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RememberSchiff

Would your scouts ask an adult to show ID at accident scene?

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Two (presumably) uniformed scouts were returning home from a troop meeting when they witnessed a pedestrian being hit by a car. They immediately responded to help the victim. Another adult also stopped to help, stating that he was an EMT. According to this article, the scouts asked the non-uniformed EMT to produce an ID!

 

Coincidentally, one of the scouts had completed a first-aid training session earlier at that troop meeting and said his instincts took over.

"I just wanted to help her as much as I could until more help arrived," the 12-year-old said. "Our first-aid instructor was really good and taught us not to overthink things and just take care of it."

 

http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/news/ci_30524625/these-fitchburg-scouts-knew-their-motto-be-prepared

 

Learned something new here. My unit teaches our scouts to make sure the scene is safe before assessing patients but it did not include asking to see ID's from other responders. When someone states they are (whatever) ask to see ID was not part of our first aid training. Well it will be now.

 

What ID's (credentials) should scouts carry to show at an accident scene if they are challenged?

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Asking a responder for ID is a terrible idea.  It wastes valuable time without providing any improvement in care for the victim.  There is a good chance that a medical expert won't have any identification with them, and your scouts don't have any expertise in evaluating whether a person's ID is correct or sufficient.  What are they going to do if the person does not have ID or if the scout is somehow not satisfied with the ID produced, interfere with the care being provided?  

 

My wife is a physician, but she certainly doesn't carry her medical license with her.  It is possible, but not even a certainty, that if she happens to be on her way to or from work that her ID will be with her, but it will either be in her briefcase or clipped to a coat in her car.  No matter how much training a scout may have, any delay or interference the scout causes is detrimental to the victim and well outside the scope of whatever training we provide them.

 

The story posted mentions that the scouts asked for ID, but it doesn't say why or even whether the actual trained adult had his with him.

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I wouldn't ask for ID. #1 in my experience at the hospital A) not many carry their credentials with them, and B) when some airline did that, and rejected a medical resident because they didn't have credentials on them, they are now facing a discrimination lawsuit.

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Asking a responder for ID is a terrible idea.  It wastes valuable time without providing any improvement in care for the victim.  There is a good chance that a medical expert won't have any identification with them, and your scouts don't have any expertise in evaluating whether a person's ID is correct or sufficient.  What are they going to do if the person does not have ID or if the scout is somehow not satisfied with the ID produced, interfere with the care being provided?  

 

My wife is a physician, but she certainly doesn't carry her medical license with her.  It is possible, but not even a certainty, that if she happens to be on her way to or from work that her ID will be with her, but it will either be in her briefcase or clipped to a coat in her car.  No matter how much training a scout may have, any delay or interference the scout causes is detrimental to the victim and well outside the scope of whatever training we provide them.

 

The story posted mentions that the scouts asked for ID, but it doesn't say why or even whether the actual trained adult had his with him.

 

That is odd about the medical profession. I carry my drivers license and all my other current licenses with me. Wasn't there a Far Side Cartoon joke about "Is there a doctor in the house?" and an ichthyologist answered the call? :)

 

I can see a medical and maybe a legal need to document all who came in contact with the accident victim.

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Couple of thoughts you might consider - what does a lay responder vs. an EMT have as a standard of care, duty to respond?   One should teach to ones FA credentials as well, adding is not teaching the course.   Just a couple of thoughts.   

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A merit badge is not a credential.

 

I am an experienced Health teacher and First Aid instructor, yet I would immediately cede control to a police officer, fire fighter, or EMT who arrives on the scene.

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So a person is administering CPR

 

another bystander rushes over and offers to help, saying they know CPR.

 

Do you ask to see their CPR cert card?

..... if they did and it was two years expired, would you refuse the help.....

 

Nope.  I can picture that a confident and well trained 1st repsonder might tell the 2nd responder that he/she is doing 30 compressions to 2 breaths....or whatever method/ratio they are following.... and ask them to do the breathing...... or to take over the compressions.....

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... What ID's (credentials) should scouts carry to show at an accident scene if they are challenged?

