Why are we doing this more and more?

So, the inimitable CCC over at Captain Chair Confessions got me thinking with his recent post These people got lights and siren responses  

Why is it, roughly 40 years into this grand experiment called EMS, that we seem to be responding more and more frequently to all manner of nonsense in a code 3 response?

This seems to fly in the face of reason, logic, and science.  I am just wondering why it is that we have many studies that seem to at the minimum, imply that increased use of emergency response proves to rarely provide a benefit and yet it goes on.

We are supposed to use science and reason and all manner of things, but we seem to flaunt it just as often.  I find it pretty damning that many times over the years we’ve even seen Jeff Clawson, of MPDS fame/infamy depending on your mindset, decry the overuse of code 3 responses.  If we have all this evidence pointing to less use of code 3 response, why do we feel the need to adhere to such silly things as 8 minute response time “standards”?  Especially when that “standard” isn’t the same from municipality to the next?

Maybe if we’re going to have all this science and evidence we could use it.  Just maybe.

Clawson, Jeff. “Unnecessary Lights and Siren Use: A Public Health Hazard.” International Academies of Emergenct Dispatch. N.p., Oct. 2002. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <https://www.emergencydispatch.org/articles/uneslightnsiren.pdf&gt;.


2 thoughts on “Why are we doing this more and more?

  1. I would point out that the Pennsylvania statewide protocols emphasize Lights & Sirens should target use less than 50% of the time to the scene, as an audit criteria. They also have l&s < 2% of the time to the hospital as an auditable criteria as well.

  2. Well. I’m glad to see that some states are progressive with regards to that. If only all of them did that. But we have so many absentee medical directors that leave standards ridiculously low and allow anyone with a pulse/license to practice and then blame the medics solely when something goes wrong. A little education goes a long way.

    But I’ve been a bad medic, so it’s back to my solitary confinement for now.

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