Who are you going to call when...?

Michael V Baker
By Michael V Baker Latest Reply 2014-12-07 18:17:39 -0600
Started 2014-12-03 12:36:20 -0600

Hypoglycemic and need assistance? Discovered the local Fire department vs.expensive ambulatory services are the BEST in immediately remedying low blood sugar. Most fire departments are skilled in treating hypoglycemia and are accompanied as they arrive with a doctor or two. Best part, No charge$ for the service once, twice,…:) :) We all pay for their professional services via tax dollars plus they are usually close in the neighborhood. They will assist after their treatment with protocol suggestion for you to go to the hospital, but, if confident, just say "No Thank You", and they will be on their way. One ambulance and hospital visit is outrageous in pricing vs. what I discovered was the Fire Department staffs are plentiful in personnel upon arrival, with expertise at hand.

8 replies

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-12-03 14:27:57 -0600 Report

As a former member of a volunteer fire company and an EMT, Volunteer Fire Company's raise money to operate. The county gave us mere pennies for a $ 150,00.00 Fire Truck. They do get help from the county or city but not much. Depending on the state, there is a difference between EMT and Paramedic. In my State, EMT's provide basic medical care and Paramedics provide advanced medical care. So if you are having a heart attack, EMT's can do the basics, they cannot start an IV or push medications only Paramedics can do that. Most local jurisdictions now will send you a bill whether you go to the hospital or refuse. You simply cannot say no and they are on their way. In most cases, the patient has to sign a release which means they refused service and cannot hold the Ctiy, or county liable for the heat attack they have as the medics are pulling away from your house.

I am still friends with paramedics and have been on the scene with diabetics who called because they are too shaky to gives themselves a shot. They asked us to do it for them. We cannot give them the shot. We have to take them to the hospital. We have had people ask us to administer their nytro and the paramedic refused. The person took the medication on their own and had a heart attack. The nytro was 5 years old and not a bit of good to him. Paramedics are NOT doctors. Doctors are not always on an ambulance and even if they volunteer with a fire company, they still have to be trained as a Paramedic to meet state guidelines again that also depends on the jurisdiction and if they work for a hospital, the hospital may not allow them to treat the person outside of their facility. I worked for a Medical Rehabilitation Hospital without an emergency room. Even with a sign that said no Emergency Room, people would come seeking medical help. They were turned away because the doctors could not touch them or stabilize them. The state set those guidelines. We would call an ambulance for them.

Finally, we had doctors and nurses ride along with us when I was training with the city's fire service and they could not give medical advice or treat the person. They were only there to observe.

By all means if you need medical help call 911 but never ever use it as an on call doctor's service.

haoleboy 2014-12-03 14:55:42 -0600 Report

what sad comment on the world we have crafted for ourselves. the #1 priority of health care "professionals" these days is not to get sued. during my extended stay in the hospital a few years back I became friends with several of the nurses who acknowledged their frustration with the state of health care and that they were considering leaving nursing as practicing "CYA" was not the reason they became nurses,


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-12-07 18:17:39 -0600 Report

Steve when I was doing my EMT training, one of my classmates ended up in court twice to testify twice because someone was suing the Fire Department.

The court systems are tied up with frivolous lawsuits. People will sue if you look at them cross eyed. It is a sad state when it comes to just about any profession. There is always the risk of being sued.

BreC 2014-12-03 14:18:08 -0600 Report

I live in a rural area and the fire department is not always manned. As such, my best bet would be to call 911 and see who gets here first. If I have called 911 then it warrants a ride to the hospital to check things out. If I am able to do so then I will drive myself to the ER or at least the doctors office.

sweetslover 2014-12-03 20:52:10 -0600 Report

I have started carrying my cell phone in my pocket all the time. When I fall, it is usually out in the middle of the pasture. The horses are not much help and the dog just pulls on my arm. I figure I can call 911 for help if I can't get back up. So far, so good.

GabbyPA 2014-12-03 13:58:35 -0600 Report

The key is "if confident". If I have called 911 to get help, I am not confident at that point. If they could get me to that point, I guess I could say no thanks, but not very sure I would want to do that. Especially if I were alone.

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate our EMTs. They have visited here more this year than I care to admit. None of it for lows though.

RebDee 2014-12-03 12:52:30 -0600 Report

To satisfy my security, I have a Medical Alert "watch" (I've falled and I can't get up) if there is ever a problem with Diabetes or anything else like an accident. Just push a button and there is immediate response who will call the fire department in case you cannot reach the phone.

Next Discussion: Another doctor visit »