21 / Dreamscape
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Posted 9/12/12
I'd like to ask all of you a question. An off-duty EMT sees a collision by the side of a road. There are no emergency service personnel on the scene, just Good Samaritans. The EMT has a doctor's appointment and doesn't stop to help. As the EMT is driving by, one of the Good Samaritans notices the EMT sticker's on his/her license plate and calls in to get the EMT fired for negligence, since they didn't stop to help. Now here is the question. Is the EMT negligent for not stopping? (For those of you who don't know, EMT stands for Emergency Medical Technician. They are the people in the ambulances that administer prehospital care to patients.)
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38 / M / Where the heart is
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Posted 9/12/12 , edited 9/12/12
After asking someone who's worked in a hospital for 30+ years. Just like doctors they are required to stop and render aid. If you don't want to they really shouldn't advertise what they do on their vehicle.
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25 / Behind you
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Posted 9/12/12
As someone who has taken an EMT class. My teacher was a fire chief and he covered this topic in class.

It depends on if the EMT is in his jurisdiction/area he is allowed to operate. There is a law called "duty to act" that applies even when you are off the clock. So depending on your local regulation, yes you may be obligated to help if nobody is at the scene yet.
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28 / M
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Posted 9/12/12 , edited 9/12/12
The EMT wouldn't be fired depending on jurisdiction. They arent required to stop at every accident they see, especially if they are off duty I think. Maybe he should have stopped, but odds are he wouldnt have had any medical equipment with him anyway and wouldnt have done a lot of good.

That being said I know doctors and nurses all of whom would tell you it's a bad idea to stop. Why you ask? Because I remember this one doctor who had been sued after he stopped at the scene of an accident to help out. There were no deaths in the incident but just by attempting to help he opened himself up to litigation, it's sad but that's how things are nowadays.
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25 / Behind you
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Posted 9/12/12

rawratl wrote:

The EMT wouldn't be fired. They arent required to stop at any accident they see, especially if they are off duty. Maybe he should have stopped, but odds are he wouldnt have had any medical equipment with him anyway and wouldnt have dont a lot of good.

That being said I know doctors and nurses all of whom would tell you it's a bad idea to stop. Why you ask? Because I remember this one doctor who had been sued after he stopped at the scene of an accident to help out. There were no deaths in the incident but just by attempting to help he opened himself up to litigation, it's sad but that's how things are nowadays.


As an EMT you are protected from being sued as long as you follow proper regulation. The "helper being sued" issue is not as much as an issue to an EMT as it is to a pedestrian. Also, like I said above, depending on where you work as an EMT, you may be obligated to stop and help.
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28 / M
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Posted 9/12/12
Yeah I edited because I remembered the jurisdiction thing for EMTs after I read your post. I wonder if the same regulations apply for them not being sued when they are off-duty.
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27 / F / behind you
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Posted 9/12/12 , edited 9/12/12
Is this a hypathetical question?

I believe most exployees whom chose jobs that generally help people have done so because they have a deep wanting to help people with their health situations. Employees in a hospital or Doctors Office have a high suicide weight because of the stress they puut themselves under trying to help people and thus I do not believe this situation is factuial.

Appointment times can be changed even if there's a small fee for not showing up without a call beforehand. EMT ambulencescars usually have a phone/labtop/radio to contact the hospital they work at.

In conclusion, I argue the possibility that this event took place.
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25 / Behind you
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Posted 9/12/12

rawratl wrote:

Yeah I edited because I remembered the jurisdiction thing for EMTs after I read your post. I wonder if the same regulations apply for them not being sued when they are off-duty.


iirc, you are afforded the same legal protection off duty as on duty.
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24 / M / Britannia
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Posted 9/12/12
depends on how serious the doctors appointment was....it also depends on how bad the accident was maybe the EMT sized up the accident saw that it wasn't that bad and that there was already someone their so it wasn't worth his time..to many depends in this situation but by no means do i think he should get fired maybe a good ole lecturing that his job is to HELP ppl regardless of being on duty or not and he still should of checked it out...EMT isn't one of those jobs you can just check out of because your not on the clock. Your trained to help ppl and you choose to do it... therefore you are responsible if there are people in need of help...
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28 / M
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Posted 9/12/12 , edited 9/12/12


I hope so, it angers me how easy it is to file frivolous lawsuits against medical personnel without any worry of counter-suits or repercussions

Back to the original topic. Like Sti11er said, he really doesnt state how bad the accident was or how important the EMT's medical appointment was.
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101 / F / USA
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Posted 9/12/12
Too many variables to place blame. Part of me doubts it really happened because if I was helping at the scene of an accident I wouldn't really have time to be checking out the stickers on people cars as they pass by unless it wasn't that bad an accident. Also doctors appointments can be changed but if he was going to the doctor because he was sick or injured he might not have felt well enough to help.
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24 / F / United States
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Posted 9/12/12 , edited 9/12/12
Would an off duty police officer walk away from a robbery just because he wasn't on the "clock"? Christ any human being who has that kind of training and is capable of turning the other direction when faced with an accident without even Checking to see if someone need their help is a fucking self absorbed prick who should do the world a favor, and carve out the jerky beating in his chest with a bronze plated spork.

The End.
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22 / M / UK
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Posted 9/12/12
In the UK services are limited by health and safety and will get punished in some cases for the good samaratin taking over. e.g. 2 community watch officers watched a girl drown in a "dangerous" pond as they were not qualified to dive in. A paramedic technician is the one down from a paramedic - may know just as much as the paramedic have the correct medicine at hand but is not legally allowed to administer said medicine.
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23 / Canada
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Posted 9/12/12
There is no law about that here, anyone can help and no one can sue them for helping.
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22 / M / Louisiana
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Posted 9/12/12
I would say it depends on the severity of the crash. If its just a fender bender then I'm sure the people won't need immediate medical help or might not need any medical help at all.
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