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Old 02-11-2008, 03:37 PM
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Default Firefighter may be fired for saving lives

A FIRE hero faces the sack after using his medical skills to help road smash victims.

Brave Joe McMahon, a paramedic turned firefighter, joined ambulance workers struggling to cope with five injured people by a roadside.

But instead of being praised by bosses, he was told he would be FIRED for misconduct if he used his medical training to save the dying on fire calls again.

It is understood he is not covered to do so by London Fire Service insurance.

Joe, 44, who was a medic for 14 years, said: “I’ve been told if I try to save a dying person I will be sacked.

“It seems to be my bosses’ opinion that it is better to let someone die than p*** off their insurance brokers.”

Joe, of Walton-on-Thames, South West London, switched to being a firefighter six years ago but still trains medics on his days off. He got in trouble when he was called to a road crash as a fireman but lent a hand as a medic.

He said: “The paramedics were overwhelmed and one asked me to help. A doctor said I did an admirable job on one man, though sadly he died later in hospital.”

Wimbledon-based Joe was hauled in for a disciplinary hearing, told he may be sacked and sent a letter which warned: “When you are working as a London firefighter you are ordered not to give any medical treatment except basic first aid.”

Joe now fears he will get the boot after a second incident in which he helped a bleeding four-year-old girl who had been hit by a car.

He added: “A fatal car crash costs an average £1.2million of public money, yet it would cost just £300 to insure me as a firefighter and paramedic.”

The British Paramedic Association said: “He’s in an impossible position.”
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:31 PM
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Sounds very familiar. In our county the paramedics are contracted by the county and even if you were a qualified paramedic (as opposed to an EMT) you would not be allowed to practice at the paramedic level if you were on duty as a firefighter.

Oddly enough, during the course of a conversation with a Chief a few days ago, I learned that the Firefighter/EMT was giving way to the Firefighter/paramedic in some locations and many feel this will be the norm within a decade.
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:38 AM
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It's a very familar situation when Firemen switch jobs to Police. They forget what their responsibilities really are. Saving a life is the number 1 priority but if you're putting other people in danger because you sidestepped your responsibilities. Then there's a problem.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:24 PM
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"London Fire Service insurance"
Steve, Hopefully this is in London.
In the United States, there is a thing called "The good Samaritan" act. Which all Firefighters fall under in the U.S.
Which means that if a firefighter is acting in good faith and the person dies, Then there is no recourse against the firefighter. Same with Cops.
Now Firefighters are not always held blameless. It depends on what their city or jurisdiction has as a Standard operating procedure, (SOP) . That means if a Firefighter / EMT is authorized to give a I/v of 5% dextrose than it would stand that he should not perform a kidney transplant, even if he is acting in good faith.

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