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Where is the law in NJ that says can only use Lights&Sirens when patient is critical?

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  • Where is the law in NJ that says can only use Lights&Sirens when patient is critical?

    I am hoping an officer from NJ may be able to answer this for me.

    Recently in my BLS ambulance service there was some debate of when we are allowed to transport to the hospital with lights and sirens.

    Some members were of the belief, that if we are transporting, then no matter the severity, we are allowed to go with lights and sirens.

    I was arguing that only when there is a danger to life or limb can we transport hot.

    The problem is, that the majority(enjoy using the lights and sirens)and are the ones that are writing our SOP's, and they are putting in there that you can go hot no matter what.

    I am trying to find the law or state regulation that states otherwise.

    Thanks

  • #2
    http://www.state.nj.us/dca/dfs/s543.pdf
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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    • #3
      Is this a local city/county emergency service or a private service? That could make a difference.

      As far as what they do in my area (Metro Nashville FD/EMS & surrounding county EMS agencies), they only run lights/sirens when the medics feel that the patient needs immediate transport. So the decision to do so is solely on the decision of the paramedic, which is the way it should be. If your guys think that they should run "hot" to the hospital on every call, they are jeopardizing themselves, the patient, and the public at large. If I was an EMS/Fire Chief and found out about it, someone would be in a world of hurt. You say you are part of a "BLS" service, which tells me your highest level of care may be an EMT/EMT-I. If that's the case, I couldn't imagine many calls that would require emergency transport to the hospital. If they only send a BLS ambulance, then it tells me that the call is not that severe to begin with. If your heads/administrators think that it's "cool" to run emergency to the hospital on every run, then someone needs to speak with NJ State public safety or State Division of EMS (whichever it is in NJ).

      Obviously many EMS services run emergency traffic to most of the calls they are dispatched to, but once they get on scene and determine the severity of the patient's condition, there should be sound judgment on how to respond to the hospital with said patient.
      Last edited by SgtScott31; 09-14-2009, 11:49 AM.
      I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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      • #4
        Working both sides of the street, as a paramedic and a police supervisor, I would say 50% of the medical calls I am dispatched to are non emergency. 90% of the transports are non emergency.

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        • #5
          That appiles to vollys responding to calls in their personal calls.
          Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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          • #6
            The ambulance in my town responds lights and sirens to freaking EVERYTHING and quite honestly often create more of a traffic h***ard than needed. I have spoken with the director of EMS, but he claims that it is their policy. Since they are loosely a part of the police department and generate a ton of money, they are left alone.
            Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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            • #7
              The fire trucks do the same thing.
              Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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              • #8
                I don't think the OP is questioning whether to use lights/siren responding to the call, but rather when to run lights/siren to the hospital.
                I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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                • #9
                  They do that 2, unless requested by the paitent not to.
                  Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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                  • #10
                    In CA we have numerous private ambulance companies that work under contract with all local public safety agencies. Most are on a rotational call basis. They try to get their monies from the patient(s) or their respective insurance companies. In order to get the best bang for the buck, they charge for every little thing. Bandages, Oxygen, taking BP and Pulse, etc. Additionally, they will run code three (Lights and siren) whenever possible because they charge the patient more for operating under "emergency conditions." It is a bit unscrupulous but legal. Now you know one contributing factor to outlandish medical expenses.
                    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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