California Principal Blocks Ambulance Sent to Help Student To Protect Recently Remodeled Field

Parents in San Jose, California are upset over an astonishing decision made by a high school principal to stop an ambulance from driving onto a football field to help an injured player at Del Mar High School on October 29th. The principal Liz Seabury reportedly says she was following district orders to protect the school’s recently remodeled field from motorized vehicles.

Fourteen-year-old Keanu Gallardo was lying on the field when the ambulance arrived. This appears a case where the official was taking an absolutist view of policies — much like the absurd cases we have followed over the zero tolerance policy on drugs and weapons where kids are suspended for drawing stick figures or bringing in aspirin.

Gallardo had suffered a concussion during Del Mar’s JV football game and the principal forced emergency workers to carry a gurney 75 yards downfield to help him. The decision could have cost the district dearly. If the child was harmed by the delay or the act of being carried over the field, the school would have been hit with major torts damages for negligence.

Source: ABC

Jonathan Turley

41 thoughts on “California Principal Blocks Ambulance Sent to Help Student To Protect Recently Remodeled Field

  1. Ah common sense or the lack there of….reminds me of the story of the talents and the worker that hid his….

  2. This principal should lose her job immediately because her stupidity could have cost a child’s life or health and the District millions. Now, the District needs to review its policy to make sure it doesn’t place any more of its principals into that very same position of actually having to think!

  3. “I think that they don’t let any ambulance go on any field at any high school games, or at any game period. I don’t think that she did anything wrong. I work in an emergency room and I don’t think it delayed his care at all,” said parent Denise Leyer.”

    ******************

    Note to Self: Avoid ER’s in San Jose, California.

    It was stunning to learn — as I did some time ago– that some health care workers are the least compassionate people of all.

  4. Having been to a lot of HS football games I have seen ambulances take injured players off the field maybe a dozen times. I have never seen one drive onto the field, they always drive on the track that encircles every HS field I have been at. This usually means about a 40 yard trip by gurney. Not sure what the heck was the deal here.

  5. OH! and as far as places not to get sick or injured? Having lived in FLA for a few years I found the level of care there to be well below third-world status. Doctor inattention and misfeasance, hospital screw ups, nurse, aid and orderly incompetence virtually every encounter there was an adventure.

  6. mespo,

    It’s been my experience that San Jose is best left avoided altogether. If it wasn’t so close to San Francisco and Napa, I can’t imagine any reason Dionne Warwick was in such a hurry to return.

  7. mespo

    “It was stunning to learn — as I did some time ago– that some health care workers are the least compassionate people of all.”

    ——————-

    (It was “stunning” for me, as well…) There’s a saying that “nurses eat their own”, and it’s sadly true in some cases. I’ve seen outright cruelty…

    (And, yes, of course, there are many good ones, they ruin it for the bad… yada, yada, yada… I wish there were enough sensitive souls to go around, so we could rout out the bad…)

  8. It is the senior member of the response team (ultimately his/her employer), not the principal, who could/should be held liable if the situation warranted driving on the field to pick up the injured player.

    In all my years as a sports player (I played football in high school and semi-pro as an adult, but no college) and fan, I can’t recall the last time I saw an ambulance drive on to the field.

    Every parent wants to see, not only their child, but all children, receive the best treatment possible in the most expedient manner (even when the situation doesn’t warrant it). This was a concussion, and much like a broken leg or arm, it did not require the same response as that needed for a gunshot victim who is bleeding out.

    Ambulance drivers don’t usually tear up property in order to get closer to the patient. Could you imagine the outrage if that became the SOP? If the situation warranted it, most people would gladly sacrifice property. If the situation warranted it.

    What? No lights and siren? As Prof. Turley said “[I]f the child was harmed by the delay or the act of being carried over the field, the school would have been hit with major torts damages for negligence”. That’s why we let the first responders make the determination of how to pick up and transport the patient. If the ambulance driver determined that the child needed to be picked up on the field, any ambulance driver worth his salt would have quickly overridden the principal and driven on to the field. If the principal would have further interfered, she would have been charged with impeding under the appropriate statute.

  9. Just for the record, the term ‘ambulance driver’ went out the window in 1974, when college-level EMS training became the mandate. The response team in this case were either EMTs or Paramedics, and THEY decide what equipment they will use, and how best to work up the case, unless they allow themselves to be bullied on-scene.

