Intervening On Accident Scenes

Topic 19275 | Page 1

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Doc Brady's Comment
member avatar

Kind of a random question, and hopefully it doesn't go the way of that awful 2A topic but...How do truckers/companies feel about drivers acting as first responders to a witnessed(Read: you weren't involved) accident? I am a former medic, and still have the gear and EMT cert, so when I am driving my POV, I tend to stop for injury accidents if I'm the first person on scene(No Fire/EMS there yet). Is this something that is discouraged by major companies? Could I get in trouble if I were to stop for a bad wreck to help out if it didn't affect my delivery?

I think I read somewhere that a JPT driver got the goodyear award for pulling someone out of a creek, so it sounds like there are truckers who do this, but I could certainly understand a company with a big name like Swift or Werner being nervous about having their drivers, who are representing them, doing things outside of their lane in this lawsuit happy nation.

Thoughts?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Generally, under Good Samaritan laws, you can stop to assist. These laws limit your liability. I can't think any DM would object, especially in a life endangering situation. You should know to avoid extrication unless a life is truly in danger.

Save lives first, inform your DM later.

On the other hand, when the "real" first responders show up, cooperate fully with them. Pass on your observations, what you've done so far, and they will politely ask you to step aside. Remember, they probably don't know you, and all your protestations that you're a paramedic or even a doctor will fall on deaf ears.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Doc Brady's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Errol! Yeah, I kinda figured they wouldn't get too bent about it, but then again, better to know than assume.

And I definitely agree with what you said for when FF/EMS show up. Most of the time they are happy that someone started doing something, but they have their own system and protocols. As far as extractions, the medical community is still sitting on the fence on that one. I just went through my second EMT refresher in DEC, and they changed the regs on spine-boarding....again. I will say that the only time someone without an ambu should move someone is if they have to decide life over limb(s) i.e car fire.

And as a former medical provider, we did prefer for people to intervene, so as not to discourage anyone on the forum from helping. I never did the 911 thing (Too many EMT's in CA.) but worked many a roadside wreck, and as long as you show you know what you're doing, the EMS peeps will be very happy to see you.

For drivers who want to stop and assist, the EMS will love you if you have good info, that way they can get right into the swing of treating without having to immediately get a history. some equipment I'd recommend to all drivers: A tourniquet kit, some bandages, a blanket and saran wrap.

All of that is really cheap, and will address the biggest issues that will kill people.

Lol, sorry for going off on a tangent, I love what I used to do, sadly, I cant support a family on an ambulance jock's salary otherwise I'd be on a bus. But on the bright side, trucking looks awesome, and pays!

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

One thing you may not have considered is that certified/licensed medics are not necessarily protected by the Good Samaritan law. That law was intended to protect your average Joe/Jill who stopped to help. You may be sued even if you do everything correctly. Not trying to dampen your enthusiasm, I highly respect all first responders.

Doc Brady's Comment
member avatar

One thing you may not have considered is that certified/licensed medics are not necessarily protected by the Good Samaritan law. That law was intended to protect your average Joe/Jill who stopped to help. You may be sued even if you do everything correctly. Not trying to dampen your enthusiasm, I highly respect all first responders.

This is true, you still have protection but only up to your scope of practice iirc. It's been a while since I studied the legalities of it. Also, you technically are required to respond within your scope by law, though most states only interpret that to mean while on duty.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I also was EMT at one time. I did see an accident (minor), stopped to see if everyone was going to live. The paramedics showed up, were polite to me and did ask me to step back.

My brother was a paramedic. He did have a guy claim to be an MD. My brother made an offer any doctor in this situation would refuse: "So, are you going to take the legal responsibility and be this patient's attending physician?"

So, best policy: do your best (know your limits) and help in a life or death situation. Comfort the injured, and get out of the way when police or paramedics come to the scene.

If it affects your coming appointment time, I can't believe any DM or shipper would be upset.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Kanelin's Comment
member avatar

Good samaratin laws do protect medical personnel, as long as they don't exceed their scope of practice and specialized training. In some states, providers are required to stop and provide assistance. I witnessed a man getting hit by a car once. At the time I was a licensed RN with advanced trauma and life support certs. I stopped and provided what care I could. I was in scrubs, on my way to work. Funny, the GD guys backed me off, but I new the said people that showed up, rode with them to the ER.

I couod nor do most of the things I did that night now. I'm no longer a licensed RN and my certs are not valid without the license. Even if I still had an active license, I would hesitate to provide more than basic care as I'm not working in tgat field. Hate to give lawyers any ammo.

miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

For drivers who want to stop and assist, the EMS will love you if you have good info, that way they can get right into the swing of treating without having to immediately get a history. some equipment I'd recommend to all drivers: A tourniquet kit, some bandages, a blanket and saran wrap.

All of that is really cheap, and will address the biggest issues that will kill people.

I've other very important thing you should carry if you are going to be the type to help, Latex gloves. Have to protect yourself too. It would suck to expose yourself to a blood borne illness while helping someone

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