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Lifeguard interfering with MY PT CARE!?!


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OK, I was hanging out with my friend who I had not seen in a long time, who is a Lifeguard/First Responder. I was talking with her at her Tower, when a male came running up to to her, and said there is a woman who just collapsed at the public showers just behind the beach.

Since she was alone, and was supposed to watch the water, I went to to back and tried to assist the best I could. Her partner said for me to go grab my pack that was in my truck (not a wack-pack, just the basic of basic supplies) so I could assess vitals, and give EMS a decent report . My "friend" them gets there, and starts screaming at me to stay away from the girl, and to stop "impersonating" a Firefighter. ( I am a Firefighter/EMT, and work in the ER, and she KNOWS I)

Long story short, she scared the family into leaving AMA, called her supervisor, and I lost a good friend.

Was I in the right here?

Or was she, even though I produced badge, picture ID, and had a Fire Dept. T-Shirt on?

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You are trained in a higher level of care....Me being a lifeguard at one point in my life and now an EMT. I was always told that the person with a higher level of training is in charge. It's a difficult situation.

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Were you on duty at the time of the incident? It sounds like your friend, the lifeguard, was on duty and even though they are trained at a lower level than yourself, they have more of a duty to act than you do. (Unless your a volunteer that covers that area or your currently on the clock as an EMT) I'm not saying that you should stand back and do nothing, you should offer your assistance to the lifeguard and inform them of your training (in this case, they were already aware) and assist upon their request. It's almost like pissing in somebody elses pool, and can cause problems. On another note, it sounds like the lifeguard has some issues that needs to be addressed. Her conduct was not professional and obviously caused the situation to get worse, someone should have a talk with her...

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Or was she, even though I produced badge, picture ID, and had a Fire Dept. T-Shirt on?

LOL! Anyway...

I agree with ncmedic309. The fact of the matter is that your friend was currently working in a "rescue" capacity and by all sounds of it you were not.

I can't speak for every system, but I am fairly certain rules like this apply to the majority of NA services. You could be the most highly educated, grandest scope of practice paramedic in North America, but off the job, you function with your own 2 hands and only assist and do the most BLS procedures available. You identify yourself and offer assistance, but if the on-duty peeps say no...you must back off. Now this is slightly unusual in that this was your friend and she knew who you were and your education. Maybe got a little too worked up and a bit of a power trip...I dunno...whatever...

To jail with her, and have her brought up on charges.... DONE......

On what charges? She was working and he was not. She had to intervene, the most he could do was offer to assist. She said no. End of story. Jail? LOL...

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LOL! Anyway...

I agree with ncmedic309. The fact of the matter is that your friend was currently working in a "rescue" capacity and by all sounds of it you were not.

I can't speak for every system, but I am fairly certain rules like this apply to the majority of NA services. You could be the most highly educated, grandest scope of practice paramedic in North America, but off the job, you function with your own 2 hands and only assist and do the most BLS procedures available. You identify yourself and offer assistance, but if the on-duty peeps say no...you must back off. Now this is slightly unusual in that this was your friend and she knew who you were and your education. Maybe got a little too worked up and a bit of a power trip...I dunno...whatever...

On what charges? She was working and he was not. She had to intervene, the most he could do was offer to assist. She said no. End of story. Jail? LOL...

OK, FINE... She was negligent...and he's a wacker..BOTH PROCEED DIRECTLY TO JAIL..DO NOT PASS GO..DO NOT COLLECT $200..... :lol: 8) :lol: :shock:

ACE

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Vs is right- When I am working as a lifeguard/ "first aider" for an employer, I am the one responsible for the pt involved. I do the pt care until EMS arrives. Its my call whether or not I accept help until then. When someone comes suing (Im a Canuck- that word isnt in my vocabulary so pardon me if it is spelled wrong :)) the blame will fall on me if there was an act of negligence or inappropriate treatment. Thanks, but Id prefer to move on with my my career plans- I doubt services hire medics with criminal records ;).

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fireguard wrote:

I produced badge, picture ID, and had a Fire Dept. T-Shirt on?

OK a little advice for you and don't take it personal.

If you want to save yourself some aggravation in the future. If you are not working don't produce badges or ID's or where fire dept T-shirts.

If you see someone you want to help. Do your best for the pt. and if anyone asks, tell them you saw it on ER, or you stayed at a holiday inn last night. Don't offer information that could cause you a problem in the future. If the person dies they will remember you were the one with the badge and the ID.

Just trying to save you some heartache down the line.

Hope this helped.

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The rules vary by state, but in general once you have made patient contact and identified yourself you have established your duty to act. It does not matter if you are paid, oncall or whatever. You as an EMT are the highest medically trained person on the scene and you have properly identified yourself. Should something happen to this person once she has left the scene you will be held resposible and considered negligent. There are some states, such as Vermont that say that your duty to act begins once you know that there is a problem, even before you have made pt contact. This means that if you are driving by an MVA you have to stop. If you don't and someone recognises you, you may be held responsible in a court of law. Isn't the US legal system great? As far as Whit's comment about not identifying yourself, this too could lead to legal problems should someone recognise you and things go bad, not to mention that ethically you should not be lying to your patients.

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