Boy should they be.
Here’s the story we’re talking about and I can tell you this is a topic too often visited upon those who find themselves looking from a Police Officer to an Ambulance and wondering why either of them is there.
University Police at GW seem to think a policy they have overrides the rights of a Student and the authority of a duly licensed ET or Paramedic.
Adorable, I know.
Students have come forward challenging ambulance charges when they were found to have been suspected to have ingested alcohol and UPD forced them to the hospital, citing their policy. Even students who passed field sobriety tests and gave breathalyzer readings below those required to operate a motor vehicle were still forced, using authority, to be taken somewhere they did not wish to go.
There’s a word for that. We’ve discussed it before and how so many EMS agencies don’t understand it.
If the students are violating policy and are speaking clearly, able to walk and understand the risks of not seeking a physician evaluation (which pretty much consists of “you OK?”) law enforcement can not coerce or force them to hospital unless they are taken into custody.
Otherwise this is cut and dry…
kidnapping by force.
Don’t think so? Local laws are usually vague, and even though the Officers may not be seeking ransom, guess who operates the Ambulance? The University. The policy is written to increase billable transports of the parent organization. I’d argue that’s enough, but include that the ambulance takes the person to a place where they may be harmed and I’d say we have a decent argument. Far better then the policy to transport anyone who had a couple Bud Ice at a dorm party. You can’t force them to the hospital! Give them a stern lecture? Fine them at tuition time?
Or cite them. Or arrest them, but you can’t force them into the hospital.
So there’s a simple bow on the UPD policy. Took me 2 minutes. Each and every student should file charges and demand UPD cover all ambulance and hospital charges relating to the forced relocation. If campus drinking is such a problem, why not try some police work and prevent the drinking, or perhaps focus on those who over-imbibe and might actually need an ambulance?
Too much effort and paperwork? I know. Imagine the paperwork and effort you just forced all those healthcare professionals to waste, not to mention taking an ambulance out of service and clogging a hospital bed for 15 minutes.
You are liable for the events you created and you created one hell of a mess. Drop the policy and pay the bills.
To any students seeking to challenge UPD or the university policy, I’m available as an Emergency Medical Services Subject Matter Expert for deposition in your case. No fee.