“When this happens firefighters are praised, but then disciplined.”

“Two Virginia volunteer firefighters were suspended for transporting an 18-month-old girl to the hospital in a fire engine last Saturday, ultimately saving her life.” When the girl had a seizure, the two were first to respond and took her to a Fredericksburg hospital. “[Captain James] Kelley said they were suspended because their fire engine is licensed as a ‘non-transport unit’ and doesn’t have the proper restraints and medications that an ambulance would have. He said when this kind of thing happens firefighters are praised, but then disciplined.” [FoxNews]


  • “… ultimately saving her life.”

    Nothing to support that medical conclusion. They are drawing a inference that likely cannot be supported by available data. Yes, child lived. Seizure generally requires little advanced medical care, and in almost all situations immediate care is all about the airway. Oxygen is nice, but generally not critical. What is critical is maintaining a patent airway continuously. This can be done in an unsecured patient, without a stretcher, bouncing down the road; but likely not well.
    Well meaning heroics by the volunteers, and the patient did well despite their efforts.
    But this is not an example of overlawyered situation, and review of policy and basic first aid for them is probably a good thing.

    n.b. my basic kit in the trunk of my car contains a mask/breathing bag, supraglotic airway tools, and stuff to stop bleeding. I would not venture to scoop and run with a seizing patient if a full complement of resuscitation (ambulance) were on its way.

  • The nearest help was “ten to fifteen minutes away.”
    I think the legal doctrine to be applied here to the second-guessers is the one oft-promulgated by Professor Glenn Reynolds: “Tar. Feathers.”