    I won’t second-guess the medics’ decision because I wasn’t there, but I can say the following:

    1. Their information re: the patient is only as good as what they were told. And dispatched info runs the gamut from accurate to ridiculous.

    2. The “average” medic age & years of experience in the field has plummeted. In the business there is a reality known as the “AMR-effect” which – without telling you more than you want to know – has had a monster impact on how talented your EMS caregiver might be. Ever see an EMS unit sitting at a Taco Bell parking lot, waiting for their next call, assuaging their stress with a burrito? That’s one aspect of the AMR-effect.

    3. I’ve personally responded to 12,200 911 calls over 32-years. My partners & I have probably been called to two-dozen football games. (But hey – one time it was a cheerleader) I seem to recall twice when we wanted the unit (which contains all the EMS gear, by the way) out onto the field.

    So the matter of ‘how close to park the unit’ is merely one tool in your bag of tricks. And the reality is, you never know until afterward whether it was important or not.

    Incidentally to Frank in Florida: I commiserate, but the WORST place to have a true emergency is Disneyland. They don’t allow ANY advanced EMS care within sight of the public.

  10. anon nurse,

    “(It was “stunning” for me, as well…) There’s a saying that “nurses eat their own”, and it’s sadly true in some cases. I’ve seen outright cruelty…”

    Honey, you said a mouthful!

  11. PatricParamedic, You are giving some inaccurate information.

    1. There are still many states that allow a “driver only” and others that will use a FF or LEO to drive the ambulance when necessary. It is not necessary to list one’s life degrees to know when someone is driving an ambulance.

    2. The U.S. only a degree for Paramedic is required in one state, Oregon(maybe two if you count Kansas), and it is a mere Associates degree. California requires only 1000 hours which is ahead of most and there are some states that require only 3 months or 600 hours of training to be a Paramedic. EMT requires only 110 hours and can be done in less than 3 weeks.

    3. If Frank is from Florida, DISNEYWORLD, has Reedy Creek FD which is all ALS to respond. You don’t have to park a fire truck in the middle of the park to have a good response time if the security and FD know the layout and have a plan of action for entrance. Yes, they respond directly to the park and in plain view unless the patient is in a position to be transported by the little response cart to one of the first aid stations behind the scenes. Florida is also one of the few states that provides ALS EMS to all of its citizens. Frank could live in a state where it is BLS EMS only and no trauma, stroke or heart centers are available for many miles.

    4. As for as the “AMR effect”, to be a Paramedic takes very little education and training as already mentioned. As proven by the headlines you can cheat on all the refreshers and still keep your certification. FFs view it as an add on skill and no big deal to get. There are many professions in healthcare you can go into that doesn’t require youth or decent physicial ability. But, they require an education. You should know that the U.S. Paramedic would not even be qualified to be an “Ambulance Driver” or have much patient contact in other countries.

    If the fire truck found its way to the football field and didn’t complain about the distance to the patient from where they parked their truck, maybe the ambulance should have been directed to that entrance. This child had a quick ALS care and if the FD had its own transport ability this child would have been to the hospital already. It is also possible the FF/Paramedics would have released this child to go as “Basic Life Support” and the FFs would have returned to their station instead of accompanying the child to the hospital.

    In all the years I have been on an ambulance at games and as a spectator for high school through professional, there has never been a reason to drive a large truck on the playing field. Modern stretchers make getting the patient a very easy task and even back in the “old” days we had no problem getting the patient off the field without much difficulty.

    There is a good chance there was no communication between Fire and AMR. You have to blame someone and if those who respond to emergencies don’t have their acts together, it is easy to blame someone else who is just doing their job. This is not an uncommon situation and it shouldn’t have been such a big deal to get a child off the field and into an ambulance in a timely manner. But then, if the ambulance arrives late and has no help getting the location of the patient, there are more problems than with this principle.

  12. R.J. –

    “There are still many states that allow a “driver only” and others that will use a FF or LEO to drive the ambulance when necessary. It is not necessary to list one’s life degrees to know when someone is driving an ambulance.”

    My comments were not generic – they referred to a specific California case. In San Jose county, no responding unit to head trauma, called in by on-scene medics, would be staffed by anybody with less than EMT, college-level training. My statement has nothing to do with listing life degrees, which is immaterial. It has everything to do with the wholely inaccurate, lazy-journalistic use of the term ‘ ambulance driver.’

