KTerceira, no one argued with you on that last point. There are flaws every where but pointing them out never fixed a thing so if you really wanna make a difference, become a solution not a nay sayer. You were all those things. As in no longer? Much respect and thanks for serving though. Just quit being so down on your public servants. We know there are flaws, there are going to be flaws in anything that involves people. However, we work to fix our problems. That's better than most would do and none of my patients have ever felt disrespected or as though they were not cared for so as far as I'm concerned, we're doing what we can with what we have and working on fixing the weak spots. Doesn't change that lay people shouldn't take things into their own hands.
And yes, your local EMTs and Paramedics - wherever you are- are perfectly happy to help you. We don't sit in freezing or sweltering trucks for 12 hours(since it's never inbetween) eatting (when they get to..there are no lunch breaks) cold food because a call came in right as they got it, trying to dry their socks from wading through the flood and ice their bruised elbow that they got when a patient attacked them, for 1/16th of a doctor's salary and all of a doctor's responsibility for fun. We do it because we recognized a need and would just as soon shake your hand, change your tire, or save your life because it gives us the warm fuzzies to help someone. So be nice. I understand wanting to help his wife, I understand the cop's desire to do his job (be his actions over the top) but neither went about it the right way. And huge respect to the guy for trying to turn himself in and offering to pay the tickets. I never denied that the guy ultimately tried to be responsible... but dude...911... we're a 24/7/365 service and just waiting for your call.
Actually, I've worked in two of the largest systems in the country...ie cities most can't handle. The government hasn't run any of the ambulance services I've ever worked for. Triage only happens in multi-patient scenes or mass casualty incidents, depending on severity, your primary assessment shouldn't take more than 3 minutes...and in critical situations(you can tell sick from not sick from the door pretty much)... that's done simultaneously with the moving and loading or you throw the questions out the window and just work (as in, if you never get past fixing the ABCs - Airway, Breathing, Circulation - during the whole time with the patient then so be it.) And EMTs and Pmeds that work in timed EMS response know those times by heart because our companies get fined...and thus we get in trouble... if we don't get there in under that time... plus most of us just want to get to and treat our patient as quickly as possible.. And I know so much because I'm a Field Training Officer..and every EMT that has gone through me has commendations galore. The incidents you listed off have never happened in my system (though sometimes people are just dead and no amount of speed would have fixed them... once you hit asystole...flat line for all your ER fans... or if you're too badly injured...it's a toss up and usually leans to the negative on if we're gunna get ya back). These are people who do their job for the love of it. There is no money in EMS. You find people with hearts of gold and who are in it to help and often get treated like crap for their trouble but come out smiling. Do not disrespect them by pretending you understand their lives.
Ok, just going to address everyone now. I did have to make the same choice he made and for a child. I called the ambulance and I am sure glad I did. It took them minutes to get there and they stabalized him and transported and SAVED HIS LIFE with me in tow. I was responsible enough to understand that, emotionally, I had no right driving (you drive about as well drunk as you do upset). You are all very easily considering the life of one over the safety of others (and no he didn't take due care - private citizens have no legal right to do what he did and thus did not take due care..ps he wasn't EVOC trained... military medics don't need it). When you pronounce a mother dead on scene and have to explain to her child what happened and that the man that hit him was too busy trying to get his mom who just had a migriane and thought it was a stroke to the hospital to take notice of others on the road, you can start in on "he had every right." It happened last week. I've never had a harder task than explaining that to a kid... and yes, the guy was charged with homicide. So, in conclusion, yes the cop went over board and was insensitive but I understand that he was trying to do his job. If this guy had let the paramedics do theirs, he wouldn't be in this situation.
Castaiccitizen, not to offend you, but 90% of ER staff have no idea what their hospitals are categorized as capable of handling by their respective medical control boards. We'd like to think they know, but trust me, been doing this a while and in several different places and I usually end up explaining to nurses and doctors what they are exactly classified as. And if she had had a bleed, those patients stand a high risk of needing intubation (as in a tube down their trachea because they cease breathing and I have to take over their airway) which means she likely would have died of suffocation while her husband attempted to make it to the hospital in time. And, just some food for thought (I'm not 100% sure how the EMS system there works), most systems - if they have private ambulance - have a dual response which means you get a fire paramedic and a private ambulance paramedic responding at the same time to ensure someone is there quickly to get the ball rolling on care. Your local fire station usually only covers a few miles around it which means they should be there in a few minutes (about the time it probably took him to put her in the car) and a private ambulance is usually under contract to make it to calls in a certain amount of time (usually only a few minutes). Short of literally being around the corner to a hospital, you have no reason to ever not call 911. You risk yourselves, the public, and the very person you're trying to care for. Yes, the cop was over zealous, but I promise you, he would have called 911. They know better just from running with us.
MidnightPoet, you just proved my point. Your loved ones will not and, by my experience, often do not make rational decisions (except, of course, to call 911) when they are watching a medical crisis go down. That's why we train people from the time they can use a phone "dial 911 in emergencies." We are trained to keep our cool and handle whatever issue is going on. Oh gee, that's why survival rates for car accidents, full arrests, heart attacks, strokes, etc have gone up since the birth of paramedicine. And you didn't bother to read and understand my comment about text books. My comment was meant to mean that he had all of the knowledge (like our books, which yes, they pretty much apply in near every situation... how do you think your doctors know what to do) but nothing he could use to apply it. Bottom line, he needed to call an ambulance instead of taking it into his own hands. This holds true for anyone who truly fears that they need medical attention now! Call 911. Even if we get there and it turns out to not be life threatening, I'd rather you call me and let me take care of you than pronounce you dead on scene of a wreck you caused out of panic.
Whoa, everyone wants to blame the cop for essentially trying to do his job. Yes, he blew things out of proportion with that felony, assault on a cop business and not at least asking what was going on before threatening to throw on the cuffs. That's just insensitive and being a jerk. However, I fully support his choice to charge the guy with multiple traffic violations and reckless behavior. As medical professionals they SHOULD know that you have a 3 hour window for a stroke that is caused by a clot to be treated effectively with TPA (AKA Clot Busters). Now, if it's actually bleeding in the brain, there is no telling how much one minute or ten minutes will effect. Depends on the size and where it's at. His response to his wife's symptoms should have been to grab a phone and dial 911. Stroke patients need paramedics with equipment not a flustered spouse who thinks he can act rationally. These patients need IVs, vitals taken, a coherent and complete medical report given to hospital staff and more importantly they need to go to the correct hospitals. In most areas, there may only be one or two hospitals capable of handling a stroke in every capacity. If he had taken her to the wrong one, it could have been hours longer before she recieved treatment because they would have had to wait for a transfer to another hospital. Also, ambulance personnel have all of the training and equipment to get to a hospital quickly. Your lights flashing and horn honking do nothing more than confuse traffic since they're not trained to understand that as any more than weird behavior. He could have killed someone simply because they misread his behavior and he slammed into them or flipped his car trying to avoid them. He had absolutely no right to put the public or even his wife in that kind of danger. Call an ambulance buddy. You may be medically trained but with no equipment, no drugs, and no protocols you're a text book sitting on a shelf. Oh, and PS, you're expecting the cop to understand your random behavior and interpret it into "oh this guy is going to the hospital." He's not a mind reader, what he knew was that you posed a huge physical threat to the public he is sworn to protect. If they had slammed into a bus full of kids and hurt any of them, everyone on this board would have been screaming about the cops not stopping him. Show some common sense people, your local 911 is there to handle things that you shouldn't be handling. Cut the poor cop some slack and, of course, scale back the guys charges to traffic violations and reckless endangerment.