Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

OHP Trooper vs. EMS comment from anonymous

In the comments to Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Creek Nation EMS, and Abandonment, Anonymous from Tuesday, June 16, 2009 3:21:00 AM EDT wrote:

First off the ambulance driver should have been obeying the traffic laws. If the Ems driver would have been obeying the traffic laws he would have never been stopped.

I do not see any evidence that Paul Franks, the EMT who was driving, did anything that was a violation of the traffic laws.

When did Paul Franks become aware of Daniel Martin approaching?

We do not know. We can speculate endlessly. And I do mean endlessly. Only people in that ambulance can answer that question, but they can only base that upon actions of Paul Franks.

When the car in front of the ambulance pulled over, was it because the driver heard sirens? Maybe. The driver may just pull over for ambulances. The driver may have needed to stop for some other reason. We do not know. Only the driver of that car knows.

If the driver of the car heard the sirens, does that mean that Paul Franks heard the same things?

Paul Franks is dealing with a bunch of emergency radios, since he is in an emergency vehicle. He has limited visibility, due to the size of the vehicle. He may be communicating with his partner, family members, the patient, dispatch, the hospital, . . . . Paul Franks has far more distractions and responsibilities than the occupant of a non-emergency vehicle.

Maybe you believe Daniel Martin’s lawyer, that the ambulance magically turns into an emergency vehicle when the lights and sirens are turned on. The lawyer is misinterpreting the law to place his client in the most favorable light. That does not mean that the lawyer is telling the truth. The lawyer repeatedly lies during his press conference.

The ambulance does not change shape at all. The ambulance is still an ambulance. I do not know the Oklahoma laws, but I suspect that they are somewhat similar to the laws in the rest of the United States.

In much of the rest of the US, the ambulance is not granted emergency exception to the traffic laws unless the lights and sirens are on. That does not mean that the ambulance is not an emergency vehicle, when the lights and sirens are off. But that is what the lawyer would like us to believe, because it helps his client. People representing criminals try to spin the law to make it seem that their client’s behavior was justified. This is just a lawyer defending somebody who broke the law.

I do not have to get out and take off the emergency license plate, when the sirens are turned off. Maybe Oklahoma ambulances are not issued emergency plates. I do not know. However the concept that the vehicle changes identity is silly. Maybe the Oklahoma motor vehicle code is that silly. There are plenty of silly codes in other states.

When the EMS was stopped the EMT in the back of the ambulance should have stayed in the back of the vehicle taking carry of his patient. When the Officer approached the EMS vehicle and started talking with the driver the EMT from the rear of the vehicle exited the vehicle and started engaging the officer while the officer was conducting official business with the driver.

It would be interesting to see how the Oklahoma Supreme Court would decide on this.

Yes, Daniel Martin is conducting official business.

Both Paul Franks and Maurice White, Jr. are conducting official business, too.

Which would the Oklahoma Supreme Court view as more important? Care of a patient or immediate issuance of a citation for an infraction so minor that Daniel Martin ignores it on a regular basis?

Any competent law enforcement officer, when faced with delaying patient care vs. delaying a traffic ticket, should decide that the patient comes first, unless they believe that allowing patient care to continue is somehow dangerous. The patient was not endangered by anyone other than Daniel Martin.

Was there a possibility that the ambulance crew would flee? If so, why wasn’t anyone arrested when reinforcements arrived?

Was Paul Franks driving in any kind of dangerous manner?

Not unless you believe that Daniel Martin cannot control his vehicle.

It is the responsibility of the person driving in emergency mode to behave with due regard for the safety of others. I do not have a problem with the way that Daniel Martin was driving. He did not seem to be endangered by anything that Paul Franks did. There did not appear to be any malicious action by Paul Franks.

Even the lawyer admitted, that on the rest of the dashboard cam video, other vehicles did not pull over any faster than the ambulance. The reasonable conclusion is that this is the response you would expect, when approaching people with the lights and sirens on. This was also on a turn, which significantly impairs the view in the side mirrors on a box-type ambulance.

The officer gave the EMT that had exited from the rear of the vehicle a lawful order to return to the inside of the vehicle.

Again, I do not believe that has been determined by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. As the person in charge of patient care and responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle, it may be that Daniel Martin was talking with the wrong person by addressing Paul Franks. An ambulance, due to the patient care requirements is different from every other vehicle on the road.

The EMT refused to return to the vehicle. At that point the EMT was breaking the law “obstruction of Justice”.

As I stated above, I do not believe that the Oklahoma Supreme Court has decided this specific question.

What is more important, patient care or a ticket that Daniel Martin refused to write to a bunch of other drivers, who did not yield as fast as he would have liked?