    “If Frank is from Florida, DISNEYWORLD, has Reedy Creek FD which is all ALS to respond.”

    Once again, you seem to have a hard time tracking. DISNEYLAND. Nobody said anything about Disneyworld.

    “As for as the “AMR effect”, to be a Paramedic takes very little education and training as already mentioned.”

    Are you completely unaware that you just proved my point?

    For a true education, you might compare the curriculum of UCSD school of medicine (La Jolla) Paramedic program 25 years ago,where my group went to school, or Daniel Freeman (L.A.) or Tanana (Alaska) – other words pre-AMR training, with the fast-food, revolving door EMS schooling that goes on today. Why the change? The AMR fluid response system is a big part of it, which burns through medics like poop through a goose. Of course we oldtimers view Paramedics as a career, not a way to “become a firefighter.”

    “FFs view it as an add on skill and no big deal to get.”

    Really? Name one.

    “if the FD had its own transport ability this child would have been to the hospital already.”

    AMR-effect. You keep proving my point. What’s more ridiculous than medics on the scene of a head injury for 20 minutes with no ability to transport?

    “But then, if the ambulance arrives late and has no help getting the location of the patient, there are more problems than with this principle.”

    AMR-effect, anybody? The kid didn’t NEED a fire apparatus.

    You are, however, absolutely right that not all programs – ergo, not all medics – are created equal. Kinda like surgeons that way. And the end result can often be seen in cases just such as these, where a high school bureaucrat dictates response protocols in an emergency, to protect a pretty carpet. And the AMR crew bobs their heads and goes along with the program.

  13. Blouise,

    Admittedly, inartfully articulated… :-)

    Now I need to get some sleep, so that I’m able to fend off cannibalistic colleagues at work tomorrow.

  14. Frank –

    “Having lived in FLA for a few years I found the level of care there to be well below third-world status. Doctor inattention and misfeasance, hospital screw ups, nurse, aid and orderly incompetence virtually every encounter there was an adventure”

    Hey Frank –

    For your info, I now investigate physican misbehavior for a living, and I can tell you we receive 20-30 emails per week from medical professionals re: the lab coat lunacy that goes on around them. And Florida does indeed appear to spawn more than their share, including a well-known orthopedic surgeon in Miami who evidently likes to scrub-in for operations completely naked, just to irritate the nurses. Nothing on but the booties.

    He’ll be in my next book,for sure, name & all. Gotta love ’em.

  15. PatricParamedic
    If you want to take about California and San Jose at least get the information correct. It still only takes 110 hours to be an EMT and 1045 to be a Paramedic in California. There is no need to go to college since there are many private trade schools that teach these classes and much faster than a college semester. Check the EMSA website to see this for yourself. You can also find a list of Paramedic programs which are not at a college.

    The UCLA Daniel Freeman program is nothing more than a mill for the FDs. The student also does not earn UCLA college credits. However, the time is accepted by WLAC but I doubt if many FFs will get a degree as a Paramedic but will go on to a degree in managment or fire science. There is not a need for a degree in EMS.

    Most of us “old timers” are with the FDs since that is where most of EMS in the U.S. has its roots. The FD at least offers stability and has physicial fitness requirements for entry.

    But, it is now just an add on since many FDs want their new hires to already be Paramedics or get the cert within one year. Some FFs just want it for the extra pay which isn’t too shabby. Name one? How about several? Look at the FDs in Southern California. Since you mentioned Miami, you could also look at South Florida and those in SW Florida namely the Collier County mess. How about the headlining depts in TX? Not very flattering for those who just want the pay raise for the extra cert and probably shouldn’t be going near patients. The concept of every FF being a Paramedic is not the best one but it does show how easy the Paramedic cert is to get.

    But, for this situation, San Jose sent FD Paramedics. It is too bad the FD Paramedics did not have the ability to transport. But, for future situations, they need to improve the communication between services instead of setting AMR or any private ambulance up for failure. Yes, your dislike for AMR is very obvious but private ambulances still provide patient transport services that most FDs would never think of doing or ever want to.

    And this absurd piece of gossip:
    “And Florida does indeed appear to spawn more than their share, including a well-known orthopedic surgeon in Miami who evidently likes to scrub-in for operations completely naked, just to irritate the nurses. Nothing on but the booties.”

