A service I work for as recently been dispatching us emergency to another city to stand by because they are out of ambulances. there are NO calls holding, they just have no available ambulances. is this even legal?? I think its highly dangerous and wrong!!

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It is actually a permitted reason for using L&S and exceeding the limit/ crossing lights etc when moving medical equipment or personnel to where they are needed.


Not where I am, or any place I've ever been!  All of those statutes have "When responding to an emergency call for service" or words to that effect.


Theoretically you are right, using L&S is not about driving real fast.  That is overwhelmingly NOT the practice of most in EMS, as the crash data demonstrate!

I was talking about our state laws not US ones as a comparison.

Our line managers can direct us to travel under what ever response conditions they see fit, just as they can alter AMPDS responses categories.

Our laws aren't so prescriptive as to be constrictive. One could summise that the absence of an ambulance in a town IS an emergency. Does it also mean that you can only respond lights and sirens if someone calls first?

Part of it orignally here was about moving blood supplies and medical personnel. That doesn't happen at least with blood supplies.

Typically yes, "in response to a call."


The research is pretty conclusive that (a) you are several times more likely to crash when running L&S as you are when not, and (b) the time gained from an incremental increase in speed is minimal. And of course there are very few pre-hospital situations (probably <5%) where time has been proven to matter.


In the US, EMS is typically not involved in moving blood supplies or personnel from one place to another.  The places where I've seen that happen urgently (rare blood, or organs for transplant) have typically involved the police

would you consider running L&S to a transfer from a hospital that is 85+ miles away and speeding down the interstate to the call this happens in georgia

Given the traffic on most interstates (exceeds the speed capacity of many ambulances), probably not.  If you crash your truck at 85 mph, you are dead meat - and nothing is worth being dead meat for!

We cover several towns from 4 bases, and often have to stage to cover when another base is busy. We are just normal traffic unless an emergency comes in, only then do we run L&S.

I think it would be a hard sell to a jury that a possibility of a call was a true emergency.

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