There was nothing the EMT in the rear of the vehicle could tell the Officer that the driver could not have said.

That is a silly conclusion. How do you decide that you know what everybody else knows? This is a big mistake. Law enforcement officers should not jump to conclusions like that. That is the kind of thing that leads to a LEO walking into a dangerous environment, because he believes that he knows everything he needs to know. That attitude also endangers others who respond to help LEOs who need to be rescued from that kind of mistake.

On another note if the patient in the ambulance was in such bad condition that the ambulance needed to be breaking the traffic laws then they needed to be using there siren and lights.

That is not true.

Using the lights and sirens can actually be bad for the patient in conditions that are affected by stress, such as a heart attack, stroke, asthma, emphysema, . . .

You do not understand what is appropriate treatment of the patient, so you should not be jumping to uninformed conclusions about what is good patient care.

If you think you know so much, show me some research that shows that it is a good idea to transport even most, never mind all, emergency patients with the lights and sirens on. I transport probably less than 10% of my emergency patients with lights and sirens on. Amazingly, they do not appear to be worse off for it. Many thank my partner for the smooth and low stress ride to the hospital.

At the hospital, the doctors and nurses do not start screaming and running around in a panic, just to imitate an ambulance with the lights and sirens on. They try to keep the patient calm. Almost as if they know what they are doing.

They were not using them because it was not a life or death emergency.

You continue to make statements about things you do not understand.

Which means they had no more reason then any john doe on the street to be breaking the traffic laws.

They do not appear to be violating the motor vehicle code. Again, the lawyer for Daniel Martin admitted that their behavior was the same as many other vehicles on the road. Daniel Martin chose to pick on them. The lawyer claims that Paul Franks gave Daniel Martin the finger. Daniel Martin’s lawyer states that giving Daniel Martin the finger is not illegal.

I am sure if they would have been obeying the laws or at least using their lights and siren then none of this would have happened.

Since there is no evidence that they violated the motor vehicle code, your obeying the laws comment is silly. Show that they were not obeying the laws.

It is also just speculation that things would have been different if they had their lights and sirens on. It is irresponsible to use lights and sirens without regard for the patient’s medical condition.

Also if the patient was in bad shape why in the world would a EMT leave a patient to go talk with a officer that was already talking with the driver of the vehicle.

I don’t defend all of Maurice White, Jr.’s actions, but he is just pointing out that they have an emergency patient in the back.

You claim that the noise determines the emergency. It does not.

They had an emergency department as the destination. Does the patient suddenly become an emergency patient upon arrival the the emergency department? No.

This whole embarrassing incident would have been avoided if Daniel Martin had used some discretion and common sense. Very few law enforcement officers would make the same decisions he did. This should have been handled at the hospital, where there is no conflict of who has authority. Once the patient is transferred, that potential conflict is gone. Law enforcement officers make these decisions about many things on a regular basis. Daniel Martin does not seem to understand.

As was mentioned in another comment, What if the patient had been a law enforcement officer? Daniel Martin probably would not have been treating the patient like a UPS package. Of course Daniel Martin did open the rear doors and lie to the patient, saying that she would be transported soon. The only reason she was transported with only a few more minutes delay was because the District Attorney intervened. Daniel Martin might have left her on the side of the road, needing to call another ambulance to transport her, since he wanted to take the paramedic away from her.

Daniel Martin does not have the competence or the authority to assume responsibility for the patient, but that is exactly what he is doing by trying to arrest the paramedic.

OHP vs. Creek Nation EMS from the beginning, post by post:

Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Creek Nation EMS, and Abandonment 5/31/09

More on Abandonment, OHP and EMS 6/06/09

OHP Trooper Update 6/11/09

OHP Trooper Update II 6/11/09

OHP Trooper Update III 6/13/09

OHP Trooper Update IV – Holy Stammering Obscurantists 6/16/09

OHP Trooper Update V – Over an Hour of the Holy Stammering Obscurantist 6/17/09

OHP Trooper vs. EMS comment from anonymous 6/18/09

Some Corrections on OHP vs. Creek Nation EMS 6/20/09

OHP Trooper Update VI – A little Background on the Participants 6/22/09

OHP Trooper Update VII – A Little More Background on the Participants 6/22/09

Daniel Martin Suspended for 5 Days 6/22/09

Trooper Daniel Martin Subject of a Lawsuit 7/22/09

OHP Official Position – Don’t Get Caught On Camera, Otherwise Good Job. 7/23/09

An Interesting Development in the Daniel Martin Case 7/24/09

Trooper Daniel Martin In Trouble, Again 10/06/09

Maurice White Arrested 01/11/10


Speak Your Mind