    Do you know this for an absolute fact or is this just some story you’ve heard? Did you check the Florida MQA site to see if this is even an actual person? Florida does deal with its problem physicians fairly well even though the EMS community will say one who lost his license to practice in FL could never do any wrong because of one book he wrote.

    BTW: For the Frank from Florida comment, Disneyland is in California and Disneyworld is in Florida. It appeared you were confused since Frank was talking about health care in Florida.

  16. Oh, when it comes to physician misbehavior, we deal only in facts. This particular character has been disciplined more than once, and is considered one of 19 ‘disruptive physicians’ in his medical center, by his administration. But as generally happens when MDs misbehave, most staff members stay quiet until all hell breaks lose.

    “Absurd piece of gossip.”

    It ain’t gossip when it comes from other MDs who are embarrassed by a colleague. We don’t deal in gossip. Last year I wrote a book on the ungodly volume of just this sort of idiotic behavior. The only reason the book exists is because 481 nurses, docs, medics & techs came forward and told their stories. It’s that simple.

    I’m not in the habit of giving the book unwanted advertizing on other peoples’ websites, so I won’t mention the title here. It’s easy to find for anyone interested. But the point is, our policy in exposing physician misfits is simple: The reporting person either puts their name on the story, or there is no story.

    I have a feeling we could have a pretty fair debate re: fire vs non-fire medics. I’ve been both. I personally believe paramedicine – as it is in some outstanding places – should be totally separate from fire. But that isn’t my call to make. I find it pathetic that – regardless of who provides the service – the same, old tired debates re: quality of care & response times never change much. They’re the same battles we were fighting 30 years ago. Hell, no wonder so many people bail out.

    Of course paramedic schools are no longer associated with Universities. That’s half my point to responding on this thread. They USED to be. I don’t know what the Diploma looks like for the typical medic driving down the street in my neighborhood. But I know what mine looks like. And stamped into the gold foil it reads: UCSD school of Medicine, school of anesthesiology. Those medical programs were pretty darn picky. And based on our rotations in O.R., Labor & Delivery, Anesthesiology & Peds, along with the fact that we spent time in Behavioral Sciences at Patton State, I’d stack my training up against any.

    I wish you nothing but the best out there. It sounds like you’ve been in the trenches, as have I.

  17. Heck, drive all over that thing. Tear it up.

    It doesn’t belong there. It’s a waste of public funds. Fire the person or persons who wasted the money on it.

    Get rid of the football team and all the rest.

    Football should be an after school activity funded by parents whose children are interested in it.

  18. Tootie,

    That is exactly what has happened in the past. Some on ambulances have purposely destroyed property to show their ignorance when told to slow down and use caution which may have been meant for the safety of the children as well as the field.

    You seem to have gotten your wish for athletics being removed from school systems. And that is a sad shame. Kids no longer have an incentive to exercise or something to do to burn off energy that leads to idle hours. I was lucky enough to grow up in a time when physical education was mandatory and competition in sports was respected as well as healthy.

    You don’t want to encourage any interests in your children, then I do feel very sorry for them to have you as a parent. Activities such as art, music and sports should all be part of a child’s education process.

  19. PatricParamedic

    Yes I agree the 70s and early 80s were going in the right direction with the development of the degrees in EMS and my FD was pushing for professional educated Paramedics. During that time I think EMS was at its best. Now I wouldn’t give you 2 cents for the FDs who exercise quantity over quality. The private services are also guilty of the warm body mentality and keep the medic mills alive. The medic mills are fostering this attitude all the way to the bank with easy loans for very, very expensive classes and rapid cert tracks. Some charge more for a 110 hour EMT class than my whole A.S. degree cost complete with Paramedic cert. But, being Americans, some love the quickest way and can be talked into almost anything regardless of cost. Most aren’t aware they have only a 1 out of 1000 chance of getting hired at a FD which hires for just a few positions each year. Nor are they aware EMS is not like what you see on TV or the cool medic mill ads.

    The degrees still exist but most will never get even the Associates. Many get hung up on cool skills and believe the ability to push a few meds by protocol or recipe and stick a piece of plastic down someone’s throat makes them just like a doctor. Somehow they believe their 6 months of training equals the 12 years of education and residency for a doctor. The words “physician extender” were also overused and misused in EMS to where it did more harm than good.

