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EMT's denied access to patient

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  • EMT's denied access to patient

    I've got a problem, but here is a little background first:

    Currently I work part-time for a company that provides contracted EMS services to a "site" that is home to about 5 or 6 different companies. It is a private property site, run by a management company(that contracts us). We have an EMT/Firefighter on duty 24/7 and a paramedic on duty from 0700 to 1900 Monday-Friday. That is what has been contracted through the site and we operate as a fully functional EMS crew. We have a base hospital, medical director and all equipment necessary to provide patient care at whatever certification level we have(Basic or Paramedic).

    One client, a customer service call center(company on the site), in particular is being extremely difficult with us, when a paramedic is not on duty. They refuse our EMT's access to the building preventing patient care until a transport unit arrives. Rural Metro is the primary ambulance response and they are about 10-15 minutes away on average, sometimes longer. We have had issues with this client's contracted security company telling our EMT's they may not enter the building. At one point an EMT was allowed access, then forced to pick up all equipment and move the patient outside in order to continue assessing and providing patient care. We have also been told not to come into the building by their security guards and we have to wait outside. I don't see how a security guard has the authority to make a decision for a patient requesting medical care and assistance. To deny that seems illegal, but I may be wrong.

    With all this drama happening, we are very concerned with legalities and what could happen to our EMS personnel if a patient decides to take us to court. Is this negligence? Duty to act? What should we do? What measures can we take to ensure we do everything we can to cover our butts in this? Would this fall back on the security company denying us access? Do we need to call law enforcement to aid us in gaining access to the patient? The management company is on board with us, but seems to not be able to persuade the tenant to allow us access. I've researched and tried to find answers but have had no luck. Any help and input would be greatly appreciated! We are in Pima County, Arizona, if anybody is going to look into local law.

    Thank you!

    Also, I'm sorry if this is the wrong area to post this, I just wasn't sure where else would be better.
    Last edited by redmoon85; 02-08-2013, 06:46 PM.

  • #2
    This sounds like situation I would not like to find myself in.

    Personal I think you would be covered. Someone else is restricting you access to the pt. Be sure to document this.

    Also I would highly consider rolling SO or PD with you untill the issues is solved. Also I would call the property owner too every time this happens. So they are aware of how offen this goes on.
    RIP Hela

    "You have to do better then your best."
    BUD's instuctor Class 234

    "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
    Martin Luther King, Jr


    • #3
      Yeah we've been making sure we document thouroughly when this happens. And having SO roll with us has been tossed around for sure. I'm going to suggest it again and see if we can get anything going with that for a standard procedure in that scenario. At my full time job I would probably request SO for sure, but here it's kind of a sticky situation we'll have to investigate further. It's a nuisance I can't seem to figure out haha! There was an email sent a while back regarding this(can't find it now), but they said something to the effect of, and possibly word for word, that "our EMT's are better utilized elsewhere" and have made snide remarks regarding the level of certification an EMT has vs a Paramedic which always comes on the inbound ambulance. It's an assanine group of people running the show over there!


      • #4
        So you are a private ambulance service?

        And a business contracts with you to respond to their business??

        Do I have the correct picture?


        • #5
          No, we aren't an ambulance service, we are an EMS response team that is contracted for a private site that rents out buildings within the site to various tenants. One of the tenants is giving us a hard time, even though their landlord has contracted us to respond.


          • #6
            Yes a building can set protocol on entry to their building, since you are not a government agency, do not think you have legal backing to enter a building

            With that said sounds like the person contracting you and the business should set down and try to work out the problem

            If that fails like the suggestion of calling the police saying someone needs help and being denied access to a patient

            Does a city fd respond to this location ???


            • #7
              The patients may have a grounds for a law suit if they were denied care.


              • #8
                Originally posted by fire49 View Post
                Yes a building can set protocol on entry to their building, since you are not a government agency, do not think you have legal backing to enter a building

                Does a city fd respond to this location ???
                Oh ok cool, good to know. I work for a government fire dept just outside of this area and was not aware of the differences. Thank you! No, Rural Metro responds to this site. It's not within city limits, so they have taken over the CON for transport and EMS.

                Johnsb, I agree with that too. The company doesn't tell the employees they're being denied care though, so they really have no clue.

                Thank you for all the input!


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