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Thread: 'Help' that I don't want, violating my Fourth Amendment Rights.

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    'Help' that I don't want, violating my Fourth Amendment Rights.

    A while ago, in church, during the announcements, I was reminded of a dilemma that I have been procrastinating. Our community nurse stood and reminded us to look after our older neighbors during the coming cold snap, and to call an EMT Crew Chief (by name) for any one with difficulties.

    He was hired originally as the alternate police officer, to give the officer with long tenure a break, to allow 24/7 law enforcement coverage without stressing the OIC, who had been continuously on call and compensating his time during slack periods. Unfortunately this young new guy needs all the employ/income that he can get, so he hired on with the EMT squad and has worked his way up the ranks by attrition. So now we have a police officer and emergency medic combined.

    Where are my Fourth Amendment protections when he is hypothetically called to my residence? For instance, my guns are discreet and not in plain sight, but neither are they secured or locked away useless.

    If I give this person trespass notice there will be trouble. He has already threatened me with arrest for "disobeying a lawful order" to stay in my car during a hypothetical traffic arrest without warrant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    A while ago, in church, during the announcements, I was reminded of a dilemma that I have been procrastinating. Our community nurse stood and reminded us to look after our older neighbors during the coming cold snap, and to call an EMT Crew Chief (by name) for any one with difficulties.

    He was hired originally as the alternate police officer, to give the officer with long tenure a break, to allow 24/7 law enforcement coverage without stressing the OIC, who had been continuously on call and compensating his time during slack periods. Unfortunately this young new guy needs all the employ/income that he can get, so he hired on with the EMT squad and has worked his way up the ranks by attrition. So now we have a police officer and emergency medic combined.

    Where are my Fourth Amendment protections when he is hypothetically called to my residence? For instance, my guns are discreet and not in plain sight, but neither are they secured or locked away useless.

    If I give this person trespass notice there will be trouble. He has already threatened me with arrest for "disobeying a lawful order" to stay in my car during a hypothetical traffic arrest without warrant.
    I wouldn't lose sleep on this point.

    Cops can already warrantlessly enter a home under the so-called community caretaking exception to the warrant clause.

    And, EMTs can report anything illegal to the cops. I imagine they already do, within the limits of their own conscience of course. I imagine those reports are treated as tips, and if so, I'll bet EMT tips enjoy a higher indicia of reliability when it comes to probable cause.

    And, I imagine there are still plenty of counties in America where the first guy to get to the house is a deputy because the volunteer rescue squad is on the other side of this half of the county and the deputy just happens to be closer when the call comes in.

    I'd worry more about the quality of emergency medical care I would get. It might be a good idea to document his antagonism and put it on file with the town or county government.

    Separately, perhaps its possible to trespass his office rather than him. For example, "John Smith is forbidden to enter onto my property when acting as an LEO." But, that would just serve to stir up more antagonism, risking worse emergency medical care.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-05-2014 at 02:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post

    If I give this person trespass notice there will be trouble. He has already threatened me with arrest for "disobeying a lawful order" to stay in my car during a hypothetical traffic arrest without warrant.
    Your car v. your house ? Totally different.

    Yes, if a cop says "stay in your car" when he is writing a ticket, you best stay in your car.

    Now if a cop or EMT comes to your house upon a call from someone else....you are free to tell him to drop dead and leave your residence immediately. If YOU call him, its different...you just invited him.

    I don't know what "trouble" you are worried about at your house ... once you tell him to leave (ie obviously medically OK) his visit is over.

    Recommend you don't open the door ... recommend you dial 911 if he refuses to leave.

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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Your car v. your house ? Totally different.

    Yes, if a cop says "stay in your car" when he is writing a ticket, you best stay in your car.

    Now if a cop or EMT comes to your house upon a call from someone else....you are free to tell him to drop dead and leave your residence immediately. If YOU call him, its different...you just invited him.

    I don't know what "trouble" you are worried about at your house ... once you tell him to leave (ie obviously medically OK) his visit is over.