    BTW, I wasn’t referring to your book. I was referring to the EKG book which I refuse to promote regardless of how good it it. There are other books which are just as good and maybe even better.

    Of course, you could also put together a book of idiotic and ignorant EMS incidents but it might take several volumes to cover those that have made headlines just this year. Reading some of the EMS forums is also enough to make one wonder if there is any hope of EMS ever becoming a profession.

  20. PatricParamedic,

    “My statement has nothing to do with listing life degrees, which is immaterial. It has everything to do with the wholely inaccurate, lazy-journalistic use of the term ‘ ambulance driver.’”

    Could you come across as being any more ego-maniacal, K. Patrick?

    The level of competency to perform an associated procedure is irrelevant to the task involved (i.e. driving the ambulance). The person driving the ambulance is, without a doubt, the “ambulance driver”, as opposed to the person riding “shotgun”. At that point in time, the identification of any additional skill-set serves no useful or meaningful purpose.

    Your bio states “Graduate – UCSD La Jolla School of Medicine”.
    Would that be a graduate with a degree or a “certificate of completion”? Why is that important? Because for someone who becomes obnoxiously insistent on such petty irrelevant details, it’s pretty obvious that you avoided that one.

  21. RJ

    I was joking about ruining the field with ambulances. My point was the field shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    And it is absurd to think football is essential for good health when we know that fast walking is all that is necessary for adequate cardio health and weight control.

    If there wasn’t busing children would walk to and from school 9 months of the year like we did. Leftists are responsible that that no longer occurs.

    Another reason children don’t exercise in school is because idiot leftists didn’t’ want them to (they had to babysit them on the playgrounds during recess and didn’t want to “waste” time doing that). And then the lawyer scum was suing the pants off of school districts for injuries.

    Catholic schools, to this day, still enforce recess without much problem. And the sports programs are provided by the parents themselves (they don’t go begging to outsiders at gunpoint through taxation).

    Your neighbor’s fat kids would be none of your darn business unless they were pilfering from your fridge.

    Leftists might be happier if they minded their own business and stopped being totalitarian busybodies about other peoples’ kids who are not bothering them.

    I went to the public schools in the sixties. Smart parents back then didn’t want to have to fund after school sports either. This is an old problem.

    No intelligent person believes that the schools need more money for academics when they waste precious funds on organized sports played after school hours for a limited select group of students.

    All the funds needed to supply good health for children at school is a good pair of sneakers provided from home by parents who insist on a required time period for their kids to walk or jog sometime during the day.

    We played dodge ball like crazy during recess.

  22. I also went to school in the 60s. I was on every organized team the school had. Being part of a well run sports team has many more benefits than just fitness and what you learn from the experiences can become essential in life later especially in EMS.

    Unfortunately your over weight child does become an issue with health care and who pays for their illnesses. You seem overly concerned about wasting money on a football but fail to see the expenses associated with an overweight child and later a fat adult. So it is everyone’s business especially those who pay insurance premiums and those who work in health care who must take care of the obese children and adults especially in emergent situations. Have you checked your over weight child’s or your own glucose lately?

  23. RJ

    The health cares costs of overweight people are only the business of that person, his or her doctor, and the health insurance company (if any) who insures them (they can charge higher rates).

    Only when government sticks its big fat nose into the whole affair and makes its stupid self at risk of moral hazard, does it become the interest of the state. And wrongly so.

    I see you seem to be happy that other people were accosted at gunpoint so you could have better life.

    But I would like to remind you that robbers and thieves generally operate on that same moral plain as well.

    You can ask any thief why he or she steals. They want better life and they believe they have found the best way they can do it.

    Naturally, it does not make it right. And it does not make it right when government does it either. No matter how much fun it was for you.

  24. Tootie –

    “The health cares costs of overweight people are only the business of that person, his or her doctor, and the health insurance company (if any) who insures them (they can charge higher rates.”

    No, actually, when the overweight person becomes a patient, it then becomes the business of LOTS of people:

    http://www.examiner.com/la-in-los-angeles/the-growing-impact-of-obesity-on-health-care-providers

    Do you have any idea how many EMS folks have gone out on back injuries?

    More than we can count.

  25. “I see you seem to be happy that other people were accosted at gunpoint so you could have better life.

    But I would like to remind you that robbers and thieves generally operate on that same moral plain as well.”

