Legal Responsibilities in Fire and EMS.
Legal Responsibilities in Fire and EMS
Legal Responsibilities of Emergency Services Organizations
Emergency service organizations are entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of emergencies such as fire outbreaks, floods, and urgent evacuations. In delivering their services, they ensure that they stick to the stipulated laws such as ensuring that buildings have safety and emergency measures. Due to lawsuits that can be filed against them due to negligence, legal challenges include taking necessary steps to avoid wrong choices such as not installing safety precautions to prevent unnecessary accidents, for instance (Taylor, 2011). While wrong decisions can be avoided, the inclusion of legal counsel in phases of managing emergency comes in handy in avoiding compensations and damages charges. It is against that background that “litigation mitigation” emanates.
The goals of litigation mitigation are threefold: (a) reduce instances of legal claims; (b) improve life safety, and (c) enhance protection of property. The training of EMS lawyers is such that they look at the three top concerns mentioned above. In essence, leaders of emergency service organizations consider the concerns to reduce legal exposure of their companies, which result in higher property protection and enhance life safety (Taylor, 2011). Although the laws regulating the conduct of service emergency services can sometimes be involving, emergency heads could disregard litigation mitigation, declaring that they are busy. Taking legal responsibility is not only good for the companies, but ensures that hazards are controlled, and prevent compensation and damage charges in the case of lawsuits.
His or her duty includes response to emergency fire alarms or calls and any other emergencies. They evacuate victims from hazardous environments. They perform activities related to extinguishing or suppressing fires. Entry-level firefighters assess emergency medical issues and perform treatment as guided by First Responder guidelines. He or she is responsible for enforcing codes, inspecting the building, and conducting pre-fire surveys, maintaining hydrants, issuing burn permits, educating the public on public safety and prevention measures (Johnson, 2012). They tour facilities within fire stations. Other duties include operating machinery, conducting minor repairs, adjusting, and maintaining apparatus and fire equipment. Other duties may be dictated by prevailing circumstances and type of emergency service organization. In some cases, they may be in charge of firefighters.
The officer is a key personnel in the management of duties at the company. The officer oversees that all activities run smoothly. They are more into coordination, ensuring efficient communication between various departments. They provide the necessary logistics such as gathering data and providing proper installation of machinery. They work with chief officers to ensure that all equipment is in proper working conditions (Johnson, 2012). It is the role of the company officer to ensure that litigation mitigation measures are in place to reduce instances of lawsuits. Other duties may depend from one organization to another.
He or she is the direct representative of the respective department. He is the chief coordinator of the department and takes charge of the particular emergency. He provides answers to the public and can respond to the media. He keeps the balance between handling crewmembers and offering necessary logistics. The chief officer communicates with various departmental heads in ensuring that all the necessary equipment are dispatched and that there is a chain of command to avoid confusions and any miscommunications that may hamper efficient and quick response (Johnson, 2012). Duties could vary from time to time and depend on a particular scenario.
Johnson, B. (2012). Company officer development program needs for the Reedy Creek Emergency Services. Emmitsburg, MD: National Fire Academy.
Taylor, R. (2011). Foreclosure Defense: A Practical Litigation Guide. Chicago, Ill: American Bar Association.
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