Did you ever wonder about the integrity or the value systems of the people who work in your area as a first responder? These are the people on the front lines of emergency calls when people find themselves, or another person in desperate need of medical/fire/police personel. Most people in those positions are there because they care about people and because they love what they do. They take that reponsibility seriously. However, a news story this week was a bit eye opening as first responders often are in the position to decide who lives; and, who dies according to the actions that the first responders take.
It seems that in Britain a man by the name of Barry Baker thought he was having a heart attack and called emergency services. The dispatcher kept him on the line talking, getting information until he collapsed and was no longer able to stay conscience. The phone line was still live and recording which is how two first reponder/emergency workers have now found themselves under arrest.
Barry Baker lived alone and used sticks as an aid for walking. He had hip replacement surgery and did not get around well. His home was messy. We know this because of the live phone line that was left open for the dispatcher who was gathering information to aid in the emergency services provided. The EMS workers can be heard commenting on the messy conditions of the home as well as allegedly discussing whether this man ” was worth saving”. If the man was not able to move around easily it is easy to understand why his home was not neat and clean. It is also alleged that the EMS workers discuss what to tell the ambulance dispatch…apparently deciding to tell them that the man was already dead when they got there. The problem you see, is that this conversation was being recorded unbeknownst to them.
Barry Baker did indeed die that day. Would he have lived had different medical tactics been employed? Who is to say. However, it is fairly clear that these two first reponders did not employ proper actions, if reports are true, that would have increased the likelihood of Mr. Baker’s survival. This is unacceptable. There is an ongoing investigation taking place at this time. If it is proven that they acted improper…and how can it be otherwise if there is sufficient evidence on tape….they should be held to a very high standard. After all, they are entrusted with the most valuable thing which is human life.
Does anyone know what the criteria is, regarding resuscitation and or an evaluation of a patient’s condition for a first responder or a medic when sent out on a call? Is the criteria different from one country to another?