Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Ambulance Chaser

Though this term is usually associated with lawyers looking for clients, in this post I will be using this term to describe those people who, for whatever reason, feel the need to follow ambulances around and try to help the personnel.

Now the truth is I haven't thought about this topic for years, since my last "stalker" finally stopped showing up to our CPR scenes. But last week during not one but two different shifts, spread out between three different townships, we had an admirer following us.

Now there will be some out there that will scratch their heads and wonder what the issue is. I mean isn't more hands on a scene always better. In fact, depending on the scene, this may very be true. But the world of public safely has been know to attract some strange people to its bright lights. Stopping once at an accident scene to help the ambulance crew lift a heavy patient is one thing, but to purchase a scanner and listen for your favorite crew to receive a call is something totally different.

As emergency responders, we're always taught about scene safety. Whether it's from the dangers of on coming traffic, a power line falling or some nut job following us around all day, it's all the same thing. We don't know what your intentions are now do we? Not to mention the weird feeling you get when you look out your driver-side window and see the toothy grin of someone who you just saw the day before, several towns over, waving a scanner at you asking if you need help.

The long and the short of it is, please just understand that while we appreciate the help, we have to be concerned with the safety of not only ourselves but our patients and their families.

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