Two lifesaving firefighters suspended

So a father in Virginia called in an emergency call because his 18 month old daughter was having a seizure. Two volunteer firefighters were the first responders on the scene. The nearest medic was about 10 to 15 minutes away, so the firemen took the little girl in their fire truck to the hospital. She was put on oxygen in the truck and arrived at the hospital’s trauma room within 13 minutes of the call made by the dad.

The fire fighters have been suspended because their truck is not a licensed “transport” vehicle. County officials say this is a regulatory compliance issue.

I side with the fire fighters.

The article was somewhat short on details.
Were the firefighters EMTs? There was no mention of why the child was put on oxygen or why it was felt that there was no time to wait for the ambulance.

The fire truck would not have life support equipment like an ambulance would.

The father claims his child’s life was saved. In what way? The article did not say the seizure was life threatening.

Based on the little in the article, the firefighters could well have endangered the child life more.

… because?

because they got the kid to the hospital in roughly the same amount of time that the EMT’s would have made it to the scene.

So it’s not important to you whether what they did was legal?

But EMTs at the scene could have done what was done at the hospital, right? (i.e, give her oxygen. They carry it). They also could have called ahead with more informed understanding of the situation and the hospital could have been prepping as they went. I’m not at all sure the girl was more likely to live under these circumstances.

Also, if the fire truck had been in an accident on the way, would the girl have been secured in the same way as she would have been in an ambulance?

Does not sound like a issue of legality but insurance and liability risk.

And the law is a ass, gets in the way of doing good right things all the time. I side with doing good right things.

Perhaps safer, fire trucks often win in accidents due to their mass.

The point the people are making, is that this time, the child survived. What happens when we set a precedent and someone else transports a child without the right kind of vehicle, doesn’t save the life, and gets sued into oblivion? There’s a reason we have rules. They may seem silly and contradictory but there’s usually a reason.

I’m glad the little girl is safe though. Frankly, I am not so sure I want a bunch of volunteer firefighters transporting my sick little girl anyway - I’d much prefer trained EMTs. That being said, I have no idea why so many of our firefighting departments are volunteer anyway…seems kind of like an important thing to have in each town.

Some towns(and unincorporated areas) don’t have the money for a fully paid fire department. That doesn’t mean the volunteers are not EMTs.

I side with the county officials. A fire truck is not equipped to deal with the same situations as an EMT. That said, I am sure the firefighters were trying to help, but there are protocols in place for a reason.

The two are largely one and the same when you are discussing government agencies.

There are still the g forces to consider. Can you hold a child who instantly goes from 20 lbs to 200 lbs. ?

Or untrained. Most volunteer departments have EMTs on staff, go through regular training, etc. It’s not like volunteering at the local talent show or something.

Having said that - yes, if they broke the rules, there should be an investigation. If the rules require they be put on suspension while the investigation is ongoing, then that’s what should be done. Just like when a police officer shoots a suspect - no matter how justified the shooting appears, it still must be investigated.

Also, it sounds like they had oxygen on the firetruck - so they could have started oxygen at the location while waiting for the ambulance.

This. Putting the kid in the truck meant both putting her at risk (where did they lay her down?Was someone holding her in his lap? and, honestly, quite probably delaying treatment: in an ambulance, treatment starts in the ambulance, not when you get to the hospital. So getting her to the hospital at the same time that the ambulance would have gotten to her saves nothing.

Suspending a volunteer?
That’s just crazy.

Well, in some states/municipalities VFD personnel actually get paid.

Here’s my problem.

They broke a rule. A rule that is there for a good reason. Butttt the conditions under which they broke the rule are such that going A vs B is almost a wash.

Or in other words there is breaking the rules and there is BREAKING the rules. Just on barely on the the wrong side of wrong does not equal Hitler ya know.

Which is just a reflection of the our societies whole “zero tolerance/no brain activity required/no proportional reaction” mentality these days.

The article I saw had some different details. The firefighters were apparently aware that the ambulance had just been on a call in a different part of the county, and they had been informed that it might be as much as 10-15 minutes away. They strapped the girl into a rear-facing seat. An ambulance contacted them while they were en route and asked them to divert course to hand off the girl, but they kept going to the hospital.

So a hospital with highly trained MDs and nurses and perhaps millions of dollars worth of expensive equipment is no more effective in treatment than an EMT trained in a community college in an ambulance with thousands of dollars worth of equipment?

One thing that European health care has demonstrated is that the value of high cost equipment, in terms of saving lives, is not matched by that high cost. Washing your hands has done more to save lives than the MRI. A simple setup is probably completely suitable for the grand majority of medical needs. Everything else is just a way to suck money out of your employer’s pocket (though, one would hope that in the future, our futuretech starts to break through into things that give another drastic jump in life extension.)