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Paramedic "Refuses" to attend Cardiac Arrest Call
#1
Just came across this article
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/par...40424.html
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#2
We don't have the complete story here but as regards my service with AGS iv lost count of no of times I was late for or missed entirely my alloted refreshments due to "exigencies ofservice" now on other hand this has been balanced out over the years by the valley period's. My view, if call requires urgent attendance it's incumbent upon all of us in Emergency Services to attend and place person/s in need above our needs. That's after all part of our role.

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#3
And if they crash or make a mistake as a result of fatigue?

Will the family accept that? Will management? Will a judge?
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#4
Unfortunately in the present day we are damned if we do damned if we don't but I couldn't live with myself if someone was left in danger coz I wanted a sandwich.

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#5
(18-08-2017, 05:21 PM)Administrator Wrote: And if they crash or make a mistake as a result of fatigue?

Will the family accept that? Will management? Will a judge?

When you've been tagged in McDonalds beforehand you don't have much of an argument. How many times have we been refused refs and taken them on the run? How many times have we left grub on the table? Most calls will wait, some require a sacrifice.
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#6
But refs aren't all about eating, it's about getting a break and rest.
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#7
As I said at outset we don't know the full story, what time did shift start at? , what time was his last break? , did crew have any valley period between calls? Iv heard some horror stories of Nás personnel being expected to work insane shifts but this call was not a simple ambulance call: it was a cardiac arrest where time is crucial. It's been proven that cardiac arrests are time critical. I understand refs are about more than food but food is vital to retaining full bodily functions: I know having collapsed on duty one day due to low blood sugars (mind you it was my own fault) as foreign pointed out, sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

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#8
(18-08-2017, 08:23 PM)thehawk Wrote: But refs aren't all about eating, it's about getting a break and rest.

What if he was in the middle of dealing with a patient, does he knock off for a cup of tea and put his feet up because he's tired? Bullshit. Do the job or fuck off. I saw a tweet by a NAS AP during the week all over the south east of the county. Were they complaining? No. There are times we are watching tumble weed and hoping for one call, there are times we are slammed and barely get a second free. Take the good with the bad.
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#9
I dont know anything about this case..... but from experience, id be confident to say most, if not all people in NAS would have no problem attending a cardiac arrest, child hurt, major trauma without break/after finish if on route back to the station...... so id hazard a guess that there is more to this story. NAS now is a national service, often crews are covering calls in numerous counties and regions driving hundreds of KMs responding to calls often catching a sandwich and a coffee while getting fuel...... it can be exhausting.
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#10
(18-08-2017, 09:31 PM)foreign Wrote:
(18-08-2017, 08:23 PM)thehawk Wrote: But refs aren't all about eating, it's about getting a break and rest.

What if he was in the middle of dealing with a patient, does he knock off for a cup of tea and put his feet up because he's tired? Bullshit. Do the job or fuck off. I saw a tweet by a NAS AP during the week all over the south east of the county. Were they complaining? No. There are times we are watching tumble weed and hoping for one call, there are times we are slammed and barely get a second free. Take the good with the bad.

That's a lovey attitude to have with your colleagues and you being a union rep. I can assure you that blanch spend very little time watching tumbleweeds and i didn't sign up to cover for lack of recruitment, lack of training and plain fucked up, incompetent resource management.

Do we not prosecute drivers for failing too take breaks? Yes, yes we do.

Are breaks not a legal requirement by both parties including the staff? Yes, yes they are.

Are we exempt? No, we are not and Joe journal reader certainly doesn't grant or accept we are any different to him when it comes to our driving.

Theres genuine events that supercede like a major emergency, that's accepted and covered in law but please do remember that even during 9 / 11 staff were brought out for breaks. A cardiac call is not a major emergency call for the national fucking ambulance service! It's like saying gardai were shocked to get a call about a robbery.

Fatigue is not an excuse for fucking up, it wasn't accepted by the courts following mayday (when members 'doing their jobs' were thrown to the wolves by management and the DPP) and it sure as hell won't be accepted now.