    Tootie, I have no idea what you are talking about in your post. How do you get someone accosted at gunpoint out of a discussion about over weight children. I also don’t see how you can get “fun” out of a very serious issue especially when it concerns the health and well being of a child.

    Obesity is a serious health problem and it affects everyone in some way be it health care costs by increased insurance premiums for everyone or injuries to the health care providers trying to care for these individuals. Special equipment has to be purchased for EMS and in the hospital which also increases cost to the public in some way.

    Ignoring the problem or blaming the government does not make things better for anyone including the child.

    To relate this to the article, at least this school has an Athletic Trainer at the games. I have to give the school good marks for that.

  26. Speaking of overweight folks, we used to have a patient in San Diego that everyone called, “Big Larry.” He was a gentle giant who – at age 35 for strange metabolic reasons – started gaining massive amounts of weight. At 400 pounds he lost his job at the post office, and at 500 he lost his wife. The neighborhood took care of him; redesigned his house; brought his food when he could no longer get out of bed. Over the course of 10 years most every medic & firefighter had responded to Big Larry’s house.

    When my partner & I saw him for the last time, he weighed 900 pounds; was being treated as a “special client” by UCSD medical center who, among other things, provided him with a custom-made van with a hydraulic lift. The night he went into full arrest, two fire crews of four responded, plus two medics, for a total of 10 rescuers. It took us 37 minutes to get him from the bedroom into the van. Nothing in our bag of tricks was designed for a 900 pound patient. ET tubes? No way. IV line? Forget it. Defibrillation? His chest wall was thicker than a sofa cushion. Guerney? Extrication board? Safety straps? No way.

    And by shift change 4 men went on medical leave for back injuries.

    Moral of the story? Don’t ever think for one minute the obesity rate of Americans happens in a vacuum. It affects everybody, including the taxpayers who shelled out $40,000 for Larry’s van.

  27. I also remember back in the day we would never have considered parking the truck on the football field. We would have made fools of ourselves in front of the whole crowd trying to lift a 325 pound high school or college kid since back then we didn’t run 10 FFs to every call. Instead, we parked the truck across from the nearest entrance with the back tires in a ditch to lower the rear. Now they have stretchers which are more back friendly that is good since ever if there are 10 FFs at scene, they will more than likely not be doing any lifting once the patient is placed on the private ambulance’s stretcher for liability and worker’s comp reasons.

    Of course there will be some who drive ambulances onto the field for applause from the audience for themselves rather than having any concern about the patient. The patient will still be laying on the ground while they are taking their bows for the spectators.

  28. Patrick:

    It wasn’t the fat guy’s fault that government officials catered to him. He should have been charged extra for services or told there wouldn’t be further assistance unless he made efforts to help himself. People do wish you die in the strangest ways.

    Businesses charge extra for plus size garments because they require more fabric. And hospitals now cater to fat people (bigger doorways, bigger gurneys, bigger wheel chairs, cranes to lift them up and move them, etc).

    They have to do this now BECAUSE government is tampering in the system and has forbidden any facility which accepts Medicaid to refuse aid.

    Government puts itself in this situation and that is the only reason why there is trouble. I would like to see you apply the same theory to wine drinkers. Pot smokers. People who have promiscuous premarital sex. AIDs and HIV.

    If you want to go down this path, you go down it in a totalitarian police state way, because the only way to make it work is to be totalitarian (everything has to fit into the budget). That is why government should NEVER be involved.

  29. Patrick,

    It becomes an issue only because the state butts in. If you are going to regulate food you are going to have to regulate sex. Like homosexual sex (causes most of the AID/HIV) and promiscuity (causes all of the STDs), and abortion (another result of bad choices.

    Somehow I don’t think you want that.

  30. Tootie –

    Oh, I’m with you on that. My Libertarian viscera quivers at what we’ve become as a nation enabling the feeble. When Thomas Jefferson spoke of “entangling alliances” of a meddling government, I seem to recall he was at the time addressing his disdain for the expansion of U.S. foreign policy. But the reality of the insistence of government to make every move of every citizen “its business” holds just as true within our borders as without.

    Or, we could just listen to Mark Twain, perhaps the original political humorist, before our inane TV pundits:

    “The mania for giving Government power to meddle in the private affairs of cities or citizens, is likely to cause endless trouble, through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain official recognition. There is great danger that our people will lose our independence of thought and action, which is the cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or German, who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in fine, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to paradise.”

