Here are some questions that are begging to be answered:
Why didn't Officer Daves wait at the ER to arrest Mr Wright after the emergency was abated?
Why wasn't Mr. Wright taken into custody when he turned himself in after the incident?
Why was there a delay?
What was the real disposition of Officer Daves and Mr. Wright?
I bet the security cameras at the hospital will shed some light on what really happened. I am sure they will be beneficial to everyone involved; including the public.
ditch_doc911, got to say, love your name... so original, so true.
ThtAmbulamceChick - let me commend you on your years of service and experience. As an emergency worker in the great city (literally) of Chattanooga, let me state some facts about response times and capabilities. Chattanoogans can expect a response time from 5 - 10 minutes with a paramedic ambulance and with a fire company in less time. The firefighter's don't have paramedic capabilities (though they do have quite a few of them). Also, a police officer usually shows up if its anything more than a run-of-the-mill call. They have always been very helpful in these situations from what I have seen.
From where Eric started, there are three very good hospitals within the same one-half-mile radius of each other. They are all about 5 -7 minutes from his location. Actually, if he drove the route I would have taken, he would have driven past one of them. That disspells the notion of going to the wrong hospital. He went to the best in the region. They know their capabilities there.
However, I understand your concern. I believe you are afraid that the average citizen will look at this example and think its the right thing to do. When in reality, most situations do not warrant this type of response. I would say that 80 percent of ambulance calls do not justify them running "emergency traffic" to the hospital (emergency traffic is ran to every call). Of the twenty percent that do, most of those don't warrant the speeding and the running of the red lights to get the person to the hospital (I am leaving out severe trauma cases in my example). That begs the question of, "why do we, as emergency workers, run emergency traffic when its not needed?" The answer is because we can't be sure that the patient can survive the extra twenty or so minutes it takes to get through the traffic and red lights without running emergency traffic. We err on the side of caution for the patient. Thats what Eric did.
Eric is also not full-time military. He has been in civilian EMS every since becoming a medic. He knows the protocols. I have another question for you. Have you ever ran a mas-cal event with gun-fire and explosions going off around you and people screaming in your ear? It brings new meaning to composure under stress. Eric has. Its part of the training (and thats not mentioning his real-world experiences). I truly believe you could too.
Thats not to say that Eric wasn't emotionally affected by the situation. Of course he was. We all have the "special" patients we get emotional over. Whether it be the elderly that no longer are able to fend for themselves, or the teenagers that have so much promise and life ahead of them. For me its the tiny kids that tug on my strings. But that has never stopped me from providing proper and timely care for them. The day that we, emergency workers, have no emotion for our patients is the day we need to get out and find another job.
Ok, I would like to answer some of the questions about the character of Eric Wright. I have known Eric for some years now and have served with him in Iraq (it was his second tour at that time). First I would point out that the patient just happened to be his newlywed wife. He would have done the exact samething for anyone else, including Officer Daves and HannaBeckman. And he would still do that after today. Because it would be the right thing to do and that is the kind of person he is.
Now, lets get to his training. He became a medic in the military. This training is sixteen weeks long. For the first eight weeks, the medics learn civilian EMS and are Nationally Registered. The medics have to be registered before they can continue for another eight weeks on what the military wants them to know. Both parts of the training there are priorities in patient care.
1)Take care of yourself first - if you get hurt, then there is no one to issue care
2)Take care of the uninjured and keep them safe - don't make more patients
3)After the first two priorities are taken care of, treat the patient with the best care possible.
It is apparent that Eric did these things.
As far as driving in traffic, emergency traffic has to drive with due regard. Meaning that emergency traffic must have warning lights and sound and make sure all intersections are clear before going through them. Eric had to improvise with a non-standard evacuation vehicle, but still did everything he was suppose to do by using flashers and horn, and clearing intersections. With stroke victims less time = more brain saved. Two minutes could mean the difference between talking/walking and a vegetable in bed. He did what he was trained to do.
It is my professional, paramedic, opinion that Eric did everything right. Having known Eric on both a personal and professional level, I rank him as being one of the best medics I have had the honor serving with.
The CPD should rectify this situation by dropping all charges. ...well maybe the registration one should stick.