You do your job, but we are constantly told that we must operate within the law. So to keep it in a police realm, I can't beat a suspect to tell me where his latest child victim is slowly dying but I can to cover lack of cars because there's calls holding?
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#11
This line sums up our job "(when members 'doing their jobs' were thrown to the wolves by management and the DPP)" as I said earlier, we are damned if we do damned if we don't. In Buncrana where we have one car covering Inishowen from 02:00 to 07:00 (Sun thru Thursday. & only supplemented via OT Fri & Sat) with population size of Louth & International frontier there is little luxury afforded. Your point Admin is valid but so too is foreigns, this is the job we signed up for, not all calls or jobs requiring working through refs etc are major emergencies but they maybe have a jobs that requires urgent attendance. It's also not going to be acceptable to turn someone away from a sub station coz you're on your refs if you are only one working there as was case when I first transferred from "L". Yes, plenty time watching tumbleweed and there was plenty of that when I was in. K & L too but that is not the point, point is if a relative of mine was having a cardiac arrest I'd want nearest resource dispatched.

As I said at outset, as this was reported in media I feel that there is plenty more to this story that we don't know but my position is clear that if life at risk and you are nearest you are duty bound to respond. Shout loud after that you were denied rest, report through union etc but refs break is not imo a good enough excuse to dodge this level of call.





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#12
Like it's beed said before, we don't know the full story in this case.

How far after their scheduled end time were the crew?  I presume that it was after their scheduled end time.  I've often seen crews near the end of their shift being sent to Dublin.  We don't know how close they were to base either.

Also, we don't know where this cardiac arrest was in relation to their location.  They were the closest 'available' resource, but that could mean that they were still 50km away or more (easily!)  It often happens that a closer resource becomes free during your transit time, and beats you to the call.  Their transit time to the cardiac arrest could have been close to an hour, which makes it all pointless.  Certainly, we go to calls like that down here.  I have in the past decided to not go to certain calls, based on the information to hand.  

It is rare that people turn down that category of call (or where kids are involved) but sometimes it is actually the correct thing to do.  
(18-08-2017, 05:21 PM)Administrator Wrote: And if they crash or make a mistake as a result of fatigue?

Will the family accept that? Will management? Will a judge?

We don't know the circumstances so I don't think that any of us can make decisions based on the limited information on the newspaper article. 

Locally, we've had a crew do a late transfer to Dublin and instead of coming home that night park up and inform Control that they were overnighting.  This is probably something that should be done more.  And NAS will have to pay for it!

Interesting that the call happened in August 2016 and is only coming to light now.  There seems to be more to the story also:
Quote:Questions over details of this and another incident involving the same paramedic were put to the ambulance service but its management said it did not comment on individual members of staff.

You get the impression that there is some disquiet coming from his colleagues over this and other stuff??
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#13
Don't know anything of the story apart from what I seen in the paper, asked some colleagues and nobody around the East seems to know of the call at present.

As for refusing a call, you need a very good excuse/reason to do so and best to have that reason in before being tasked to a call.

Unfortunately we aren't in the same situation as @echo59 whom can decide to go to a call or not. I understand the time factor but we in the NAS still have to go. I've been sent as AP back up or responding crew to so many calls far far away from my station or actual location. Majority of the time when distance is far they will get a crew clear or coming on duty but one does wonder on the cost of diesel, vehicle wear and tear etc by sending crews on them.

Anyhow back to the topic in hand, sub claims in the NAS have been on the increase in the last couple of years due to NEOC.

Staff like the 12 hour roster for time off but late calls make for long shifts/days but the complaints from staff may get management to change us to 10 hour rosters which would mean less days off.

As for the paramedic in question I would be against anyone refusing to respond to an Echo call, as @62colmm said they are time critical.


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#14
(20-08-2017, 06:19 PM)Actual Paramedic Wrote: Unfortunately we aren't in the same situation as @echo59 whom can decide to go to a call or not. I understand the time factor but we in the NAS still have to go. I've been sent as AP back up or responding crew to so many calls far far away from my station or actual location. Majority of the time when distance is far they will get a crew clear or coming on duty but one does wonder on the cost of diesel, vehicle wear and tear etc by sending crews on them. 

I get that it's slightly different with me.  However, I'll go to practically everything that I'm contacted about but I also know from experience that there are some times that you actually just can't do it and you have to say "no, sorry." 

NEOC have to take some responsibility for taskings also.  If they know that a crew is rediculously over time, but is the 'closest available resource' which is still an hour away from a call (even an arrest) then the dispatcher should ignore them.  Sending them to that call would be a token gesture anyway.

Having said that, I don't think I know of anybody who would turn down a call like that, in most circumstances.  But we don't know the details.
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