Friday, July 31

You Make the Call...Traffic Stop

You are returning from a rough transport, major trauma, and one of the local police officers came with you. An experienced EMT, he was at the scene before any other help arrived and assisted you into the hospital.

Returning to your jurisdiction, and his, in the ambulance he is in the passenger seat in his uniform with weapon.

A convertible speeds by with a number of teenagers clearly not restrained and traveling well above the posted speed limit.

The officer radios in the plates but receives a radio message that no officers are available at this time to pursue.

He looks to you and says, "Light it up and catch that guy! I'll take the heat from your boss, just get him to slow down and stop!"

Do you turn your ambulance into a police cruiser? You make the call.


kbow18 said...

My adrenaline junkie side of me says to light it up and punch it.

My responsible and professional side says no way.

And yet it could be easy to argue that had you succeeded in catching the convertible and making him slow down then you very well could be saving the lives of the kids in the car. At the end of the day, it could be argued that in that instance it would have been part of your job.

Mat said...

No way, jose.

The rig is not equipped to handle pursuit. It's not safe to operate your vehicle at that speed or in that manner.

Chris said...


You need to get back in service, and this could end in all kinds of situations.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not!!

I can imagine trying to explain that one the next day!

It just has bad consequences all over it. At the end of the day it's just as if the police officer was off duty or without transport anyway. Some of them just get away!

No way, nada!

MotorCop said...

Couple points...

One: Does the ambulance have a steady red light in front? If not, there's not point as the vehicle has no obligation to stop (as in be detained).

Two: What does your policy say?

Three: What does common sense tell you?

Four: Something we sometimes forget (at least those of us who don't make our living stopping knuckleheads like this)...if we miss 'em today, they'll pull the same stupid shit tomorrow. We'll get 'em then.

All told, you let 'em keep going and see if Darwin catches them instead of you.

MotorCop said...

Oh...and also...admit it. You wanted to be me for just a second, huh?

Empowering, aint' it? :p

audrey said...

No, ambulances aren't meant to be police cruisers. I would think you're putting the public in danger if you start chasing them. Plus, even if the cop did explain it to the boss, I'm in no need of the reaming from the boss.

Ckemtp said...

While I would not be inclined to do this in any way, here's a consideration:

In my state, if you are given a direct order by a public safety officer to assist in a public safety emergency situation, you must follow it or be fined. You can be reasonably commandeered to assist in an emergency. The supreme court has ruled that law enforcement is the highest authority on scene... and if the law enforcement officer was giving you a direct order you could be in legal trouble for not following the order.

Would I want to? Noooooo... would I dread the consequences?? Yes.

Also, in IL or WI there is no requirement for the steady red light. An authorized emergency vehicle is an authorized emergency vehicle.

Word Verification: ciatable

Anonymous said...

Hell yah ! The cop MADE me !
He didn't "make" me perform the pit maneuver that ended the chase.....I ad libbed that one !