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Legal Aspects of Emergency Services introduces members of fire and emergency medical services to the legal system in the United States, showing them how various types of laws affect their work in emergency services.
After studying Legal Aspects of Emergency Services, students will be able to identify situations in their work environment—whether at incident scenes or at the station—that reflect federal, state, and local laws, or may require the assistance of an attorney. The knowledge gained through this text can influence emergency responders’ words and actions in legally sensitive situations.
Legal Aspects of Emergency Services meets and exceeds the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Program Legal Aspects of Emergency Services course outcomes. Chapters progress from a general foundation in the U.S. legal system, to general types of laws, and then to the more specific types of laws affecting emergency services, covering the legal aspects of topics such as:
Emergency medical care
Public information transparency
Legal Aspects of Emergency Services also includes:
Decisions from influential court cases
Fictional case studies
Clarifications of tricky legal concepts
State laws involving emergency services
Legal Aspects of Emergency Services is designed to provide responders with some basic legal knowledge so that, when faced with a legal quandary, they may remember the core principles discussed throughout this book and recognize the need to seek qualified legal advice. The law affects everything responders do in their daily activity, especially when functioning as an agent of a fire or EMS department. Fire fighters are calculated risk takers. They risk a lot to save a lot, and conversely risk nothing to save nothing, and they often find themselves operating within the gray area of those two extremes.
Having an understanding of the law as it applies in different situations allows the prudent fire fighter, EMT, supervisor, manager or officer to manage legal exposure. There are times when it may be necessary to assume greater legal risk because it is the right thing to do. There are other times when a legal risk is not worth any potential benefit. As a result, it is important for those in fire and EMS disciplines to have a passing knowledge of the law and how it affects them in their profession.