First Aid and Fighting – a Normal Night
Just a few days after my most recent First Aid refresher, some of those skills got put to use … immediately followed by a different set of more aggressive physical skills … followed then by a reminder that our actions must always follow very particular laws. Here’s the quick look at how the night went down.
We’re always walking from one hot spot to the next on patrol. We know that certain intersections and certain clubs have a greater probability than others to be the scene of trouble. Walking between one hot spot and the next, we found one young man with a little too much to drink getting a bit aggressive with … everybody he could. He didn’t start any real trouble, and he even kept mentioning that he wasn’t trying to start trouble … but he was getting about as close as possible to starting trouble, so we stopped to keep an eye on him.
Sure enough, as soon as we stopped, we noticed another young man passed out on the ground. He was in and out of consciousness, and barely able to tell me his parents’ phone number. I told the parents I’d be getting an ambulance for their son and his friend. Who was his friend? Yup – the aggressive drunk, who then wandered over, and passed out on the other side of the sidewalk. We managed to get them both into the “recovery position” and kept an eye on them while we waited. A passing police car stopped to check in with us, and was happy to hear that we had already called for medical support, and they rolled away with confidence that things would go smoothly.
From First Aid to Fight Aid
The 9-1-1 operator noticed that I was using all the terminology and protocol from my recent first aid class, and asked, “Are you an EMT?” Since I’m not, I let him know, “No – just a recent first aid class.” The operator told me he’d stay on the phone with me to help guide me through any additional steps to take while we waited for the paramedics, but they showed up very quickly.
And as soon as they arrived, a fight broke out at a stopping “party bus” only 50 feet away. I quickly briefed the first EMT that got out, and clarified, “You guys got this from here?” When he acknowledged they would be taking over, I wished them luck, and our Patrol ran over to the fight, splitting up two groups that were determined to show each other how cool they were by using all sorts of colorful language, shoving, and generally “monkey dancing” all over the sidewalk.
Our Patrol managed to get the bus folks back on the bus, and the other folks back on their way. We convinced both groups they would have won, and that it was better off not getting in trouble … thus saving us a whole lot more trouble.
Quick Legal Lesson
During our “debrief” after patrol, we discussed the legal ramifications of rendering medical care, and the requirements to continue to give care. The ambulance arrived just in time for us to stop that fight. Otherwise, we would have been duty bound to continue care on the first two passed out folks, as we had already begun.
Once you start giving care, only leave if:
- The scene becomes unsafe
- The victim regains enough health to at least refuse care or no longer need it
- You become unable to continue (perhaps from exhaustion)
- Higher level, more professional care becomes available
We were relieved by the professional care of the ambulance crews. Do you have any First-Aid stories you’d like to share?