    Recommend you don't open the door ... recommend you dial 911 if he refuses to leave.
    Putting myself in this scenario, I would be concerned about the entry into my home by hostile parties with governmental powers under the guise of "emergency response". My concerns would be of the "response / opportunity" would be used to case my home for cause to come back [I believe I saw a weapon that may have been full auto, I saw what I believe is meth making materials, or worse, an inventory of my defensive tools, if just visual, to be used in the future against me, as in acquiring a no knock warrant based on the cop seeing my security system and tools.]

    Further, what control do I / we have of the response to an EMT request being turned into a fishing expedition? "When I arrived, the patient / suspect was fading in and out of consciousness and not responding appropriately to questions. To rule out the possibility of a drug overdose, I searched the house for drugs, to include the garage, his cars, gun safe. I found 31 tablets in a Carter's Liver Pill bottle and $2300 cash in a sock drawer that I seized as possible drug money, plus all the guns in the house"

    This ain't too far fetched. Taking the goat path driveway up the hollow to my house one evening, passing my friend and neighbor's place, I find three sheriff's dept cars in his driveway. Long history of hostilities including a lawsuit between neighbor and sheriff's dept. What immediately catches my eye is three deputies examining the neighbor's custom Model 70 .257 Roberts Winchester rifle...a one of a kind custom with snaubled fore stock and unmistakable sling, at the rear of a squad car. I had to investigate. "What's up?" I ask as one cop puts the rifle in his trunk and closes trunk lid. Two of the deputies know me, one was new and took the "nothing to see here" position. One cop told me Hank had a stroke and the rescue squad took him to Winchester hospital. Deputies showed up to "assist", and took it upon themselves to "secure his weapons" for safety. I called Hank's wife, discovered she had gone straight to the hospital from work, and had been there for over an hour. Those cops had been rummaging their home for that long after the ambulance left. They [cops] locked their two dogs in the laundry room and ransacked the place. The neighbor, Hank, had retired as the chief of police in a neighboring town, not exactly the description of a "scrote", as the local cops call us "unsworn" peons.

    Afterwards cops would only release the confiscated firearms to Hank [not his wife], and it was almost seven months before he could physically appear to claim them. He was met with questions of current medications, questions of whether doctors would approve of him having weapons, suggestions that a VA approval might be needed for the release. He got 'em all back. The day he died, I had all the guns out before the ambulance showed up to get him. Hank had been under hospice care his last few days. The deputies came to the house several hours later demanding to be let in to search for controlled substances hospice or the VA might of left behind. Four squad cars. When I saw the squad cars I beat feet over there, she had let them search for the drug stockpile. I heard one deputy say to the others "she's hid all the guns" and laughed. Her husband hadn't been dead eight hours yet. Noble
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    A while ago, in church, during the announcements, I was reminded of a dilemma that I have been procrastinating. Our community nurse stood and reminded us to look after our older neighbors during the coming cold snap, and to call an EMT Crew Chief (by name) for any one with difficulties.

    He was hired originally as the alternate police officer, to give the officer with long tenure a break, to allow 24/7 law enforcement coverage without stressing the OIC, who had been continuously on call and compensating his time during slack periods. Unfortunately this young new guy needs all the employ/income that he can get, so he hired on with the EMT squad and has worked his way up the ranks by attrition. So now we have a police officer and emergency medic combined.

    Where are my Fourth Amendment protections when he is hypothetically called to my residence? For instance, my guns are discreet and not in plain sight, but neither are they secured or locked away useless.

    If I give this person trespass notice there will be trouble. He has already threatened me with arrest for "disobeying a lawful order" to stay in my car during a hypothetical traffic arrest without warrant.
    A quick word of caution.. Never exit your vehicle during a traffic stop unless your vehicle is on fire...
    An EMT/cop.. Can you say conflict of interest... One day he is trying to put you in a cage and the next day he is called to your residents to administer CPR... How did your council members approve? Did they not see the complications and possible legal ramifications that could arise from this rather unusual hiring practice....

