January 5

Paramedic who failed to aid elderly woman was wrong


I read Brooks Van Sants letter (“Many came to aid of elderly woman who fell,” Dec. 27) about the elderly woman who had fallen. First off, I truly hope the woman is doing OK, and applaud all who did help.

I have to respond to one part of the letter, however. As an EMT who has worked in Emergency Medical Service, I was highly insulted and angered by the actions, or lack of them, of the off-duty paramedic, who used misinformation as an excuse not to help. It’s my sincere belief and hope that 99 percent of all EMS providers would ignore that misinformation and instead would render aid to any person in need.

EMS professionals owe a greater duty to the community while on or off the job. Providers (EMT/paramedics) have the duty to act as would any caring, reasonable EMS provider with the same level of training, in the same community and under similar circumstances. That’s the legal description.

The so-called paramedic in Van Sants’ was not correct, unless he was planning on doing surgery or any invasive medicine on this woman. He was, however, well within the legal limits of his license to render basic first aid, such as stopping the bleeding and treating this woman for shock.

Why the person would stop, admit to being a paramedic and then announce he could not help because of legal issues makes no sense. It just shows what a lack of knowledge, compassion, professionalism and pride he has for the profession, which deserves and demands much more than he obviously is willing to give.

He is that 1 percent and a very poor example of who EMS providers truly are.

Fran HudsonWinslow
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