 

Well ... we are all in this together. The only real Id is your word, "I know first aid." And obviously, that can be faked just as well as laminated pieces of paper, (or a neckerchief, to answer 'schiff's question). Unfortunately, BSA has not marketed "first class scout" as well as it has it more rare achievements, so there is no scouting credential that folks outside of the organization would recognize at face value as qualifying the scout to administer any form of first aid.

 

Boys have been trained not just in first aid, but in youth protection. I'm sure that rattling around in their head is some fear of a stranger taking advantage of someone in a vulnerable situation.

 

If a responder is acting sensibly, and everyone communicates to make sure all of the necessary tasks are being administered (securing the scene, contacting personnel, continuing assessment, preventing blood loss, treating for shock, immobilizing, etc ...), you have success.

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Hmmm, IMO if a non-uniformed responder states they are a doctor, nurse, EMT, policeman, fireman, some relevant professional they should have some and be flashing supporting ID.

 

Related questions, do good samaritan laws protect professional helping outside of their job?

 

Duty to rescue? My state, there is none for average citiziens, but I believe if one does you cannot abandon the victim (running for help is not abandonment).  There is a duty to report certain crimes.

 

Another $0.02

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People can sometimes imagine that they have more authority than they really have.

 

I have had this problem with our patrol boys. A patrol boy's job is to help younger children cross the street. A patrol boy does not have authority to stop cars or direct traffic.

 

An adult crossing guard (assigned by the police department) is allowed to stop traffic. A patrol boy is not.

 

A scout uniform, first class scout rank, and a First Aid merit badge do not confer any sort of authority on a boy.

 

A Boy Scout should always defer to an adult who has real authority.

Edited by David CO

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This topic is near and dear to my heart.

 

When I was a just crossed over Scout, I wasn't in the troop a month yet, there was an incident at morning church services before school. Long story short, the deacon responding to the situation knew I was a Boy Scout, and expected me to be able to handle it. Thankfully a good bit of it was covered by Readyman Webelos Activity Badge, and I was able to handle it. But that was the first time an adult deferred to me.

 

A few years later, as a 16 year old Life Scout, another incident happened during Sunday church services. You would think someone in the congregation would have had advanced medical training of some sort. Again, I got called in to render first aid until EMS showed up. Then I had to go with them.

 

I am a firm believer that a Scout with first aid training, especially First Aid Merit Badge should, emphasizing SHOULD, be able to do handle a situation until EMS arrived. I know First Aid MB is not a credential. To a degree I wish it was. The absolute best first aid training I ever took, and I teach both standard and am now certified WFA instructor, was the First Aid MB class I took way back when. BEST.TRAINING. EVER. I remember a time when WFA was not required to do high adventure activities, because it was expected that a First Class Scout knew enough first aid to take care of any victims until help arrived.

 

But I also know there is a lot of "one and done" out there. Saw it this weekend first hand. I was assisting with the first aid event, and a patrol of Star and Life Scouts could not remember how to do CPR. Excuse was they don't remember it because they took it their first year of summer camp.

 

I agree that a Scout should defer to an adult with more knowledge, skills, and abilities. But I would have no problem with a Scout taking over if the adult responder is doing it incorrectly and jeopardizing the victim. I was at one accident where someone who supposedly had some type of advanced first aid/medical training was planning on moving a potential spinal injury victim at a car accident. My girlfriend and I both screamed "NO," and took over from them until a doc showed up at the scene.

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I'm not surprised a scout would ask for certification, assuming an instructor told him to ask for it, but it's a very bad idea. Not only is it a lost time issue (the time to find my id, if I had it on me, would be the time I'd give myself to see if someone has a pulse before starting CPR) it's also creating a bad environment. Any first aid situation I've been in requires lots of help and starting it off by dismissing someone is not going to help things. In the heat of the moment you need to work together and check each other. You have to fight your own shock. The more people helping the better. If someone tells me they're an EMT then that's way above what I have and I'll ask them how I can help. It will be real clear real quick if such a person is lying. Then I'd have a bigger mess to deal with.