    My .02

    Best regards

    CCJ
    " I detest hypocrites and their Hypocrisy" I support Liberty for each, for all, and forever".
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    A quick word of caution.. Never exit your vehicle during a traffic stop unless your vehicle is on fire...
    An EMT/cop.. Can you say conflict of interest... One day he is trying to put you in a cage and the next day he is called to your residents to administer CPR... How did your council members approve? Did they not see the complications and possible legal ramifications that could arise from this rather unusual hiring practice....

    My .02

    Best regards

    CCJ
    Ccj I agree with the advice about exiting the vehicle especially if you armed, even if legally.

    Our city has its own separate EMS dept, but I know of a surrounding town that has a split ems/police dept. From my understanding, they have a volunteer firefighters so when they are home theres no medics. So to have fulltime medics they made/asked some of the officers to get certified as medics. Since they work 24/7 it now means the town has medics 24/7. From what I've seen in passing, when they work the truck they wear a separate uniform and just respond to med calls. Next time I run into them at the hospital I'll ask them how it works with the rotations and how it affects either side.

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    Eh ... I don't really like it when you have a person who is both an EMS responder and a police officer. The duties can come into conflict. If I am an EMT or paramedic who is trying to treat someone who had taken too much of a drug, I need to find out what the drug was that he took. If the drug is illegal, and I was also a cop, the patient is not going to want to tell me what he took, even though it would help me (as an EMS provider) treat the patient.

    As an EMS provider, I can go into anyone's house without a warrant if I'm called to the scene. My job is to treat a patient, not find illegal stuff. If I was a cop, I could only do so with a warrant, or in certain limited circumstances (e.g. hot pursuit), AFAIK. If a person is both ... how does that work, legally? (If anyone here is both, I'd be curious as to what protocols you must follow.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    Putting myself in this scenario, I would be concerned about the entry into my home by hostile parties with governmental powers under the guise of "emergency response". My concerns would be of the "response / opportunity" would be used to case my home for cause to come back [I believe I saw a weapon that may have been full auto, I saw what I believe is meth making materials, or worse, an inventory of my defensive tools, if just visual, to be used in the future against me, as in acquiring a no knock warrant based on the cop seeing my security system and tools.]

    Further, what control do I / we have of the response to an EMT request being turned into a fishing expedition? "When I arrived, the patient / suspect was fading in and out of consciousness and not responding appropriately to questions. To rule out the possibility of a drug overdose, I searched the house for drugs, to include the garage, his cars, gun safe. I found 31 tablets in a Carter's Liver Pill bottle and $2300 cash in a sock drawer that I seized as possible drug money, plus all the guns in the house"
    FWIW (I'm in EMS) I'm not going to report anything to the police unless I think an innocent's life is in danger for some reason (e.g. there's a kid or an elderly relative living there and I suspect abuse or mistreatment - and I'm required to report that anyway). I don't care about anyone's stash. I care about treating a patient. I'm not there to be a spy for the cops.

    I will check the medicine cabinet (and perhaps see if there are medicines in the bedroom) if I need to, because I want to find out the patient's medical history. If the patient is in a condition where I can't ask him about his medical history, I don't have time to search the whole damn house anyway.

    If the police want to find out what's in my patient report, they can get a subpoena.

    All of that said, I'm sure that not all EMS personnel are going to protect their patients' privacy. Many of them will (they are supposed to), but some of them will not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    This ain't too far fetched. Taking the goat path driveway up the hollow to my house one evening, passing my friend and neighbor's place, I find three sheriff's dept cars in his driveway. Long history of hostilities including a lawsuit between neighbor and sheriff's dept. What immediately catches my eye is three deputies examining the neighbor's custom Model 70 .257 Roberts Winchester rifle...a one of a kind custom with snaubled fore stock and unmistakable sling, at the rear of a squad car. I had to investigate. "What's up?" I ask as one cop puts the rifle in his trunk and closes trunk lid. Two of the deputies know me, one was new and took the "nothing to see here" position. One cop told me Hank had a stroke and the rescue squad took him to Winchester hospital. Deputies showed up to "assist", and took it upon themselves to "secure his weapons" for safety. I called Hank's wife, discovered she had gone straight to the hospital from work, and had been there for over an hour. Those cops had been rummaging their home for that long after the ambulance left. They [cops] locked their two dogs in the laundry room and ransacked the place. The neighbor, Hank, had retired as the chief of police in a neighboring town, not exactly the description of a "scrote", as the local cops call us "unsworn" peons.

