Image credit: WJLA-TV News 7
The EMS blogosphere, Facebook fan pages, and internet forums are buzzing with discussion (and criticism) of the firefighters who transported a pediatric asthma patient in a fire engine rather than wait for the ambulance.
Apparently a 5 year old girl named Christina Luckett was having a severe asthma attack to the point where volunteer firefighters (at least one of whom was paramedic trained) started chest compressions and mechanical ventilations. I wasn't there but I have my doubts as to whether or not the patient was truly pulseless but that's besides the point.
The ETA of the transport ambulance was reported to be 5-minutes. The hospital was 2.8 miles away down a highway. Rather than wait for the ambulance to arrive, they placed the child in the back of a fire engine and transported the patient to the hospital, continuing care en route.
Fantastic, right? Well, not exactly. Plenty of folks are second-guessing the actions of these firefighters. Scott Kier called it 100% absolutely wrong. None other than Thom Dick commented on JEMS Connect: "Really, 5 minutes? I congratulate the crew and the Good Lord for their outcome. But I generally wish first responders would just do their own jobs well. This makes me think of the prospect of a transport medic fiddling with a pump panel, over an engineer's shoulder. There's no ME in TEAM."
That seems a bit harsh to me. I considered the example of the transport medic fiddling with a pump panel over an engineer's shoulder for about 24 hours and ultimatley reached the conclusion that the parallel doesn't work. This would be more like a paramedic in a third service agency who also happened to be a firefighter arriving at the scene of a structure fire on an ambulance and making a rescue prior to the arrival of the first-due engine.
If that happened I would hope that no one from fire department wouldn't say, "You know, I thank the Good Lord for this rescue but I honestly wish the transport medic would leave the firefighting to the real firefighters." Ummm…. you mean the ones who weren't there? Yeah, those ones. You're right, Mr. Dick. There's no "me" in team.
That means we can all be happy when a teammate scores a goal.
The Social Medic (David Konig) gets it. "Rules can be wrong. That’s a possibility few people take into consideration, but an important possibility we always have to look at. Especially when we are leaders looking at the actions of our crews, which is why it was refreshing to see the leadership of Prince George County recognize the efforts of their crews with commendations instead of condemnations."
What's important is that Christina Luckett is alive.
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