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Where push came to shove & an arrest: FDNY EMS medic & Transit cop scuffle in back of ambulance while patient was being treated.

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An FDNY EMS worker and a New York City Transit cop got into a scuffle in the back of an ambulance Monday while a 59-year-old woman with chest pains was being treated. It happened during the morning rush at a subway station in Boerum Hill. The medic, identified as Andrew Haley, was briefly arrested. 

According to the New York Post, Haley was about to attach leads to the woman for an electrocardiogram as the police officer was asking for information. Because the woman’s breasts would be exposed, the officer was asked to leave and shut the door to the ambulance:

When the cop refused, Haley allegedly shoved him and the two got into an argument, with the cop shouting, “Get your hands off me!” and each calling for a supervisor, the sources said.

Cops cuffed Haley and he was taken to Transit District Precinct 32 nearby, while other EMS workers brought the woman to the hospital.

“The EMT was arrested for obstructing governmental administration. That arrest was voided,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said later yesterday.

“Some dispute arose inside the ambulance, the EMT wanted the police officer to leave. The police officer didn’t want to leave. So that is the nature of the dispute.”

Read entire New York Post article

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  • Fire21

    Police don’t have absolute authority. When they’re doing police duty, they are in charge. At fires, FD is in charge. At medicals, EMS in in charge. The officer should have recognized privacy issues and medical authority, and backed off. JMHO.

    • stuart

      In reality, EMS never has REAL authority. Gotta find a way to get it done and keep things under control.

  • stuart

    20 years on an ambulance I’ve had my share of run ins with arrogant cops, citizens, firefighters, nurses. Here’s the thing…it has always ended without trouble. EMS is about dealing with people. You gotta know how to get people to do what you need without compounding the problem. If push comes to shove (literally) then you’ve probably gone too far. The cop is a tool. But the medic should have been about to accomplish what he needed without fighting. Call for the supervisor(s), tell him it is a medical emergency, tell him the patient is getting worse while wasting time, tell him you’ll fill an official complaint…whatever. Know that if you actually fight a cop (right or wrong) you risk an arrest and possibly your job. Don’t give the tool cop the satisfaction.

  • EMSJockey

    Um the police do not have the authority to be in that ambulance while the EMT/Medic is treating a patient! Does NYPD not know of HIPPA? I hope the Patient and EMT sue the NYPD and NY City! That Police Officer also should go to anger management training after a year or so on the desk! I don’t care if he had a badge and gun, he would not be in the back of my ambulance if I didn’t want him there!

    • Jim

      probably not, but I’m sure he’s heard of HIPAA.

      • http://h Too Old To Work

        Which wouldn’t apply in this case anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Who would’ve been to blame if the patient had arrested in the ambulance?? Patient care and PUBLIC service above all else….
    It shouldn’t come down to a pissing contest!!! Paramedic whos father was in Law Enforcement..

  • Anonymous

    Give me your gun and badge and I will let you have my aid bag and monitor…..

  • waheid

    Too many police officers use their badge when they should be using their brains. In this case, the EMT who was treating a patient for a potentially dangerous medical condition was arrested because of this police officer’s stupidity.

  • Z71-K9

    Both in the wrong. Here is the solution EMT has to do ride along in patrol car. Cop has to ride in ambulance. Bet after two weeks of that there would be a little more respect on both sides.

  • VanMan

    Ya know, I spent 14 years as a cop, and I NEVER would have done some the crap the cops today do — fighting medics, kicking handcuffed women, pepper-spraying peaceful protesters, and just generally being @-holes. This new breed of cop needs a nice big collective time-out in the corner.

    BAD COP! No donut!

  • RJ in florida

    Gotta side with the medic on this one because unless the woman was under arrest, the cop didnt need to be there. maybie it could have been handleled better but the cops have no medical reason to be in there

    interfearing with governmental administartion is copslang for CONTEMPT OF COP which is bullshit. i would have shooed the cop out too

  • ukfbbuff

    Nothing like doing something stupid in NYC Emergency Services when you’re already under the Industry Microscope, Nationwide.

  • He

    Close the doors and tell your driver lets get moving,,,,,,,,, with or without the cop onboard. It would be a different story if he tried to stop you from transporting. Personally, I would be civil and ask the cop to jot his cell number on the back of his business card and I’ll call him as soon as the call is over with the Pt’s info.

  • edg

    Everybody is missing the basic point – both the EMT and the Police Officer need info for their respective reports. And in a medical emergency, much of the data is duplicative.
    What it takes is management from both sides to agree on a simple protocal – the police officer simply gets the medics incident number from the driver before he puls off. Then the officer references that incident number in his report.
    As we use data more and more in our jobs, we need to manage it and not let it take over our jobs – FDNY and NYPD could work together to simplify the process – but then that requires managers who manage – hard to find these days.

  • retired medic

    it appears the cop was trying to complete a report and needed some patient information. Did he not simply have access to her purse while she was undergoing assessment and treatment for a heart attack? Sounds like someone was impatient! And treating a scared patient with chest pains and anxiety is difficult enough without more than one person asking questions to the patient. The cop could have simply waited a few minutes out of courtesy to the patient. The patient has the expectation of a few basic human rights (like not being exposed to folks who have no need to see a naked woman!)

    I am sure the medic got frustrated and probably noted either an increased anxiety level in his patient (not good for a chest pain patient) or the patient was so confused she may not have been able to answer the medic’s questions which are part of his assessment process so he can initiate proper treatment.

    That is why only one person should be asking the patient questions during the assessment process. Otherwise, it becomes tedious to the patient and can compromise patient care.

    By the way, isn’t the FDNY Medic also a government employee of the same city? So who was really interfering with governmental administration (the medic was doing his job that he was called to do to treat a citizen of his city!)

  • 19262007

    @retired medic,
    I for one enjoy seeing as many naked women as possible. One of my many flaws…

  • Former FDNY Medic

    I was an FDNY Paramedic and know Andrew personally. He is not a loose cannon and advocates for his patients. From my perspective, it’s a challenge for me to visualize him initiating physical confrontation (i.e. committing battery) with a police officer. There are a lot of problems with how the story was reported. First, he is a paramedic, not an EMT. No disrespect to BLS, but the NYTimes should know the difference. Another example of how the media and public don’t understand what we do. Second, why wasn’t the cop not named? Another excuse to dramatize/bash FDNY EMS, who are getting a bad rap because of some bad apples? Third, generally PD and EMS get along in NYC, so this is not indicative of the normal relationship. Fourth, there is not enough detail of the incident to fairly assess what occurred. “Shoving” could have been Andrew unintentionally brushing the officer’s arm as he reached out to close the door and the officer used that as an excuse to consider it battery

  • floorabove

    Cant we all just get along?

    Maybe the Cop wanted to see some boobs!!

    2 Parties both taking themselves too seriously.

  • LEO FIREMAN AND MEDICAL RESPONDER!

    Incident command structure is EMS call and life saving take precedence over law enforcment duties. Saving the life comes first. Everything else is secondary. Incident command class 101, as any EMS,FD or LEO should already know as the classes are federally mandated. with that in mind, the cop was 100% wrong. He should have followed the ambulance to the Er and got her information when she was able to respond.