    Afterwards cops would only release the confiscated firearms to Hank [not his wife], and it was almost seven months before he could physically appear to claim them. He was met with questions of current medications, questions of whether doctors would approve of him having weapons, suggestions that a VA approval might be needed for the release. He got 'em all back. The day he died, I had all the guns out before the ambulance showed up to get him. Hank had been under hospice care his last few days. The deputies came to the house several hours later demanding to be let in to search for controlled substances hospice or the VA might of left behind. Four squad cars. When I saw the squad cars I beat feet over there, she had let them search for the drug stockpile. I heard one deputy say to the others "she's hid all the guns" and laughed. Her husband hadn't been dead eight hours yet. Noble
    Ugh. That first incident sounds like an illegal search and seizure to me. I wouldn't trust those cops at all.

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    Is there any type of doctor/patient privilege involving a citizen and a emergency personal person?

    Clearly the EMT is not a doctor however I would think some kind of privacy would be afforded to the patient.

    My .02

    Best regards

    CCJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    SNIP Taking the goat path driveway up the hollow to my house one evening, passing my friend and neighbor's place, I find three sheriff's dept cars in his driveway. Long history of hostilities including a lawsuit between neighbor and sheriff's dept. What immediately catches my eye is three deputies examining the neighbor's custom Model 70 .257 Roberts Winchester rifle...a one of a kind custom with snaubled fore stock and unmistakable sling, at the rear of a squad car. I had to investigate. "What's up?" I ask as one cop puts the rifle in his trunk and closes trunk lid. Two of the deputies know me, one was new and took the "nothing to see here" position. One cop told me Hank had a stroke and the rescue squad took him to Winchester hospital. Deputies showed up to "assist", and took it upon themselves to "secure his weapons" for safety. I called Hank's wife, discovered she had gone straight to the hospital from work, and had been there for over an hour. Those cops had been rummaging their home for that long after the ambulance left. They [cops] locked their two dogs in the laundry room and ransacked the place. The neighbor, Hank, had retired as the chief of police in a neighboring town, not exactly the description of a "scrote", as the local cops call us "unsworn" peons.
    Oh, my! What a coincidence! The only three bad cops in the whole department all just happened to be working at that exact time Hank had a stroke, and at that end of the county such that they were the only ones who got called to the scene.

    But, as we all know, its just a few rotten apples. Its just the stars, karma, or chance that happens to throw all these bad apples together for these amazing coincidences.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdak06 View Post
    Eh ... I don't really like it when you have a person who is both an EMS responder and a police officer. The duties can come into conflict. If I am an EMT or paramedic who is trying to treat someone who had taken too much of a drug, I need to find out what the drug was that he took. If the drug is illegal, and I was also a cop, the patient is not going to want to tell me what he took, even though it would help me (as an EMS provider) treat the patient.

    As an EMS provider, I can go into anyone's house without a warrant if I'm called to the scene. My job is to treat a patient, not find illegal stuff. If I was a cop, I could only do so with a warrant, or in certain limited circumstances (e.g. hot pursuit), AFAIK. If a person is both ... how does that work, legally? (If anyone here is both, I'd be curious as to what protocols you must follow.)



    FWIW (I'm in EMS) I'm not going to report anything to the police unless I think an innocent's life is in danger for some reason (e.g. there's a kid or an elderly relative living there and I suspect abuse or mistreatment - and I'm required to report that anyway). I don't care about anyone's stash. I care about treating a patient. I'm not there to be a spy for the cops.