 

As for Good Samaritan laws, they do not apply to anyone with professional training. That's why a lot of doctors will stay away from a first aid situation if it's not their field of expertise. They are not obligated to help. They may have no better training than first responder. I've heard that police will also defer to anyone that says they know first aid because the police have other things to do in order to get an ambulance there. A lot of scouts think they know first aid because they have first aid MB, but the truth is that's one and done. I have to have my certification renewed every two years and the scouts don't.

 

Whether the BSA first aid training program is sufficient is another thread. It would be nice to see a boy scout and know you have someone that's qualified but the reality is different.

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When I was an EMT, I always had my wallet card in my possession.  If someone of authority (such as a police officer) were to request it, I would show it.  Would I show it to a 15-year old Boy Scout?  Maybe - but I'd put the odds at 90/10 against.  Unless the patient was stabilized, I doubt I would take the time to ask for the ID of anyone coming up with an offer to help.

 

Interesting question on Duty to Help - and the answer is a bit complicated.

 

When it comes to EMS personnel, in general, there is no Duty to Rescue/Help/Respond beyond some state's statutory duty of it's citizens duty to help, IF the EMS member is off the clock and not being paid.  They only have a duty to respond if it is part of their employment and they are being paid for the response.

 

An On-duty Paramedic cannot refuse to provide aid to anyone - because s/he is on duty and therefore being paid, s/he must respond and must act.  Once s/he punches out though (goes off duty), s/he no longer has a legal duty to act, even if they are still in uniform.  For example, if a Paramedic is on duty and shopping for groceries and a person collapses in from of them, the Paramedic must provide aid.  However, if that same Paramedic is off duty (either in or out of uniform) shopping for groceries for the family, and someone collapses, the Paramedic does not have to render aid (most will so lets not get bogged down in a discussion of whether they will or not - this is about must they do so).

 

Here's the key question relevant to EMS Duty to Act - Is the person being paid - any amount - at the time of the act.  If they are not being paid at the time of the act - they have no duty to act.  What this means legally is that if you are a volunteer, you have no legal duty to act, even if you are "on duty".  In a rural area that only has a volunteer EMS ambulance service?  As long as those volunteers aren't paid - they have no legal duty to respond and can, in fact, just not show up if they all decide they don't like you.  That's why a lot of volunteer EMS services operates as paid--on-call services - it gives them a duty to act.

 

Now for the complication: - there are some states that also have citizen duty to act laws that require citizens to render assistance to victims.  So in those states, an EMS member would be required to stop and provide aid.  EXCEPT - they wouldn't be required to provide aid related to their licensing even under most of these laws.  The Citizen Duty to Act laws are very basic - generally, you just have to stop, call for help and wait until help arrives and that's it - you don't actually have to give CPR or stop someone from bleeding - you just can't abandon them.

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I believe it is different in different States as to whether certain personnel have a legal obligation to act. As stated for some it may fall under general citizens, but for others it is specific to employ regardless of being "on the clock". Different states, different laws.

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Hmmm, IMO if a non-uniformed responder states they are a doctor, nurse, EMT, policeman, fireman, some relevant professional they should have some and be flashing supporting ID.

 

Related questions, do good samaritan laws protect professional helping outside of their job?

 

Duty to rescue? My state, there is none for average citiziens, but I believe if one does you cannot abandon the victim (running for help is not abandonment).  There is a duty to report certain crimes.

 

Another $0.02

I can't speak for any of the other professions, but again, Mrs./Dr. Eagle has a medical license, which hangs in a frame in her office (this is mandated by the state), she has a photo ID issued by the Hospital system which she wears when she is in one of their hospitals.  If she's not at work, or on the way to or from, the chances are her hospital ID is not with her.  The two times that I've been with her when she had to render serious aid we were out to dinner for one and across the country on vacation for the other.  No reason she would have her work ID with her at either time.  The people who are really interested in whether she is a doctor --- the victim she may be helping --- would be entirely unconcerned with asking for ID.

 

As to Good Samaritan laws, they vary by state, but generally they are designed specifically to encourage medical professionals to render aid in emergency situations by protecting them from any liability that would arise under those circumstances.  In the very unlikely event that a person could get past those protections your med mal insurance would kick in, and that would mean an even steeper mountain to climb to find that you had breached the standard of care under those circumstances.

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