  31. Yeah, blaming the government gives you the right not to be either a responsible parent or adult. Your statements are only good when you believe everything is all right. When something happens you then demand to know why the government didn’t step in to do more to protect you or your child.

  32. First its California. They’re all nuts, Second, It’s grass lady, get a grip. If it wasn’t grass you’re nuttier yet. On the question of wheter she should lose her job, the answer is yes because she’s an idiot, but obviously the school board is nuts too and need to go also.

  33. So you’d fired a dozen people because of one less than stellar incident at a football game . . . .

    And how exactly would you interview the 12 replacements, to ensure THEY wouldn’t act like a fruit-loop in the next soap opera?

    I suspect it isn’t very bright to judge folks by the stupidest think they’ve ever done.

    What’s in your closet?

  34. Why aren’t they examining the way response by EMS was handled? In other large events EMS is directed to the closest entrance. Ambulances and fire trucks don’t always drive up on a stage or through a crowd without some planning. Is there a way to improve communication between EMS and Fire? Should Fire just start doing their own transport? I think this area also has an ambulance contract being negotiated and it is possible AMR is not the best to serve this area.

    I also remember incidents where ambulances and fire trucks have been warned not to drive onto or into certain areas but had ignored the warnings. They ended up with their trucks stuck in mud, drowned by high water and damaged by falling through an old sewer/septic or underground pipe systems which resulted in major delays in transport.

    Damaging personal or government property is not the solution just because the EMS in this area lacks planning and wants to place blame on others so it doesn’t look bad or doesn’t have to answer for its lack of planning and poor response times.

    They had a stretcher to wheel the player out on. It is not like they had to actually carry him. If it hadn’t taken the ambulance 20 minutes to arrive and if the ambulance had followed the fire truck to the closest entrance, this would never have been an issue.

    This won’t be the last time there is a call like this. What if there is a patient on a park path where there is no way you can drive a truck up a horse or bike trail? What if there are other hazards that prevent parking right next to the patient? Do these EMTs and Paramedics also need to lose a few pounds and get into better shape for calls that might require walking? What would have happened if this call had required stairs or a hill to climb where the ambulance could not have driven?

    I think they should plan for more emergencies and be better prepared with communication and their ability to walk a stretcher a few yards. Not all patients will be presented to them in a nice area with drive through service. But, they are lucky there are several responders on each scene since both the ambulance and fire trucks run to the calls.

  35. High schools have been arranging for designated, EMS standby units for 35 years. Apparently that wasn’t the case here, for one reason or another. I’m certainly not in the loop in San Jose.

    Off-duty EMT’s or medics, & back-up ambulances, provide on-the-spot care all over this country. The advantage isn’t necessarily the response time, which would of course be excellent. The real advantage is a dedicated crew & transporting vehicle, with a team that’s familiar with the protocols of that particular venue. It sounds like in this case, it was protocols at issue.

    Of course, if that stand-by unit happens to be in an AMR coverage area, and the crew is not AMR, then they likely couldn’t transport their patient anyway. Part & parcel to the AMR-effect, is that little items like head injuries take a back seat to the county contract provider’s ability to flex biceps and earn dollars.

  36. I don’t believe an ambulance is necessary at games if there is an Athletic Trainer present. I would encourage all schools to hire Athletic Trainners instead of paying an EMT-Basic with only a little first aid training or even a Paramedic to cover the games. Too many injuries have not been recognized by EMS providers since pediatrics and thorough ortho or neuro assessments that don’t “look” like emergencies are some of their weakest areas of education as is most medical situations. A good example of that would be the death of the high school football player who was blown off as nothing to be concerned about by the Orange County NC Paramedic who didn’t even bother to call the kid’s parents.

    For most injuries, an Athletic Trainer can do an assessment and initiate the appropriate treatment immediately. The $1000 ambulance ride may then not be necessary for every sprained finger or ankle.

    This game did have an Athletic Trainer who identified the problem. EMS was notified, The FD responded quickly and had no problem reaching the patient. 20 minutes later an ambulance arrived. I don’t believe there was anything done incorrectly by this school since they had immediate help. The ambulance’s inability to respond to an emergency in a timely manner is of no fault of this principal. The FD’s inability to transport and must wait on scene for 20 minutes is of no fault of this principal.

    However, I do believe the person notifying EMS should be able to give the exact location for the closest access point to the patient.

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