    I will check the medicine cabinet (and perhaps see if there are medicines in the bedroom) if I need to, because I want to find out the patient's medical history. If the patient is in a condition where I can't ask him about his medical history, I don't have time to search the whole damn house anyway.

    If the police want to find out what's in my patient report, they can get a subpoena.

    All of that said, I'm sure that not all EMS personnel are going to protect their patients' privacy. Many of them will (they are supposed to), but some of them will not.



    Ugh. That first incident sounds like an illegal search and seizure to me. I wouldn't trust those cops at all.
    I live in a rural county, deputies are likely to be first on the scene before the volunteer rescue squad gets there. Is that bad? Not always. A deputy saved a 2 year old that had a toy in her throat, several minutes before the RS got there. What I was highlighting is the potential for abuse in Nightmare's situation. The battle between my neighbor, a former police chief and the sheriff's dept was about 60% political [Hank backed Republican sheriff candidates, we had a Democrat sheriff.]. The lawsuit was in regards to a child custody battle between Hank and his wife and their deceased son's widow. She served about two years for oxy distribution and Hank had the kids. She got out, went back to it, and the "drug task force" let her slide to play snitch. In turn she wanted the cops to help get the kids back from Hank, who wasn't letting go. They tried to get him for child abuse, sexual abuse, yada yada. He was in and out of court most of a year until the daughter in law got popped in Culpeper by the feds for distribution. Once she figured out she wasn't getting any help from the county task force, she tried to get Hank to help her and owned up that she fabricated the stories with the help of the task force, who was made up of those "investigating" the charges, charges dismissed, civil rights suit filed by Hank. So there was a lot of vindictive things going on.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
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    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    Is there any type of doctor/patient privilege involving a citizen and a emergency personal person?

    Clearly the EMT is not a doctor however I would think some kind of privacy would be afforded to the patient.

    My .02

    Best regards

    CCJ
    Come up to speed CCJ. More and more police departments are going to body worn cameras on officers. What is observed by the camera isn't recorded and subject to recall and what was video'd in your home couldn't be used against you, such as for a no knock raid, submitted for PC when asking for a warrant, or by the isolated incidents of bad police officers, used to extort or blackmail? A run on question, but you catch my drift. A cop going in to assist in a rescue just panned your digs, anything caught on video subject to incriminate or feed suspicions that will be followed up on.

    As far as EMT's and confidentiality, laws exist that protect a patient's privacy. The HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] of 1996 is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of patient health care information.As a general rule, it's advised to not disclose information obtained during emergency care to family, friends, or anyone else. Looks rather gray as far as any confidentiality protection of a victim served by a volunteer rescue squad, the EMT later grilled by police about what they observed in the home.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

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    Thank you, all, for your responses. My intent was to hear opinions on the tension between privacy and what was called "community caretaking," particularly as applying to this community of greying retirees, most of whom, that I know, are at least armed and some heavily armed.

    I was most struck, though, by the tangential, I thought, observations on the cop's threat.

    Yes, if a cop says "stay in your car" when he is writing a ticket, you best stay in your car.
    Can someone trace that power from a statute, please? Yes, the thread forks here. The Wisconsin Statutes annotated are here with a good internal search engine

    https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/prefaces/toc

    I did not expect that statement from particularly its author.

    An anecdote. From now, through Lent, my congregation serves a community meal once a week. We have for as long as I have been here. When my Wisconsin concealed weapon license was new, I was struggling a bit with carrying in church and in the social hall at these wonderful dinners of homemade bread and soup. 'Hauptfeldwebel Schultz' ("I know nothiing!") would clank about in worn BDU, occasionally shepherding his family, openly armed in a roomful that had dressed for public and dinner. Someone must have said something, he has not been back, nor to worship. I enjoy the freedom to OC among like-minded gentlemen, and the discretion of CCW in anti-gun (ELCA) settings.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Thank you, all, for your responses. My intent was to hear opinions on the tension between privacy and what was called "community caretaking," particularly as applying to this community of greying retirees, most of whom, that I know, are at least armed and some heavily armed.

