Ok let's look at this how the legal system will look at it .... the memo from the NYS DOH mentions while working in a EMS system. So we need to define EMS System first. And that will be: "a network of services coordinated to provide aid and medical assistance from primary response to definitive care, involving personnel trained in the rescue, stabilization, transportation, and advanced treatment of traumatic or medical emergencies. Linked by a communication system that operates on both a local and a regional level, EMS is a tiered system of care, which is usually initiated by citizen action in the form of a telephone call to an emergency number. Subsequent stages include the emergency medical dispatch, first medical responder, ambulance personnel, medium and heavy rescue equipment, and paramedic units, if necessary." Notice the it says trained in rescue.
Next they will look at Standards. Standards are enforcable in court. Such as AHA CPR Standard. We will look at the grandaddy of standards NFPA. Let's look at NFPA 1001: Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications. Before we get that some are volunteers, the word professional in this case don't mean paid.
This standard identifies the minimum job performance requirements (JPRs) for career and
volunteer fire fighters whose duties are primarily structural in nature.
1.2 PurposeThe purpose of this standard shall be to ensure that persons meeting the requirements of this
standard who are engaged in fire fighting are qualified. It shall not be the intent of the standard
to restrict any jurisdiction from exceeding these requirements.
Emergency Medical Care.
Minimum emergency medical care performance capabilities for entry-level personnel shall be
developed and validated by the AHJ to include infection control, CPR, bleeding control, and
Next they will look into your fire dept. Go pull out your by-laws or charter and I am sure it will state something very close in protecting life.
Now for an example for you. You get toned out to an auto accident with person ejected. You FD is there before the ambulance, you being a firefighter/emt where are you going to go 1st?
Hope this now helps
NYS makes it very easy to identify who is and who is not part of an EMS system. No agency number, then you're not an EMS agency and you are not part of the EMS system any more than any other resource they could call upon to help at a scene.
All of this from the NFPA blows back on the agency. They did not train you or certify you to operate in that capacity, then that is their responsibility as the AHJ.
Yes, firefighters are tasked with protecting life, but that is as firefighters. Stumble upon a gun battle, and they have no duty to act yet there is a threat to life.