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RE: Dealing Responsibly with Injured People
Here's my take on this; Why not make emergency data
and EMS release part of the waiver we sign at the
ride? Something to the effect "If you are involved in
a serious incident, you give us (RM) permission to
call in EMS. Further, provide your emergency contact's
info below, in case you aren't able to function".
Obviously, this is a Q & D statement that needs to be
filtered through a liability lawyer--which I'm not.
The purpose is to ensure people needing medical aid
get it, whether they later refuse it or not. So, the
language should be binding enough to absolve RM from
legal responsibily if the injured person refuses
treatment. Let them refuse it to the EMTs, who are
qualified to explain to them how dangerous their
injuries are untreated. Ride managers and other first
responders may or may not be qualified to make a
determination beyond the need to call EMS. If the
waiver's in place, they have the victims tacit
permission to make that call.
I certainly agree that good people have a moral, if
not legal, responsiblility to act on the behalf of the
injured. I doubt any ride manager would abuse a
properly worded waiver like that. On the other hand,
it protects the injured person and management in the
case of an injury where the victim is concious, seems
lucid, but is not really in they're right mind.
Injured people, as this story points out, often don't
understand how injured they are. More often, they
become concerned with relative inconsequentialities,
like "Who's going to cook supper for the
Junior/Horse/Dog/Gerbil while I'm at the ER?" (I call
it inconsequential to the injury because it is...there
are enough caring people in the ride camp--like nearly
100%--that'll pitch it and help.)
The emergency contact is someone who could arrange
transportaion for horses, vehicles, etc. as well as
being a concerned person who could authorize medical
treatment. This just takes a little planning and
fore-thought--putting it on the ride application makes
it all easy to get to, without having strangers
sorting through your effects later on. Again, the idea
here is to have the course of action layed out BEFORE
the emergency happens.
If we include these couple of clauses on ride
applications even people who are certain that nothing
will ever happen to them have their butts covered.
Afterall, very few people wake up on a Saturday
morning with the plan, "Gee, I think I'll let Dobbin
roll over on top of me! I've never tried that and he
only weighs a thousand pounds." Here is a way to plan
for that eventuality.
I don't see this as complicating things at all, which
I imagine would be the primary objection. We're
already signing a personal injury waiver on the ride
application. This merely modifies the language to
allow RM to call the paramedics in the event of an
injury to the rider and adds a name and telephone
number for an emergency point of contact. It's
certainly something that riders and ride management
could do to protect themselves. And I bet one of our
lawyer-slash-endurance riders could draft it up in
less than an hour.
There's my suggestion, anyway. I sit back and see what
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