    I was most struck, though, by the tangential, I thought, observations on the cop's threat.



    Can someone trace that power from a statute, please? Yes, the thread forks here. The Wisconsin Statutes annotated are here with a good internal search engine

    https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/prefaces/toc

    I did not expect that statement from particularly its author.

    An anecdote. From now, through Lent, my congregation serves a community meal once a week. We have for as long as I have been here. When my Wisconsin concealed weapon license was new, I was struggling a bit with carrying in church and in the social hall at these wonderful dinners of homemade bread and soup. 'Hauptfeldwebel Schultz' ("I know nothiing!") would clank about in worn BDU, occasionally shepherding his family, openly armed in a roomful that had dressed for public and dinner. Someone must have said something, he has not been back, nor to worship. I enjoy the freedom to OC among like-minded gentlemen, and the discretion of CCW in anti-gun (ELCA) settings.
    Well, I would suggest a good read of Terry v. Ohio ... and then the old "officer safety" BS avalanche that falls off that ruling.

    When I am presented with a request from a cop I ask myself "could this request reasonably be seen as related to "officer safety" and the request does not negatively affect my safety?" - if the answers are both yes, then (for a road side stop of me traveling) compliance may be seen as being mandatory under the law (not that I will always comply ~ depends of the full set of circumstances) and if either question is a no, then I would not comply.

    Of course when being pulled over for a traffic violation "I" choose where to stop the vehicle. Why would I stop in a location that would require my exiting the vehicle (like on a set of RR tracks)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Why would I stop in a location that would require my exiting the vehicle (like on a set of RR tracks)?
    To prevent extra-legal sniffs and peeks by greeting the officer on the left of my secured and locked car with pocketed keys, papers in hand, no ambush cover, ...
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    Come up to speed CCJ. More and more police departments are going to body worn cameras on officers….

    As far as EMT's and confidentiality, laws exist that protect a patient's privacy. ...
    Very interesting issues here - we've got cross-trained police/EMTs (not -dressed) so I'll be asking our Chief about how they handle such issues of conflict of duty, as well as what type of citizen input goes on regarding privacy and development of new technology, including license plate scanning cameras.
    “Men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them"
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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    To prevent extra-legal sniffs and peeks by greeting the officer on the left of my secured and locked car with pocketed keys, papers in hand, no ambush cover, ...
    We are lead to believe our children are sacrificable in the name of officer safety, and apparently our lives have only whatever value the cop that has stopped us puts on it. With that in mind, I might have some concerns about remaining in a position in the car where I can't take defensive action when I see something like this coming:

    http://www.mywabashvalley.com/story/...GUOy6RCmyABDlQ

    Or this:

    http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/l...7d41b3002.html

    Basically, as we are to understand it, we are obligated somehow to remain stationary and in harms way for "officer safety"? Ya, I'm all on board with an extortion agent having alpha priority over my safety. As far as "I get to choose where I stop", good luck with that. You "get to choose" until the cop behind you decides he might get a merit ribbon for doing a PIT maneuver on you and then shoot you as you hang upside down by your seat belt for "failure to comply". Sounds like construed drama, however, if you read today's news, everything I describe has happened in the past 12 hours. Is commanding us to remain in harm's way a legal order? We may have committed a traffic infraction, not shoot up a school.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

  17. #17
    Regular Member mdak06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    Is there any type of doctor/patient privilege involving a citizen and a emergency personal person?

    Clearly the EMT is not a doctor however I would think some kind of privacy would be afforded to the patient.

    My .02

    Best regards

    CCJ
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    Come up to speed CCJ. More and more police departments are going to body worn cameras on officers. What is observed by the camera isn't recorded and subject to recall and what was video'd in your home couldn't be used against you, such as for a no knock raid, submitted for PC when asking for a warrant, or by the isolated incidents of bad police officers, used to extort or blackmail? A run on question, but you catch my drift. A cop going in to assist in a rescue just panned your digs, anything caught on video subject to incriminate or feed suspicions that will be followed up on.

