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View Full Version : If an ambulance got in a fenderbender on the way to the hospital....


KidCharlemagne
04-03-2003, 06:46 PM
would it stop to get the licensce plate number?

panamajack
04-03-2003, 07:03 PM
I actually was thinking of a similar question -- what happens if, say any emergency services vehicle (fire or police) gets involved in an accident?

It would seem as if any vehicle could record their position and call for a response to the location of the accident, but then again one wonders if the potential of a lawsuit in a serious case requires them to stop always. Or perhaps an ambulance with a person who requires immediate attention would leave the scene, but a police or fire response might stay, especially if there are other stations that can respond.

Khadro
04-03-2003, 07:22 PM
I remember a couple of months ago, there was a traffic report that had a similar scenario.

There had been an accident on some highway near my house, and an ambulance had been called because of serious injuries. I believe a person was trapped, but may be wrong there. Anyway, on leaving the scene of the accident, the ambulance was hit by ANOTHER car, blocking another lane on a three lane highway, in peak hour. They called a second ambulance to take the passenger from the first ambulance to hospital.

This was relatively close to the largest ambulance centre in the state (if not the country), so that might have affected their choice. The second ambulance could have been on the scene within 10 minutes, and the patient in hospital within 10 minutes of that. If it had been further away, I am not sure what would have happened.

KCB615
04-04-2003, 10:05 AM
The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for every fire, police, and rescue service I've come across is that the vehicle is out of service when the accident happens, and another will be sent to the orignal emergency in its place. If the vehicle is a rescue during a transport, another rescue must be called to where the accident is, the patient transferred, and the second rescue completes the transport. The vehicle will be brought to a repair shop and "gone over" with a fine-toothed comb to find all of the damage from the accident.

From talking with the chiefs of these agencies, their concern is liability. Who says that the "minor" fender bender you were in didn't compromise the vehicle in some way you don't see on scene. Do you want to be transporting someone only to find out when you hit the highway that the rescue now can't go faster than 50mph because the front end was fouled in the accident? Same with fire apparatus, if you can't pump on scene or get the aerial out of the bed because of some mechanical issue from the accident, some litigious individual is going to have a field day.

Cartooniverse
04-04-2003, 10:40 AM
KCB615 is correct. You are immediately out of service. This may sound harsh, but the rule is as follows....Safety of:
1.Yourself
2. Your Crew.
3. Your patient.
4. Other patients.
5. Bystanders, etc.

The crew is legally bound to remain on scene if they are in an accident. If they are transporting, another rig will be dispatched to take their patient on to their destination.

I would dread being on a Code call, doing CPR in the back, and having to stop. :(

Cartooniverse

drachillix
04-04-2003, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Cartooniverse
The crew is legally bound to remain on scene if they are in an accident. If they are transporting, another rig will be dispatched to take their patient on to their destination.

I would dread being on a Code call, doing CPR in the back, and having to stop. :(

In my experience this is handled a little differently in reality. If I was transporting a critical patient and was involved in a minor fender bender we were told NOT TO STOP unless our vehicle was damaged in such a way it could not be safely operated. Call in the location and carry on. Field supervisor is going to roll immediately for the scene and will deal with the details. If the patient was stable but required ambulance transport, say a broken leg but no threat to life, you stop, and a second unit would respond to take over your patient and continue transport.

Also of note, the people working in the back of an ambulance, regulations or not are rarely seatbelted (patient is). A collision of any significance is going to hurt your partner doing patient care pretty badly in which case you would have to stop and take over the patient while other units come in to take over your patient and your partner.

I worked the scenes of two serious ambulance accidents, its not fun when the guy you are strapping to a backboard was your partner yesterday.

Spiff
04-04-2003, 01:08 PM
You could take a photograph of the accident and call it Irony.

criminalcatalog
04-04-2003, 02:41 PM
What if an ambulance, on it's way to pick up a fatally wounded individual, runs over a pedestrian?

I always assumed that ambulance queues are operated by "first in line" methods. would they really stop to help that newly injured person, delaying the original pickup?

St. Urho
04-04-2003, 04:15 PM
While authorized emergency vehicles are exempt from several traffic laws (speed limit, parking regs, etc.) they are not exempt from laws about leaving the scene of an accident.

As Jeremy said, you open yourself up to a lot of liability, as well. We changed our protocols after an incident where our engine was involved in an accident. The other driver said "Go to the fire, I'm fine." 2 hours later he called the cops and started complaining about neck pain. Now, our protocol is to go out of service and wait until law enforcement shows up, no matter what.

St. Urho
EMT/Firefighter

drachillix
04-13-2003, 03:23 AM
Originally posted by criminalcatalog
What if an ambulance, on it's way to pick up a fatally wounded individual, runs over a pedestrian?

I always assumed that ambulance queues are operated by "first in line" methods. would they really stop to help that newly injured person, delaying the original pickup?

In this situation I would have stopped and requested another unit take my call, since I have been involved in an accident and I have not "initiated care" on the patient for the first call making my moral and legal obligations to the patient less imperative.

A variation on the situation that I think might be more relevant. An ambulance enroute to lifethreatening call encounters a serious injury car accident that the ambulance is in no way involved in, we would continue on our original car while other units respond to the car accident.

While authorized emergency vehicles are exempt from several traffic laws (speed limit, parking regs, etc.) they are not exempt from laws about leaving the scene of an accident.

Yes but... the reasons behind that non departure from the scene often involve fleeing accountability for the accident. An ambulance or fire engine are pretty hard targets to miss compared to...it was a blue sedan...4 door I think.

Trying to play "Wasn't me" is not going to fly, you have bosses to answer to as well as the law, not to mention your engineer/driver sobbing his guts out because someone scratched his baby. By calling in that you are involved you are acknowledging (probably on tape) that it happened and that you accept your potential accountability for your involvement.

Ah the rantings of once upon a time...much has changed in 12 years.

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