    As far as EMT's and confidentiality, laws exist that protect a patient's privacy. The HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] of 1996 is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of patient health care information.As a general rule, it's advised to not disclose information obtained during emergency care to family, friends, or anyone else. Looks rather gray as far as any confidentiality protection of a victim served by a volunteer rescue squad, the EMT later grilled by police about what they observed in the home.
    Yeah ... basically, EMS personnel are held to the same rules as doctors / nurses / etc. with regard to patient privacy.

    I don't know what (if any) case law exists regarding a situation in which a police interviewed EMS personnel to get information about the inside of a home that they could not otherwise legally obtain (e.g. no cause for a warrant, no hot pursuit, etc.). It's an valid concern. If/when I have more time I may research it.

    My approach is that my overriding concerns are the safety of everyone (patient, patient's family, other EMS/fire personnel) and the treatment of my patient. Other concerns are secondary. Helping the police find evidence of a crime is not a concern at all. The only search I will conduct is one that helps me help my patient or protect the safety of everyone. I'll search for evidence of "what happened" that put the patient in a position to need medical care (and use that to treat the patient, nothing more), and/or I'll ensure that the working environment is safe, e.g. make sure there's not a gas leak or CO buildup (and if that's suspected, we evacuate).

    I obviously don't speak for all EMS folks, but this is how I operate.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdak06 View Post
    Yeah ... basically, EMS personnel are held to the same rules as doctors / nurses / etc. with regard to patient privacy.

    I don't know what (if any) case law exists regarding a situation in which a police interviewed EMS personnel to get information about the inside of a home that they could not otherwise legally obtain (e.g. no cause for a warrant, no hot pursuit, etc.). It's an valid concern. If/when I have more time I may research it.

    My approach is that my overriding concerns are the safety of everyone (patient, patient's family, other EMS/fire personnel) and the treatment of my patient. Other concerns are secondary. Helping the police find evidence of a crime is not a concern at all. The only search I will conduct is one that helps me help my patient or protect the safety of everyone. I'll search for evidence of "what happened" that put the patient in a position to need medical care (and use that to treat the patient, nothing more), and/or I'll ensure that the working environment is safe, e.g. make sure there's not a gas leak or CO buildup (and if that's suspected, we evacuate).

    I obviously don't speak for all EMS folks, but this is how I operate.
    I think you've gone up a bunny trail off the main trail of discussion with this. The concern in the OP, if I read it right, is POLICE entering your domicile under the GUISE of an acting EMT, not so much a concern about regular EMT's entering with no other agenda or powers than to "help".
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    I think you've gone up a bunny trail off the main trail of discussion with this. The concern in the OP, if I read it right, is POLICE entering your domicile under the GUISE of an acting EMT, not so much a concern about regular EMT's entering with no other agenda or powers than to "help".
    Well I guess if it gets bad enough some one could call in a false 911 emergency at any address by tapping into the addresses hard line or using a pay for use cell phone.

    I could think of many type of calls that would bring the world of emergency services down on someone's address.
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  20. #20
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    As a Paramedic who has worked rural and urban areas, it's been my experience that EMS is not going to "narc" on a patient over some minor law violation, nor will assisting LEOs prod about in a fishing expedition.

    Your mileage may vary greatly depending on location and the experience level of the responders, and other undetermined factors.

    HIPAA says I can't disclose medical information; it says nothing about reporting non medical issues I observe. That being said, there is a non-binding "EMT Oath" that says I will not discuss what I see in someone's house. Not sure if that is Codified in any law but as a general rule I limit my concerns to the medical issue at hand. Of course I am required by Code to report certain things, like abuse and neglect, and of course the law responds whenever there is violence etc.

    I have worked with EMS providers who are also LEOs. Their "rule of thumb" seems to be: When I am EMS I am not an LEO unless I have to be." Most don't even carry their firearms when they are working/volunteering EMS.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
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